We were struck by these comments from folks for whom "back-to-school" is more than a season. Look what a state superintendent of public instruction* had to say about the upcoming school year.
Lots of retailers can identify with those comments, don't you agree?
Or, these observations about the disruptions and uncertainties of the pandemic:
As the final third of the year approaches, there's a "new era" afoot. There is optimism in the air.
Yes! And it could catch a lot of folks by surprise.
One of the real killers of a retail business can be debt. But, how much is too much?
Debt can be quite stealthy as it grows.
Especially in these times of increasing interest rates, creeping expansion of debt can quickly snowball into a much larger problem.
From the Benchmark pages on The ROI site, we have selected four retail verticals whose Debt-to-Worth ratio shows a frightening situation. The technical term we would use is "spooky, real spooky."
(click on each chart to see all key ratios for that vertical)
A frequent recommendation for how to navigate the current economic uncertainty is to be more diligent about controlling expenses, and focus on profit. (You'll see; we challenge that below.)
Hmm. Concentrating on profits is easier said than done in today's environment, with cost increases proliferating under the umbrella of inflation.
The basic definition of retailing is "selling to the ultimate consumer."
As you know, HOW that is done, and in what location or format, continues to change and evolve.
So, we were intrigued by this recent post on the Shopify Retail Blog: The Future of Physical Retail in a Digital-First World.*
To us, the blog post was essentially a wide-ranging journey of discovery(and perhaps even some new-found respect for those "physical retailers".)
We think this may be a very different 4th of July Holiday weekend.
It will not be just about red, white & blue window displays, or flag waving, or fireworks displays. Instead, there is a new mood, a new attitude that is emerging.
First, we believe that all shoppers are reeling from being swamped by some major and concurrent attention-grabbing events and trends affecting all of us. Seemingly with no end in sight.
Consider these front-page headlines and the accompanying chart (see above) from the June 6 Wall Street Journal* – "Surplus Inventory Piles Up", "Stores Are Stuck with the Wrong Items."
Look at it carefully, and think of your operation in comparison. How do your numbers compare? Are you as shocked as we are?
How did this happen?
Partly as responses to the unprecedented impacts of the pandemic.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀