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The New Normal is here for retailers | Retail Sales trending UP! | SPEEDY Cash Forecaster | When employees want to know "Why?" 
Monday, October 12, 2020

From The Co-Founders

Patricia M. Johnson & Richard F. Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC  •  Retail Turnaround Experts

Continuing Flexibility Test

As we introduced last week, the New Normal for retailers is already here. It is a new "retail clock." 
  • "As the global efforts to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic continue, there is another curve that is being flattened. That would be the seasonality of retail sales. 

    "And this may prove to be what really defines the New Normal for retailers. 

    "The customary peaks of retail spending have been flattened."
Of course, it is not just retailers who have been affected; the shoppers also have been adapting. But whereas retailers think in terms of seasons (weeks and months), the shoppers are adjusting their patterns at the daily and weekly level.
  • For instance, given the restrictions of the pandemic, this year weekends have increasingly been used by people for outdoor fun activities, whether it's bike rides or hikes or now outdoor dining, not household chores.
  • Much of the shopping that might have typically been saved for the weekends has now been replaced by online ordering and home delivery. The convenience and time-savings of having basic commodity-type items arriving at one's front  door will continue as a preferred way of shopping. 
Meanwhile, other shopping is occurring mid-week, as people have the "found time" of not commuting. They also have discovered retailers closer to their homes (and possibly with parking right in front of the store.) 

Have you noticed these trends in your retail operation?

So not only are the seasons flattening, so too are the weeks. 

As retailers compare daily sales to last year, the transactions and dollar volume on weekends may be down. But, what has happened to the weekdays?
  • Which previously slow days are becoming more active?
  • And what does that mean for your scheduling? Your advertising? The coordination with your neighboring retailers?
Once again, it is a flexibility test. But that is nothing new for 2020, is it??

The New Normal is being defined by this flattening of the retail clock. The whole notion of what constitutes "retail time," retail seasons, and shopping days is changing.

And what has driven this? Yes, the customers. Getting what they want when they want it is a priority for today's shoppers. 
Retailer's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster
Retailer's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster
The ROI's SPEEDY Cash Forecaster means every retailer can do your own CASH FLOW forecasting.

Hmm. So what??

What could that really mean? Less uncertainty!!
  • For some folks, the SPEEDY Cash Forecaster provides great peace of mind. The picture it shows for their business is reassuring. Saves a lot of worry.
  • For others, turning on their financial headlights shows how much they need to adjust.
In either situation, this is when the fun begins. Playing "what would happen if I...?" 
  • SPEEDY does the number-crunching for you. In a flash!
  • As you see – in advance – the financial implications of each of your changes, you can focus on making informed choices; applying your good judgment.
The Big Guys call this "financial modeling". We call it empowering! (And it's about time!)

Whatever you want to call it, don't wait! Less uncertainty is a good outcome for everyone!
See Your Own Future

👀 Monthly Retail Sales Trends Are Trending UP! 

Recapping the monthly retail sales trends versus last year showed some encouraging results.

In September, every retail sector showed one of two results compared to August: greater increases over LY, or, reduced top line losses (see the results for the Apparel sector as an example of the latter.) 

As reported by Eliza Carter in the October 16 Retail Brew:
  • "What drove the increase? Most likely a) the government’s $300 supplement to unemployment insurance and b) some people returning to work. Fear of infection on public transit drove consumers to spend on vehicles, while we also dropped cash on credenzas and second offices as part of the WFH revolution."
  • "Looking ahead...things look iffy; infections are rising, job growth is stagnating, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance just reached a two-month high. Not to mention, another round of stimulus from D.C. is appearing about as likely as a Michael Bay Oscar win."
Go here to see the trends for the past 6 months for each retail sector. How do your stores compare?

Monthly Retail SALES TRENDS

Employees Asking "WHY?"

Why it matters to answer. And how to do it!

Free Access • Webinar of the Week

One of the powerful attractions of retailing for many owners is how dynamic it is. Change is the name of the game! 

Yet, many retailers encounter resistance to changes, not from customers, but often from their own employees! And especially, from that generation raised to expect answers when asking "Why?"

This insightful TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week by  Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute® shows how you can answer those "Why?" questions. (And maybe like one retailer we know, discover in the process, "Well...why not?!")

Take advantage of free access all week. See for yourself how you can use this approach for your own business.

Especially timely amidst all the pandemics. 

Free Access • WEBINAR of the WEEK
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