Maybe you heard it.
We heard this weekend a resounding sigh of relief from around the world. The election has ended.
For all of us, this passage invites fresh optimism, a fresh resilience, and a fresh commitment to the important things in life.
As retailers, one of those important things is your operation.
The situation suggests that now is the perfect time to reexamine your competitive edge.
And to help you get started, consider these concepts from Doug Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet, who spoke recently at a retail summit held at Texas A&M.
As reported by Kim Souza of Talk Business & Politics*, Stephens advises retailers to answer questions around their purpose. Stephens then identified 10 separate "purpose categories," and gave examples of brands that characterize each.
What struck us was that all of these have to do with how to connect with the customer. And that of course is foundational for independent retailers, the "people people."
So, before despairing that technology is taking over, consider these 10 qualities. What do you want your stores to be known for?
History will report that in the last few days, while one door closed, the many windows that have opened invite all of us to take a deep breath of fresh air, and get cracking!
* Retailing resurrection in post-COVID era must be purpose-driven. Kim Souza,Talk Business & Politics, November 4, 2020.
You likely are aware of buy-now, pay-later (BNPL) programs, from Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna, among others. It gained a foothold in online retail – "the hottest trend in e-commerce"– and has been especially popular in the UK and Australia. Now its availability to many more retailers may be accelerated with the proposed acquisition by Square of Afterpay. It is a trend we all need to watch carefully.
Here's the deal. Once again, the retailer is the pickle in the middle. The benefits of increasing sales (and average transaction value) which are very attractive, must be weighed against the potential increases in hassle factors, particularly for your most valuable asset: your front line staff.
YOUR GOAL: QUICKLY GET TO A FIRST DRAFT.
Face it. Sales are dropping. By how much? For how long? Nobody knows for sure.
But, you can make some assumptions, some educated guesses. Put those into the 3-in-1 Cash Flow Calculator.
These totally volatile times cause a lot of opinions and fears to be swirling around. Seeing "what if...?" can be very helpful.
All in just minutes. On your own.
Let's assume your stores have been closed for weeks now.
We recognize how conscientious you are. So, after paying what you can to your employees (and yourself), the next most-worrisome dilemma is your rent.
As you likely have discovered, a common choice for many landlords is to offer to defer your payments. But that means taking on more debt, as those payments are only being postponed to a later point in time.
You need a better solution than that.
The #1 responsibility of every retailer is to manage and control the inventory. By doing that, you are managing margin, profit, cash flow...also known as success!
Managing inventory demands a merger of art – the selection of merchandise – and science – the quantity of merchandise at any given time.
And here is a formula that makes the science part accessible for every retailer. All you need is a pencil to do this (remember those?) And it can and should be embraced by every retailer!
Some thoughts from Nordstrom leadership that are spot on!
That's what Nordstrom President and Chief Brand Officer Pete Nordstrom told Puget Sound Business Journal columnist Patti Payne on April 23, 2020.
And what he succinctly stated is exactly the challenge – and opportunity – that is confronting all retail owners.
In order to answer whether you should re-open once you can, you first must be very confident in WHAT kind of retail operation you will be re-opening.
The only certainty of the aftermath of the pandemic is that everything will be different. Given that, what better time to re-imagine your business?
Still less than $1 a day! 👀