Amidst the fog of uncertainty of 2020, retailers have experienced a breath-taking acceleration of time, as an array of new-to-retailers technologies have now become almost commonplace.
2020 has put an end to the days of retailers being technology laggards. We applaud the resilience and adaptability of retailers who did embrace change and especially technology during 2020. Retailers definitely rose to the occasion!
And yet, again, the virus is surging. Even as promising announcements are made about vaccines, the threat that COVID-19 continues to pose to the survival of local businesses is ominous, and substantial.
We agree! This is so not fair!
But, who is up to that challenge? Independent retailers who are merchants supreme.
Why? Because above all else, they are people-people. They have human connections with their customers. They understand, far better than any algorithm, what their customers need and want.
All that technology cannot and will not supplant the ingenuity and personal understanding of independent retailers.
People will still celebrate Thanksgiving. They will still exchange holiday gifts with family and friends. They all are faced with the same challenge: HOW to do that?!
All of which is a great opportunity for you and your stores. Now more than ever, it is time for your inner merchant to shine forth.
How many ways can you help your customers overcome their major worries?
Especially these days, the warmth of that genuine human connection matters a lot! Independent retailers, true merchants, can help their customers now more than ever.
Stay strong, and be safe.
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.
You've seen all the headlines. Worldwide inflation. Dire warnings of a coming recession. Big time discounts at retailers due to boatloads of inventory. Amazon doubling down on their Prime Day(s) sales. Shoppers shopping early in anticipation of rising prices.
Shaping up to be yet another "unprecedented" Holiday season for retailers, isn't it?
And a wonderful opportunity for all merchants!
How best to start? Set the boundaries.
Next, establish clear routines for monitoring inventory levels.
Without a doubt, these continue to be unprecedented times for managing a retail business. The Disruption with a capital D continues, from the pandemic to supply chain challenges, employee issues, worldwide inflation, interest rate increases, etc. And now, the global economy is in more turmoil due to the Ukraine invasion and the resulting sanctions against Russia.
Lots of challenges for business owners as they wrestle with rising costs, aren't there?
But for independent retailers, there exists one glorious opportunity: price elasticity. Yes, raising prices. A whole new ball game for many independent retailers.
According to the calendar, as of March 21, it officially is springtime. No matter what the weather is doing.
Well, it's time to bring the calendar to real life! Spring is really a state of mind! The dark winter has passed. Even the rain is warmer in the spring. And new growth is beginning to sprout; leaves are coming out. It's a wonderful, fresh outlook.
And that of course means it is a wonderful opportunity for retailers to refresh and reenergize their stores.
No matter what merchandise you sell - whether it's tires, apparel, books, housewares, office supplies, whatever - every retailer is in the fashion business.
And that means that your customers are wanting what is new and fresh.You know; "in fashion."
There's little that any of us can do to address the public health crisis of the pandemic. Its impact on people and businesses is a widespread and major jolt, akin to the shocks of 9/11 and the 2008-09 economic meltdown.
Even as painful and disruptive as the pandemic is at this moment, we must remind ourselves that it will subside. It's not whether it will subside, just when.
But all of us are going to have to deal with the ensuing economic situation, and its effects on our sales, our customers, our employees.
These are difficult times for us all. Retailing in particular is under enormous stress. Many feel like there are no good choices.
But, there are good decisions. And The ROI is dedicated to helping you be able to make those good decisions for yourself.
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.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀