Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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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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What's between your ears? Opportunities!

Since we first established The Retail OWNERS Institute®, we have asserted that the greatest growth opportunity in retailing is between the ears of the owners. And nothing since then – not even (or maybe especially!) –  a once-in-a-century pandemic has diminished our belief. 

Independent retailers and restauranteurs have been among the first business owners to pivot to a survival mode. Why? Because they have had plenty of practice! 

  • Change is the name of the game in retailing.

  • Independents in particular have been beset for years by the changing dynamics, whether it was regional malls, lifestyle centers, category killers, Amazon, and now the election, or whatever. 

"Retail Darwinism" has been thinning the herd of retailers for many years. Who has survived? Those who are most adaptable. And now. they have less competition.

As the Covid virus persists and resurges, retailers still are finding ways to survive. How? By keeping their connections with their customers.

The combination of enhanced online presence plus ready access to your knowledgeable staff people, carefully edited selections, a safe shopping environment, very sharp markdowns on clearance merchandise, an array of ways to get the merchandise to the customer, and as always a cheerful presence is especially welcome. 

As we approach the Holiday shopping season, there will be differences in what people buy. 

Less travel, fewer "experiences," smaller family mealtime gatherings suggest more money going toward home furniture, appliances and accessories, at-home apparel, or books, or specialty cookware, plus of course electronic devices. 

But the overarching theme of this season will be ingenuity and community. Expect a marked increase in Holiday decorations. More community support and outreach.

The warmth, genuine concern, and sense of fellowship of the Holiday season will be magnified this year. All to the good!

The trio of pandemics have brought a new warmth and awareness for family and friends. And as always, retail is a mirror of society. 



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