That headline from Chain Store Age* brings smiles to retailers.
Consumer confidence is a key indicator of retail sales, and this increasing confidence as we head into the holiday season is very welcome indeed.
But of course, there is no one-size-fits-all upside here.
photo: Greg Gilbert/Seattle Times
Recently we read of a "bookshop on wheels" launched by a college English instructor. While certainly not the first retail variation on a food truck, this one has gained praise for its authenticity.
"What’s most surprising when you walk into Blue Kettle Books for the first time is how cozy and, well, bookstore-ish the tiny space feels."*
Retail IS detail. And some of those pesky details are increasingly cropping up to torment online sellers.
For example, there's the matter of managing returns. As Chris Jarvis wrote in DMM/ShoppingCenters.com*:
Meanwhile, the pure-play online retailers are confronting the ever-demanding customer expectations.
Just this morning we saw yet another article speculating about the staying power of online shopping, in this instance, grocery shopping.
Of course, it's not just media pundits who are looking for answers to this question about online versus in-store shopping. Retailers are living with this issue, and they have to make decisions.
No, Not About People This Time
While we typically think of people as recipients of recognition – and we trust you already are doing that, right? – this is a different challenge.
Ready? Here we go! Of your merchandise, which products are Award Winners?!
Ready to add a bit more fun to your store, AND generate incremental sales? Consider this friendly Tortoise, a "tap to pay mobile smart store."
Here's how it works. You choose items to sell that can be boxed, and held at room temperature. Maybe it's a dozen cookies. Or a book. Coffee mugs? Mobile phone rechargers. Whatever makes sense for your store. (And apparently, higher priced goods do especially well.)
Place the boxes into a Tortoise container that has colorful graphics of what's inside and the price per box, and send the Tortoise on its way.
You've gotten through the Holiday season, likely enjoyed some vacation time, and perhaps even have your own financial statements in hand.
For many retailers, 2021 proved to be a very profitable year. Congratulations!
In fact, go here to check out the pre-tax profit trends for the past two years for the median performers in 50+ retail segments. To borrow a phrase, everybody (almost) is above average!
You've no doubt seen the headlines. "Retail sales slumped in December."
Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it? Did all those foreboding warnings of supply chain issues, inventory shortages, etcetera actually come true?
Still less than $1 a day! 👀