the retail apocalypse is fake news 2.0

My very first post on retailfitness.com in early May 2017 was entitled “the retail apocalypse is fake news, and here’s why”.  Six months later as we move quickly toward the holiday season, the headlines about the death of retail continue to dominate the industry news.  I am always happy to see someone I know respond to a post about the topic, defending brick and mortar retail, but it can feel like we are on the offensive sometimes.  I want to change that conversation. 

 

 

there used to be a formula for us. that formula is broken.

There was definitely a formula for brick and mortar retail; design a great product, open a space to sell that product assuming that people would come, maybe have a website, hire a manager and a few sales associates with a little experience but still not making much money, have some social media presence, maybe an event or two, cross your fingers and hope for the best.  If that worked, the next step was to open as many of these as possible.  

 

"we're drowning in data but starved for wisdom"

Our addiction to our phones and our screens, allowing them to be integrated into every part of our lives, is changing how we interact with each other and ourselves.  A 2015 study from Microsoft found that human attention span now drops off after about eight seconds.  Eight seconds!  

 

a message from a stranger on LinkedIn changed my life

Tucker says “When people are faced with adversity, I think that a lot of people get restraints put on them by others and by themselves. Having the ability to redefine your limitations and say ‘this is not going to be my identity, I’m going to go and do great things,’ when you’re faced with adversity and it’s all channeled through limitless vision. I am able to do more without vision than I ever would have dreamed of doing with it.”

 

I love you....there I said it

Work to become someone who leads with compassion, commitment, competence, and kindness.  The qualities that define us human beings and propel us and those around us to greatness.  

And the next time someone asks you to name the most important competency of leadership, I hope you remember that competencies of love, because in the end that can be your legacy.  

 

I love working in retail....and here's why

I am obsessed with absolutely everything related to brick and mortar retail, and I have spent almost 3 decades working in my dream industry.   This does not mean that I am infatuated with only fashion, or luxury, or any specific type of retail, because for me we are all created equal, we all work hard, and we all face many of the same successes on great days and challenges on others.  

 

negativity is on offense, and positivity is on defense

We have to commit to creating a positive work environment for the entire team.  When you and your team feel encouraged, accepted and happy, they are more motivated, more engaged, and more likely to create exceptional customer experiences, creating “promoters” or “advocates” that willingly share their positive experiences, therefore putting you in the offensive.

you can have results or excuses- not both

One of the challenges today in retail is that our potential excuses are being widely documented and have become a common language in the industry …. lack of traffic, customers shopping on line, the level of service in brick/mortar retail has destroyed us, too many stores, changing generational shopping behaviors- the list goes on

can kindness be a business strategy?

When business is challenging the softer words like” kindness" are not the first ones that come to mind in a traditional action plan.  They are normally more reactive with a statistic to back it up.  I would like to think that many of us lead with kindness, that we are kind in our approach, that we are kind to each other and our teams.  But if we are honest with ourselves, are we just saying it or are we really doing it?  

it's time to stand up and be proud that we work in retail

Do you consider "retail" a tribe?  When you first thought about the question I proposed did “retail tribe" come to mind?  Or are we just millions of people who work in the same industry?  I am here to say yes, we are, and we are in search of a movement that can connect us in one of the most critical times in the history of our industry.  

the retail apocalypse is fake news, here's why

There is no question that the way customers are shopping is changing at a rapid pace, and I have started to hear the term “retail apocalypse” used outside of the retail industry more and more. People are often surprised to hear when a specific brand is doing well and yes, those stories are few and far between, but if we turn our backs on brick and mortar, we will only perpetuate the cycle, shop on-line, and sit back as more stores and malls go dark.