Think about it. Shoppers, employees, people everywhere today have, in the back of their minds, one defining thought.
No matter where they work, where they shop, where they live, where they travel, where they eat, they always wonder "How safe will I be?"
Clearly, the Delta variant resurgence has focused the world on a sense of uncertainty that we all thought was behind us. Fact is, the situation may get worse before it gets better.
And retailers and restauranteurs everywhere are earnestly trying to assure their employees, prospective hires, long time customers, new shoppers, their families, everybody – that safety is their highest priority. Indeed, many stores, malls, and other retail environments are very good at it.
But consumers need to be convinced every day. It's a major deciding factor in everybody's life.
As always, the customers get to choose where they go – or not.
Just as the retailers and restaurants must depend on the customers, employees must depend on the businesses to provide a safe environment.
And, the landlords cannot depend on the retailers and restaurants to re-open or be open unless they have sufficient employees, and of course, customers. All of whom must feel safe.
These are unprecedented times.
A few years ago we were on a PBS news show about retailing's ups and downs. Several months later, one of us ran into a teacher of one of our kids. That person excitedly mentioned having seen us on TV, saying "I didn't know you knew so much about retailing." (Yep, known just as someone's parent, right?)
But then this very well-educated person said the key thing: "I never knew there was so much to be known about retailing!"
Well, that incident happened a few years ago when retailing was perhaps more understandable, even more predictable. Alas, those days are history! Today, nothing in retailing is quite as understandable or as predictable as before. Or as manageable!
"Retailing dead?" Hardly!
“Retailing” is selling to the ultimate consumer. That is not going away, in spite of the current perception.
What IS (appropriately!) endangered? Deadly retail real estate! Conventional, impersonal, and boring brick-n-mortar stores are deadly.
Successfully "doing retail" has always been a challenging and fascinating and evolving exercise. As the old Chinese proverb states, “It’s easy to open a store. However, it’s tough to keep it open.”
And today, seemingly more than ever, third party organizations, more than individual entrepreneurs, seem to be drawn to retailing. Consider:
These and others fit into our category of “retail-as-added-use.” "It looks easy. Why don't we open stores?"
But, retailing is not their core competency; they are manufacturers or direct marketers, or wholesalers, or importers, or whatever.
YOU are the leader we need now!
Most of the people who receive our weekly newsletter from The Retail Owners Institute® are either owners of stores (duh...) or work with retail owners, not only in America but around the world.
When you think about it, owners and senior management of retail businesses are looked upon as leaders everyday, by employees, by suppliers, by customers, by their families and often by the media. You are community builders.
Amidst this pandemic, your leadership is more vital than ever.
"Buy low. Sell high. Collect early. Pay late."
That's the essence of retailing, right? But now, in the early summer of 2021, retailing more than ever demands a strong dose of good judgment.
It's shouted everywhere: "Look out! The inflation tsunami is coming!"
Yikes! It's buying season for many retailers, and the pressures to buy more, now, at these-low-prices-that-won't-last are mounting. And this is only the beginning.
The definition of a good coach is “That person who makes you do the things you don’t want to do, to become the person you want to be.”
Given that, we would suggest that the pandemic proved to be a great coach for many retailers. So much so, "Coach P" really deserves being recognized as the Coach of the Year!
Think about it. The pandemic forced retailers to do things they had long evaded or delayed (remember “technology laggards?”)
Still less than $1 a day! 👀