What digital-first brands say now about "physical retailing" | Free tools to grade your retail business | Unique Retail OWNERS Dashboard 
Monday, June 20, 2022

From The Co-Founders

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

As one retailer shared with their customers:
"Our communities are strongest when we can unite as one
despite our differences."

The Discoveries of Digital-First Retailers 

The basic definition of retailing is "selling to the ultimate consumer." 

As you know, HOW that is done, and in what location or format, continues to change and evolve. 

So, we were intrigued by this recent post on the Shopify Retail Blog: The Future of Physical Retail in a Digital-First World.*
  • The "retail digital-first world", of course, is either the "pure play e-commerce retailers," those who sell only online, or the "brands" (what we used to call manufacturers) who have embraced the "DTC model," selling direct-to-consumer. 
  • And as you know, Shopify is one of the largest platforms for e-commerce businesses. Definitely a leader of the retail digital-first world.
To us, the blog post was essentially a wide-ranging journey of discovery (and perhaps even some new-found respect for those "physical retailers".) For instance here are some of the points in the blog that jumped out at us:
  • The pandemic did not lead to the extinction of physical retail.
  • DTC brands have found that physical stores are quite valuable.
  • A frictionless transaction may not be sufficient to attract and keep customers.  
  • Indeed, stores can deepen the consumerߴs connection with the brand. 
In addition, it also reviewed how those physical retailers are continuing to change and adapt.
  • They are using a variety of formats to reach customers, such as Lululemon pop-ups to sell excess inventory or Nordstrom seasonal pop-ups in the Hamptons. 
  • It also identified an array of technologies that physical retailers are using in-store to be sure to provide that digital experience for the shopper. 
And it concludes with these reassurances:
  • "While the future of stores seemed questionable in March 2020, brands are now more confident than ever in physical retail."
  • "Brick and mortar stores have been and will remain an integral part of serving customers and connecting with local communities."
Independent retailers, it seems, have forever been regarded as an endangered species, threatened by the latest new thing. Sears Roebuck catalog, anybody?

Today, physical retailing – done by professional retailers – is stronger than ever.
* The Future of Physical Retail in a Digital-First World. Lauren Mathews, Shopify Retail Blog, May 13, 2022.
Want more of the strategic retailing observations from Outcalt and Johnson?  Prior commentary From The Co-Founders  is available under PERSPECTIVES on The ROI site.  ➡️

"So, maybe I don't have to worry?"

As an independent retailer, you have to get through all kinds of challenges. And trying to measure your progress can be elusive. 

That's why The ROI has developed these key financial assessment tools; tools that provide quick feedback for busy retailers. 

Ready? Just go to the Grade Your Business page on The ROI site. Take advantage of these unique online self-assessment tools. Use one, or try them all. Free!  
  • How resilient is your business?
  • Is there a cash crunch in your near future?!
  • Measure your stores' vital signs
  • What's your inventory's SALES Potential?
  • Where are your profits hiding?
  • See – and rate – your stores the way your shoppers do!
  • Retailers: Are your stores in one of these Three Stages of Decline?!
Gain important perspective. Identify growth opportunities. Make needed adjustments in "retail time."

And maybe discover that you are stronger than you realized!
Grade Your Business – Free Tools

The Dashboard for OWNERS 

You need no reminders. These are not good times to be fixated on your Profit & Loss statement. Lots of turbulence and uncertainty.

However, ignoring all numbers in the business is not a viable option. What numbers should you be watching? And why?

This lively TOPICAL TUESDAYS Webinar of the Week has the answer for you. Meet the indispensable Retail OWNERS Dashboard. A simple - yet elegant! - one page form.  (True, it is low-tech; AND, very high value!)

See how you can use it to
  • "Control the controllables" in your retail operation
  • Measure the "leading indicators" of the financial health of your business
  • Monitor your business vitality
  • Project the performance targets you wish to achieve
  • Use the lead time to make needed adjustments
 Pat Johnson & Dick Outcalt, Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, will introduce you to this great tool for savvy retailers.

All it takes is a pencil – and your good judgment! 
FREE Access • Webinar of the Week
Sharing is good!
Let others who care about retailing (or retailers!) know about The ROI. 
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
  • Strategic Retailing Know-How & Resources

    Plus Co-Founders' Perspectives • Opt out anytime • Free each week from The ROI

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"