The just-released "2021's Main Street Business Survivor Study" from the Pandenomics series conducted by the PYMNTS.com folks* focuses on the "Main Street Survivors:" those small to medium sized businesses "that have weathered the pandemic's fallout."
What have these "survivors" done differently than the rest of SMB businesses? Here are the major findings of their study. We think that you'll see many of the survival steps you have taken, or be prompted to adopt some others.
That last one is a bit troubling, of course. Not surprising that these business survivors are very optimistic; they've got to be to survive, right?
But, that time lag between when they will be geared up and ready for more shoppers and when the shoppers feel confident in visiting stores could prove problematic. Worth keeping an eye on.
Proof once again that independent retailers on Main Street can substantially pave the way for urban downtowns to realize a turnaround. Time for the City Cousins to listen up!
* "NEW DATA: Digital Lessons from Main Street's 2021 SMB Survivors." PYMTS.com, PANDENOMICS, March 8, 2021.
That message is emblazoned – in sunshine colors - in the windows of Nordstrom's flagship store in downtown Seattle. And yes, on a drizzly January day in Seattle, it was a welcome sight this morning. A nice pep talk for us all.
And a fitting message to follow our reflections on the year we just experienced.
Since March 2 of 2020, our From The Co-Founders commentary has been focused on the pandemics. Revisiting those was quite the "year in review" experience.*
There's a lot of optimism in the air these days.
Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are being eased. More people are becoming vaccinated. Upbeat economic news is reported. Unemployment figures are improving. Restaurants are preparing for diners to return. And of course, given that we are now starting to compare sales results to the meltdowns of 2020, dramatic percentage growth is being reported and forecast for the balance of the year.
These positive and optimistic news reports all are very welcome. Retailers are eager to see customers return.
But what should retailers expect? To brace yourself for the myriad changes.
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!
Your results are likely to be consistent with these patterns.
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.
As we noted last week, retailing is being affected by different patterns of seasonality. The old timing patterns for ordering, seasons, and events no longer apply. New "Rhythms of Retail" must be established by all retailers.
So it was with great interest that we read a blog post about Pop-Up Retail: Not Just for Start-Ups.* It featured results from a recent study out of the UK suggesting that "the pop-up retail sector is growing at 12.3% per year. And the U.S. pop-up industry has grown to approximately $10 billion in sales."
Still less than $1 a day! 👀