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."
The author of this post, Matthew Wagner, is the vice-president of revitalization programs for Main Street America, "a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development."
He laments that pop-ups seem to have become associated only with new, emerging retail concepts. We agree with his contention that community development leaders should cultivate pop-up opportunities for all retailers.
But, you don't need to wait for those folks.
In fact, within your own stores you may have space for a pop-up opportunity! This could be for your own operation or another merchant nearby (who might also offer you space within their store.)
We see it as a great opportunity to inject new vitality into existing spaces.
And studies confirm what merchants already know; the customers really love pop-ups.
All in all, a great way to test out your new "rhythms of retail." What are you waiting for?
As Peter Drucker noted, "The best way to predict the future is to create it."
* Matthew Wagner, Ph.D., Pop-Up Retail: Not Just For Start-Ups, And Other Learnings From Its Evolution. February 11, 2021, Main Street America.
As we know all too well, 2020 was chock full of "disruptions." Every week brought a new flexibility test. And those of course did not go away when the calendar turned.
For instance, here we are on President's Day Weekend and Valentine's Day Weekend. Raise your hand if you were able to plan and carry out your "traditional" promotional events, let alone do something for your Valentine.
That's what we thought. The usual patterns just don't apply anymore.
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.
As your stores are able to re-open after the coronavirus shutdowns, how they look tells a powerful story. And for you, a great opportunity.
This is no time to try to go back to normal, back to business-as-usual. Nor to simply have all kinds of protective shields in your store. While necessary, how welcoming is that?
Instead, this actually IS a second chance to make a good first impression! Take full advantage!
This is, after all, The Retail OWNERS Institute. We long have specialized in alerting, coaxing, and applauding retail owners worldwide.
Today's message is a major heads-up.
Keeping pace with the relentless changes in retailing has never been easy. Retailers know that constant adjustments are demanded.
Then, the three pandemics of 2020 happened: COVID; the economic meltdown; the social unrest. And life changed modestly or enormously for almost everyone, including owners of retail businesses.
There's a very important annual job for you, the owner, and all of your senior staff. It's vital, and it involves your presence.
The pressures are mounting on your stores, and in particular, your front line staff.
What is the definition of "value" for customers? Pretty straightforward, actually.
Wait. What? "Benefits received?" "Burdens endured?"
Turns out, the only single answer to "What is value?" is, "It depends."
Don't just roll your eyes. What constitutes value for your customers increasingly is a make-or-break part of retailing.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀