That's right, make no mistake, Retail today is a Battlefield. As with a traditional Battlefield, some retailers want to fight and do battle, beat those Big Boxes!, we can offer cheaper prices than the Internet!, they yell. Other retailers just want to lay down, give up, and die. Enough they say, I've fought the good retail fight, and now I am giving up. They are fed up of being bullied by customers who demand a low price,want 5 hours of customer service, and then purchase at another store. Their life seems to be an endless battle of ad deadlines, trade shows, floor displays, battling with employees, doing social media, and many unpaid hours collecting taxes and doing bookwork. Close the doors, they say, we are done.
This song by Taylor Swift sums it all up, "Are we out of the woods yet, are we in the clear yet?"
Yes, for those of us in Retail, it feels like we are being chased by wolves, whether those wolves are other, bigger, local Retailers, web stores on the internet, suppliers who supply other stores nearby with the same goods, and the list goes on. It's no wonder that the urge to lay down and not fight has surfaced in every independent retailers' mind lately. It's also no wonder that many store owners become ill, stress playing a great part. If you are a store owner, and are reading this, remember the best thing you can do for yourself is to Breathe.
Retailers are at the front line of the Battlefield so we hear what our customers are worried about, and about what's going on in their lives. So what are they worrying about?
- the low value of our Canadian dollar compared to the U.S dollar, curtailing or cutting short their normal travel plans
- nil or negative return on $ invested last year
- customers are ageing, we don't need anything, we are downsizing, but we just love looking!
- lack of time, if you could just bottle time, and give it to us!
- the unknown mosquito borne viruses
- job security
- pension security
One of our jobs as retailers is to reassure our customers that everything will be OK. However, at the end of the day we need some hand-holding too.
Then we look out of the window, and happen upon this lovely Mother with fawn.
And all of a sudden, we are filled with a sense of wonderment and blessings, and remind ourselves that The Sky is not falling, not today anyway. In the end, most of us get into business because we love helping our customers with solutions to their problems. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing a customers' face light up!! Your excitement and joy gives us the strength to march onwards!! As retailers, we strive to offer the best personal service in order to ensure that we see our customers return on a regular basis.
Have a wonderful day y'all, and drop in and see us here at The Camellia, for solutions to your decor dilemmas, and for Cottage /chalky paint.
We are Open Wednesday through Sunday, 30 Hacquoil Rd. Thunder Bay, On