We believe there are not one, but three(!) pandemics occurring simultaneously right now. Of course, the COVID-19 virus elevated the word "pandemic" to a status that identifies even a generation of babies.
But the other two pandemics are equally paralyzing: the nationwide (even worldwide) protests of racial injustice, and the severe unemployment from the economic collapse.
Indeed, three concurrent, worldwide sinkholes. We call it the "pandemic trifecta of 2020."
So, what's an intelligent retailer to think now?!
Here's one idea that we believe can help you have more confidence in your immediate decisions. Think beyond this week and this month.
Just put a check mark in the appropriate box. Make a copy for yourself, and date it. It's just a way to try to capture your assumptions.
Granted, you are guessing. But we all are!
However, the decisions you must make now about when, how and why to re-open your store(s) will benefit by how you imagine the circumstances 90 days from now.
It's best that you not waste the lead time.
As always, your judgment – your informed judgment – is your greatest asset.
It's that time of year. As you review your Profit & Loss statement for 2022, your thoughts most likely are turning to "How do we make 2023 a better year than that?"
As we look around, we see a popular cost-saving and productivity-boosting tactic being instituted by many national retailers, shopping malls, and restaurants. They are open fewer hours.
This offers an opportunity for you to revisit your store hours and employee scheduling practices. Maybe it's time to consider some changes, if you haven't already.
Start with the mass of data resting comfortably in your POS system. Look for all the reports by the day of the week. (Be prepared; this may require you to gather information from several reports.)
What you are looking for is data such as this by the day of the week:
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.
We once knew a lady of an earlier generation who steadfastly championed the idea that Labor Day should be considered New Year's Eve, and the Tuesday after Labor Day as the start of the New Year. (Yes, she was ahead of her time in many other ways as well.)
Here's her reasoning about the "real" New Year's Eve: as summer fades away and vacations end, the new school year starts up; the baseball season pennant race is on; football games begin. As all this happens, she explained, most people take on a renewed sense of energy.
The promise of a fresh start is everywhere. Optimism abounds!
Wouldn't 2020 be a great year to cut short? Aren't we all ready to turn the page on it?
Well, while we cannot do it officially, we can embrace that New Year state of mind.
Consider this retailer, whose sales over the last 4 weeks are down 12% compared to last year.
Some retailers in this situation essentially freak out.
But others know to keep asking questions. Before they decide what to do next to fix lagging sales, they want to know "Why?"
So, here is one way to get to the numbers behind the numbers; to begin to know the "why" of your sales trends.
All it takes is tapping into the data that's already in your POS system, and putting together a little summary tally sheet. Here's one example.
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.
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?!
Still less than $1 a day! 👀