Perspectives

From The Co-Founders

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Strategic insights and commentary from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts


The Changing "Rhythms of Retail"

As we know all too well, 2020 was chock full of "disruptions." Every week brought a new flexibility test. And those of course did not go away when the calendar turned. 

For instance, here we are on President's Day Weekend and Valentine's Day Weekend. Raise your hand if you were able to plan and carry out your "traditional" promotional events, let alone do something for your Valentine.

That's what we thought. The usual patterns just don't apply anymore.

Seasonal order cycles have shortened. Seasonal shopping patterns have extended (remember how Holiday shopping began in October?) 

Meanwhile, customers have grown accustomed to new conveniences like curb-side pickup. Shopping by appointment. Facetime browsing sessions in your store. As well as buying closer to need. And scouring the internet for exactly what they want, when they want it. (And then expecting you to have it in-store when they can't find it online.... Hmm. Some things haven't changed!)

Alas, this transition phase shows no sign of abating. There seem to be new and different demands every week.

In other words, what we call the new "rhythms of retail" are emerging. We all need to be ready. 

Recognizing that, now is the time to begin to define your desired tempo.

  • Some will continue to be a waltz.
  • Others will thrill to being a tango.
  • Or hard rock.
  • Hip hop, perhaps.
  • Jazz and blues, anyone?

These can be fun, and we believe, worthwhile questions to consider. What is the internal pace of your business? What will be the beat of your "rhythm of retail?"

Caution: Your rhythm will be dictated by your customers.



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