And then, an international crisis intervened, with Russia's February invasion of Ukraine. The world's attention shifted to that crisis, and the global economic sands shifted...once again.
Mentally, it is hard to escape the impact, because the press, the TV, the internet is swamping all of us with the grim reality of this war in Ukraine. So sad.
The first quarter is now behind us. The question is, how do we best manage the second, third and fourth quarters of 2022?
This may sound like "old school" advice, but don't dismiss it: The best way to see that"retailing is a mirror of society" is up close and personal. Right now, we believe that it is more critical for all senior management of retail operations to spend time on the selling floor. Listening, not talking.
So, now's the time. Get up close and personal. Be on the floor. Talk to customers and to your staff. Find out in real time, rather than waiting for reports after the fact.
Be determined, and stay flexible.
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.
Each of us, our households, businesses and communities are in different stages of shutdown due to the coronavirus.
While we cannot speak to when this will end, we do have some ideas for dealing with the "fog of uncertainty" that hangs over us all.
The Retail Owners Institute® has developed a retail strategy for "Inventory Management Going Forward."
As we often do, it was recapped as an unassuming chart (see above) identifying the Five Stages of Merchandise Mix Management, from "Before COVID-19" to the "New Normal?"
Remember thinking that Amazon was the most disruptive force to happen to retailing? (Well, at least since Walmart was the most disruptive....)
However, the coronavirus pandemic eclipses them all. No matter where you live or do business, it is not whether, just when, COVID-19 will impact your life. Disruption with a capital D!
YOUR GOAL: QUICKLY GET TO A FIRST DRAFT.
Face it. Sales are dropping. By how much? For how long? Nobody knows for sure.
But, you can make some assumptions, some educated guesses. Put those into the 3-in-1 Cash Flow Calculator.
These totally volatile times cause a lot of opinions and fears to be swirling around. Seeing "what if...?" can be very helpful.
All in just minutes. On your own.
Some thoughts from Nordstrom leadership that are spot on!
That's what Nordstrom President and Chief Brand Officer Pete Nordstrom told Puget Sound Business Journal columnist Patti Payne on April 23, 2020.
And what he succinctly stated is exactly the challenge – and opportunity – that is confronting all retail owners.
In order to answer whether you should re-open once you can, you first must be very confident in WHAT kind of retail operation you will be re-opening.
The only certainty of the aftermath of the pandemic is that everything will be different. Given that, what better time to re-imagine your business?
Still less than $1 a day! 👀