Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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Strategic insights and commentary from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Christmas Week Is Only 90 Days Away. Amazing, or What?!

Consider this: Will this Holiday Season happen in traditional RETAIL Time? Or always-on INTERNET Time? Or, the grinding PANDEMIC Time? Or, some combination of all of it?

What a 90 days it will be! 

  • Remember July and early August, when there was much optimism? Consumers were excitedly resuming in-store shopping and dining. Social gatherings were increasing. Pent up demand was high. And shoppers were eager to make this year extra special to compensate for last year. 
  • Then, the Delta variant surged. And the accompanying uncertainty has wreaked havoc. While the stock markets are reacting downward to the uncertainty, the more meaningful indicator for retailers – Consumer Confidence –  is at its lowest level in nine years. Ugh!

But amidst all this is the resilience of retailers and shoppers alike. The majority of people are vaccinated, and determined to put the pandemics behind them. Enough already, they're saying! We have people to see and family and friendships to celebrate.

And they are shopping early. This could be fantastic!

This 2021 Holiday Season will be all about relationships. Your customers are counting on you to help them make this year special.

All those new ways that you established during the pandemics to be connected with your customers? This is the time for them to shine! Use emails and texts and social media to keep your customers personally aware:

  • the unique and special merchandise you have;
  • your added conveniences of online ordering or curbside pickup;
  • the safe shopping environment you offer;
  • your knowledgeable staff; 
  • and others that are proprietary to your stores.

Your shoppers already know that this year is different. They know that inventories are tight, and there are fewer retailers to choose from. And they are shopping early! They likely won't be driven by Black Friday specials and early season discounts. They want special, and many are willing and able to pay for it.

Indeed, it looks like 2021 will bring a Holiday Season like no other. 



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