Re-Inventing Retail

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

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We are living in unsettling times of rapid change, magnified by news cycle drama. 

Maybe it’s the latest natural disasters or the uncertainty of international conflicts. Or closer to home, aging parents, unexpected expenses, or just trying to open a new bottle of aspirin, life can seem more out of control than normal.

This anxiety and frustration can be unsettling to many folks, some of whom undoubtedly are your customers.

And frankly, as the frustrations grow of having less control, some people will seek more control wherever they can.

Where would that be? That’s right. Your stores. You and your staff must be ready.

“Give the customer what they want” has been a long-standing directive in retailing. Especially for today's customers, it's not about price or selection. What customers want today is control. 

Many consumers will turn with a vengeance to a new kind of “retail therapy”

Shopping is one place where they still are in charge! 

But it's not how much merchandise they acquire; it's how much control they can exercise.

How might you and your stores be better able to serve these seekers of "retail therapy"? Here are some ideas for you and your staff to consider:

Choose and use technology that gives your shoppers more control (versus just having the gee-whiz “latest technology”).

Be more willing to explain “why?”
There are reasons behind your careful editing of assortments (or what’s known today as “curating”).
Explain how the merchandise in your stores meets your standards.
(And why you don’t have everything that is available on the web.)

Be ready; some customers will abuse this power.
They can be rude, or leave merchandise on the fitting room floor, or challenge return policies.
It is important to avoid a tug-of-war with such customers. They want less confrontation!

Today's new "retail therapists" – that is, those retailers who understand and cater to customers who want more control –  will be better able to weather today’s tumultuous times. And to help their customers do so as well!

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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!"