Re-Inventing Retail

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

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An outdoor, upscale mall in Southern California had an extensive renovation and expansion two years ago. As reported by Linda Childers in The Washington Post (June 22, 2018), "Unfortunately, the transformed mall attracted not only new customers but also dozens of pigeons." 

And, of course, pigeon droppings. 

Mall management rejected adding fabric netting or strips of spikes to their property.

Instead, to combat this "major pigeon problem," the mall hired Remmy, a Harris's hawk. 

Remmy comes with a handler, whose company uses falconry to intimidate nuisance birds, scaring them away but letting them live. 

"A scared pigeon is an educated pigeon," says Remmy's handler. "That pigeon will return to its flock and let the other birds know there's a hawk here who means business.

"Pigeons are smart birds – they will remember where the hawk is and will seek out another venue for shelter, water and food."

And, as the mall's property manager observed, "Remmy not only keeps the mall free of pigeons, he's also become something of a local celebrity." Some people come to the mall specifically to see Remmy. Selfies, anyone?

Clever, isn't it? 

It reminded us of other similar solutions by retailers. 

Remember the 7-Elevens that were plagued by teenagers loitering in their parking lots? 

Rather than confrontational techniques, management decided to play "elevator music" over loudspeakers. The teens decided to move along.

To us, these upbeat solutions are inspiring. We like the mix of shrewdness and whimsy. 

Think about some of the vexing issues facing your stores; might they lend themselves to an unexpected solution?

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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!"