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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This Parade Changed Course!

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. 

  • “Working off-site seems to appeal a lot to both employees and employers. Could be another sea change!!!!”

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?!

  • That is, if your lease(s) are in locations that rely on Monday-Friday workers in office buildings, maybe you should consider moving!

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!



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