Re-Inventing Retail

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

With Apologies to IKEA Bookmark

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Doing retail has always been a challenging and fascinating and evolving exercise. As the old Chinese proverb states, “It’s easy to open a store. However, it’s tough to keep it open.”

And today, seemingly more than ever, people are drawn to retailing. Consider:

  • Vendors and manufacturers who decided that they would rather open their own stores than continuing to deal with “failing” retailers. It would be so much easier.
  • Online-only operators choosing to offer customers a hands-on experience with their product. (And then, those pesky customers were in their stores, but "Just looking, thank you." Who knew?)

These and others fit into our category of “retail-as-added-use.” Retailing is not their core competency; they are manufacturers or direct marketers, or wholesalers, or importers, or whatever. Nonetheless, they are confident that they can better represent their products and brand to the customers than can professional retailers.

Hmm. We think they are likely to discover that there is more to retailing than meets the eye. In fact, consider our analogy:

We think that opening and successfully operating a retail store is a lot like assembling Ikea furniture.

It takes a lot more time than you expected

It requires a lot of attention to detail.

It has an amazing number of small parts

It has no written instructions

There is no shortage of opinions of how you should be doing it

Having a picture of the finished result is sometimes not all that helpful

It is highly unlikely that you will be successful on your first try

It can seem a bit rickety even after you think you are finished

Let us be perfectly clear. Ikea furniture is terrific. Loved and used by millions.

But so are stores!

Successfully going from a vision to its accomplishment? The pros make it look sooooo easy.

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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!"