Since March 2, 2020, The ROI's Co-Founders have been offering insights, strategic approaches, and online resources for independent retailers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
These appeared first in The ROI NEWS.
Like every natural disaster, whether a massive storm, earthquake, wildfire, we all are victims of COVID-19.
Not all of us have suffered being infected by the virus. But, essentially everybody has suffered losses.
Few have been spared.
And that means Owners of retail operations have the opportunity to shape their own business for the New Normal!
Here are some reminders to keep in mind as you map out your store's future.
In retailing, it always starts with the customer. Consumers will be more cautious, discretionary consumer spending will be subdued.
All age groups have been impacted; no one has been spared.
Discretionary spending, will be diminished. Merchandise mixes must reflect this reality; more basics, never-outs.
As shoppers become more purposeful, the transaction will be more important.
In this environment, retailers who are whiners will be toast. Count on it! But, those retailers who seize the opportunity to experiment can create a terrific, viable business that could thrive.
Retailing is coming back. Will you?
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.
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!
As more stores are able to reopen, and more shoppers are willing to emerge, what will they encounter?
Remember thinking that Amazon was the most disruptive force to happen to retailing? (Well, at least since Walmart was the most disruptive....)
However, the coronavirus pandemic eclipses them all. No matter where you live or do business, it is not whether, just when, COVID-19 will impact your life. Disruption with a capital D!
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.
Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"