There’s an awareness, an “Oh wow!” sweeping around the commercial world. It’s stated in a variety of ways, but it’s the same surprise.
Indeed, some respected urban thinkers are suggesting that 50% of the traditional commuters may want to and will be encouraged to continue to work remotely. 50%?! Yikes. That’s quite a redirection of the parade!
Think of the ripple effect. How many other businesses are around those office buildings, dependent on that foot traffic? Restaurants, delis, drug stores, card shops, office supplies, bookstores, etc, etc.
So, the challenge for retailers is this: if that is the direction of this New Normal parade, how to get out in front of it?!
Granted, 50% may or may not turn out to be correct. And it may not last. But then again, this “heads up” could be mighty timely.
Now, the next obvious question is,”So, if not by office buildings, where should I locate my store?”
BINGO! If we have gotten you to ask yourself that question, we’ve done our task. Whew!!!
But get cracking! As Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway observed at their May 2 annual investors meeting in Omaha, "The supply and demand for office space may change significantly. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.”
And a potential sea change adjustment like this might not be the time for a wait-and-see attitude. Instead, before everyone else becomes aware of this huge shift, you could be grinning to yourself. Good luck!
ICYMI. You know, that's the shorthand for In Case You Missed It. And in fact, we had missed this.
As reported by Chain Store Age*, "The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose slightly to 107.2 in March, up from 105.7 in February. It was the first time the metric has increased in three months."
Wow! Is that ever a stray ray of sunshine! We always look to Consumer Confidence levels as a leading indicator for retailers.
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.
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.
Each year at this time, our thoughts turn to turkeys.
No, not the ones that will adorn many dining tables on Thursday. But the "turkeys" lurking amidst your inventory. You know; non-selling, distressed, slow-moving, old, unappealing leftovers among your merchandise.
But this year, frankly, our worries extend beyond the turkeys.
Here are some of the reasons why.
As a result, in this environment, consumers are scaling back their discretionary purchases, and/or choosing to spend on travel, dining out, or other experiences versus retail merchandise.
Not an upbeat prospect for retailers, is it?
There are three "pandemics" assailing us at the moment: the coronavirus; the economic collapse; the protests of racial injustice. The three months plus of stay at home restrictions and the shutdowns, and the confluence of these three pandemics has been a heavy burden. And it shows no signs of going away anytime soon.
As the coronavirus continues to spread and surge (Apple re-closing 11 stores they had recently re-opened is a sobering reminder), the uncertainty and anxiety is only being prolonged.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀