6 Rules of Battle for Local Retailers

Two words that can strike dread into any retailer's heart - "Coming Soon". When you drive by that empty storefront or construction site and see a competitor is coming to town it can fill you with dread. Retail (and in the words of Pat Benetar, also Love) is a battlefield. But you have a leg up......this is your turf and you can be prepared for the eventual battle and win the war. First Rule of Battle - Time for Radical Honesty This is a great opportunity to take a har

Retail Roundup - Top Retail Stories - November 2018

It's all about holiday shopping this month..... Hot Topics Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Small Business Saturday? Words don’t matter as the holiday selling season is all month long The hype: You get free shipping, you get free shipping, EVERYONE GETS FREE SHIPPING – Amazon offers free shipping with no minimum for all shoppers & Target matches. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/05/amazon-drops-free-shipping-minimum-heating-up-fierce-competition-for-holiday-sales.html High hopes for

The 6 "Must Haves" to Create Successful Retail Events

In my consulting practice, I’ve been asked if in-store events really drive positive ROI. My response is if you are expecting a full payback during the 2 hour event, then no. Events are one part of an integrated local strategy, but can differentiate you, drive repeat traffic and provide a positive return on investment. What differentiates a great event from a so-so one? There are 6 “must haves” for any successful event: Concrete goals for the event Great topic that is relevant

Retail Roundup - Top Retail Stories - October 2018

From Sears to the start of the holiday season, and my new favorite word "Phygital", here's what everyone was talking about this month. Hot Topics It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas Yes, I know today is Halloween. Looks like we're in for more treats than tricks this season. With the demise of Toys 'R Us, retailers are stepping up their game to capture holiday sales, Prediction is that Santa will be bringing a good holiday season to the retail industry. NRF’s ear

Eight Mistakes to Avoid to Win at Retail

After working with many retailers over the past 15 years, I’ve been exposed to visionary players and retailers who are struggling to make their sales goals. There’s a drastic difference in the way in which the two groups operate. I’ve actually learned more from the later group…..about what NOT to do. Here are 8 mistakes that happen often from retailers who are struggling. Mistake #1 –Try Be Everything to Everybody Sometimes, retailers are so desperate for sales they will do w

Content Marketing - Why it's important for retailers to go all in

In an earlier blog post, I stated that customers are craving convenience and are flocking to retailers who add value to their shopping journey. What is value? Price? Discounts? Free shipping? While those are all part of the value equation, adding value is about really solving your customers’ problems, not just selling items at the lowest price. Consumers are savvier than ever before and literally have the world at their fingertips. They can get the answer to any question whe

Retail Roundup - Top Retail Stories - September 2018

From Nike to Amazon to new store concepts, here are the big stories everyone was talking about. Hot Topics Nike’s big gamble – risky, brilliant or a nothing burger? Nike got everyone’s attention with their campaign for the 30th anniversary of the “Just Do It” tagline. Featuring controversial football player-racial justice advocate, Colin Kaepernick, the ad definitely got people’s attention. The ad was polarizing – either you loved it or started burning your Nikes. Nike’s stoc

Benefits of Local Partnerships - INFOGRAPHIC

As a follow up to my blog post on "6 Benefits of Local Partnerships for Retailers", here is an infographic that illustrates the main points. #retail #localmarketing

6 Benefits of Local Partnerships That Can Make a Difference for Retailers

Think about the Friday night HS football game that the community rallies around. Or the annual 5K race through downtown. Or the local chamber of commerce who diligently promotes new businesses and network in your town. What do these have in common? At their core, they are community partners that can make or break any local retail store. Local marketing isn’t only for independent retailers. A sound local marketing strategy can help multi-unit retailers breakthrough the clut

Local Marketing. It's where retailers win or lose

Today’s customers are savvier than ever before. People literally have the world at their fingertips, but consumers want personalized, relevant experiences. And what is more personal than your neighborhood? It’s where you choose to live. It’s where you choose to spend your time and potentially raise a family. Customers want to shop local and be able to get what they need when they need it. As I discussed in my blog “The State of Retail”, over 90% of retail spend happens in sto

Retail Roundup - Top Retail Stories - August 2018

Here are the big stories everyone was talking about. Hot Topics Retail Earnings - What apocalypse? Many retailers have announced positive comps, but not all are getting rewarded by The Street Container Store flying high after comp sales crush expectations - https://www.marketwatch.com/story/container-store-stock-rallies-40-after-same-store-sales-crush-estimates-2018-08-01 WalMart crushes expectation due to online growth – https://seekingalpha.com/news/3383426-u-s-sales-impres

Five Contenders to Benefit Most from Toys 'R Us' Demise

Toys ‘R Us did not go out of business due to a lack of demand for toys. In fact, per NPD, US & Global toy sales increased 1% in 2017. In the US alone, the toy market brought in over $20 Billion in sales and grew 1%. Same goes with their Babies ‘R Us brand. The baby care market brought in $30 Billion in 2017. There are many reasons why TRU when under, but it wasn’t due to demand. The demand (and sales) are there. Toys ‘R Us did approximately $6B in revenue in 2017. But where

New Store Concepts Breathe Life Into Established Brands

There was a great article earlier this year in Forbes called “Physical Retail isn’t Dead, Boring Retail Is”. According to the author, Steve Dennis, stores that have mediocre customer service, uninspiring products, and tired one-size-fits all marketing are the ones getting crushed. Some traditional retailers have heard this loud and clear. The result is new store concepts that are relevant and inspired. Among all of these concepts, the following themes were apparent: All con

6 Ways to Use Digital Marketing to Drive Retail Sales

There’s no other way to say it: We’re living in a digital world. And marketers are responding. In 2018, marketers are shifting their budgets towards digital marketing. According to eMarketer, digital media will make up 43.5% of all media spend this year and is projected to overtake traditional media channels by 2021. But how does that affect traditional retailers? Does digital really drive sales into stores? The short answer is YES! Creating an online presence for a physical

Top Local Marketing Strategies to Drive Retail Sales

Regardless of the size of the retailer, having a local presence can pay dividends. Online behemoth Amazon, is moving into physical retail with bookstores, in-mall kiosks and Whole Foods. Digital native retailers like Warby Parker expect half of their revenues to come from their retail locations and announced they will expand their footprint and open 100 stores. Retailers who target and ingrain themselves in the local community can differentiate themselves from those that do

How do these glasses look?

During my recent trip to New York, I stopped by the Warby Parker store on the Upper East Side, just a few blocks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sidebar- fashionphiles need to check out the Costume Institute Exhibit “Heavenly Bodies – Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. Beautiful! But I digress…. ­­­Warby Parker started in 2010 as an online retailer of eyeglasses, positioned as a fashionable brand with fair prices. Consumers could request frames to be sent to them t

New York, New York - Amazon & Retail Trends

To quote the wise Taylor Swift, “Welcome to New York”. Just came back from a quick trip and no matter how many times I’ve been there, it never gets old. Lots of good food, some great shows (highly recommend both Mean Girls and Boys in the Band) and of course, shopping. But instead of using shopping as retail therapy, I made some deliberate stops to check out the newest trends in retail. Later this week, I’ll share with you my thoughts on how an internet darling has created a

Know Me! Help Me! How retailers can add value to their customers lives

In the first post in this series, I stated “Customers need retailers to be convenient or to add value to their lives.” Everyone knows what convenient means, but what does “add value” mean? Is it the lowest prices? Is it saving customers money on the things they buy the most? Is it having a loyalty program where you get coupons or rebates? While all of these things are part of value equation, alone they do not “add value” to shoppers’ lives. Adding value is about really solvi

I Want It Now! How Instant Gratification Is Now Tablestakes For Retailers

In the words of the legendary Veruca Salt “I don’t care how, I want it now!” Veruca, who has taught countless children the downfalls of instant gratification, would be amazed at today’s environment. She wants a golden goose? Daddy can have it delivered to her in short order. She wants to try to newest toys, makeup or clothes? She can order endless subscription boxes with new products delivered often. And she doesn’t have to fall down a garbage shoot to find what she’s lookin