Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Oh Those "Stealth Competitors" Bookmark

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Quick: Who are your major competitors? Amazon? Target? Wal-Mart? Other specialty store retailers in your market?

Yes, all those and more.

But, what about the "stealth competitors" affecting every retailer – whether you are selling apparel, furniture, motorcycles, books, smart phones, or whatever? Stealth competitors; they are out there.

These competitors are hiding in plain sight. And, in our view, they significantly impact – and reduce – retail sales by skimming off discretionary spending.

What are they? The monthly recurring charges that support our digital lifestyles. Most of them didn't exist a decade ago. 

 Just think about it:

There are the monthly cell phone data plans, for every member of the household. (Yes, even the grade schoolers. And, maybe even Grandma & Grandpa.)

Then, the monthly cable or satellite TV charges.

Plus, the monthly charges for high speed internet access in your home.

Of course, there are the monthly charges for "streaming" online entertainment services, such as Netflix, Amazon, now Wal-Mart, and others.

And, monthly online access to newspapers, magazines, etcetera

We call these kinds of monthly expenses "the enablers" of our essential digital lifestyles. They also are "creepers"; they tend to just keep rising. 

And for retailers, each one represents a major "stealth competitor!"

For many households, these monthly charges can add up to hundreds of dollars! And today, essentially no one can avoid them; they are treated like another "utility" charge. Is it any wonder consumers feel like they have less "spending money?" (And they are right!)

Erosion of "Retail Spending"
All of this connectivity comes at a cost to retailers. Money that is being dedicated to these monthly enabling charges is not available to be spent "at retail." 

Traditional "disposable income" is significantly eroded. And that happens every month, essentially out of sight. And to almost every household. 

What does this mean for retailers? "Know your competition" is more complex – and more important – than ever. Every retailer is affected!

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About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"