Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

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Retailing's "Coach of the Year" is...

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?”) 

And it forced many difficult decisions about things they didn't want to do, from reducing staff to fewer vendors, maybe even closing stores. 

But, throughout all this enforced change, thanks to Coach P, many seemed to have become the retailers they always wanted to be!

  • Cash flow positive, profitable even. 
  • Trimmed down, more efficient, more nimble than ever.
  • Poised for growth. 

 

Want proof? We've just received and posted on The ROI site the new Key Financial Benchmarks for 2021. We've been amazed by them, and we think you will be as well.

Consider some of the changes that the pandemic drove, or made plausible:

  • Fewer fixtures (for social distancing) 
  • Less inventory
  • Embrace of technology
  • Shorter hours
  • Different staffing: “digital natives” for website and social media presence
  • Appointment shopping
  • Expanded delivery
  • New/expanded e-commerce
  • More “special orders”
  • “Social shopping” – e.g., from Instagram or Facebook
  • Use of online wholesale marketplaces for sourcing product
  • Increased public awareness and support of local retailers
  • More flexibility from some landlords

And what were the results? Well, as you'll see in the Benchmark Trend Charts, early indications from the newly-released key financial benchmarks suggest that our sense of improved financial strength is more than anecdotal. 

Indeed, it appears that the silver lining of the pandemic has been golden for some retailers. All thanks to “Coach P” – the pandemics. 



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