Independent Retailers and the COVID-19 Crisis

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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.

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Ready to Seize This Opportunity?

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. 

  • The loss of milestone celebrations of weddings, graduations, reunions, birthdays; anniversaries;
  • Lost access to theaters, museums, libraries, sporting events;
  • Loss of the sense of community that comes from going to work, or worship services, book clubs, or the local coffee shop; 
  • Loss of income, job losses;
  •  Or, sadly, the loss of loved ones. 

Few have been spared. 

Here's what we see about the so-called "New Normal":

  • It won’t be “normal” for anybody;

  • It will be “new” for everybody

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.

  • Retirees likely saw their retirement balances drop;
  • Millennials are living through a second economic crisis during their relatively short careers;
  • Generation Z is entering a job market at an unprecedented time.

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. 

  • What constitutes "convenience" will be expanded beyond location.
  • Shoppers' focus will be on the ease and convenience of the transaction(think e-commerce, curbside pickup, curbside returns, personal shoppers, etc)

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?



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