Re-Inventing Retail

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

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Every minute, some shoppers in your market are checking the weather forecast on their smart phone.

But here's the deal: Immediately, that inquiry is being captured by The Weather Company, which now turns this mass of Big Data into usable information (that it sells, of course.)

And here's what that means for those smart phone users:

Consumer products companies buy certain weather characteristics: temperature, humidity, etc. Then, when consumers are checking their weather app, they see ads most relevant to the weather in the ZIP code they are checking.

Hot and humid? See an ad for a frizzy-hair-taming product.

Low humidity? See a volumizing hair product. 

(That's called getting the right product to the right customer at the right time, right?)

"The old paradigm of business and weather was cope and avoid. With technology, the paradigm is now anticipate and exploit," says Paul Walsh of The Weather Company.


Hmm. It's still true; we can't do anything about the weather. And accurately predicting the weather continues to be a challenge.

But what IS predictable? How people react to the weather. 

And, without having to stalk customers on their smartphones, we think there may be ways to apply these notions in your own stores.

For example, Michael's Stores, the crafts people, discovered that their customers shopped more not on rainy days, but when rainy days were in the 3-day forecast. You know, preparing for "rainy day" projects!

Why be content to just talk about the weather? Why not make it actually work for your stores?! Could make for some fun brainstorming sessions at your staff meetings.

Think about what weather patterns might actually influence your sales

Then, find some ways to be proactive about it. All to your advantage! 

Or as the Weather Channel guy says, don't just "cope and avoid;" "anticipate and exploit!"

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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!"