Independent Retailers and the COVID-19 Crisis


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.

When You CAN Re-Open Stores...SHOULD You?!

Retailing is so great. Every retailer is an optimist, a people-person, and a bold risk taker. (We know; we were one.) Every retailer wants to get their stores re-opened, and their staff people re-employed. 

Granted, there are many arguments, pro and con, about "Re-Opening the Economy." And in a number of communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, some re-opening of stores and restaurants is occurring. ​​

The loud noise about re-opening has prompted us to anticipate questions from retailers coming our direction. To that end, we've developed our response (with built-in encouragement!)

When/if you can re-open your store(s)...



  • Do you have proprietary, exclusive merchandise?
  • Is your website and social media effective now?
  • Will you have a competitive edge?  
  • Will there be "vigor" around your store(s)?  
  • Are you truly a destination retailer? Or do you rely on others' traffic?   
  • How loyal is your customer base? And how large is it? 
  • Does your staff have a personal following?
  • Will your customers be confident enough to resume buying from you?


  • Can you personally fund the losses?
  • How much and for how long?
  • Is debt available? If so, how will you repay it?
  • Leases and other contractual obligations?
  • Have you thoroughly considered Chapter 7?   


  • Will your staff have confidence in the safeguards you are providing in your stores?
  • Do you have the appropriate technology to manage more online sales, in-store pickup, etc?
  • What is the potential liability exposure, if any, if  customers or staff become infected by the virus?
  • Does your store radiate cleanliness and safety?


Can you honestly say "Yes!" to all three of these questions about re-opening?

  • Do you have the Capacity to re-open? 
  • Do you have the Appetite to re-open?
  • And most important, do you still have the Stomach to re-open in these times?!

​Yes to all three? Then GO FOR IT!!! We admire you more than ever!

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