January 04, 2017

Wow. Retail.

Here you go (click here) - Macy's (who planned this last year) to cut around 10,000 jobs - many of the jobs are management jobs too, after a same store sales decline (and heavy discounting).

The article cites that Kohl's was -2% in Nov/Dec.

Macy's stock is down more than 50% since the start of 2015. #Omnichannel!!!

Buried in this article (click here) is an interesting tidbit.

  • Money will be reinvested in digital efforts and marketing.
When you operate stores, employees and management get paid.

When you reinvest in digital/marketing, vendors get paid.

There is an ugly trend that is not being publicly acknowledged. My potential client base is in the process of a massive transfer of the expense structure ... away from humans + stores ... toward digital + marketing (often digital marketing) executed by vendors who do not work for the "brand".

As an employee, you should ask yourself why you are letting this happen?

Think about this for a moment.
  • Vendors / Thought Leaders / Trade Journalists / Consultants told Macy's to be omnichannel. Go read the Robin Report or any other leading thought leadership publication or customer experience consultant content piece for proof. Just Google it.
  • Vendors / Thought Leaders / Trade Journalists / Consultants got paid for giving Macy's this advice.
  • Employees executed the strategy laid out by Vendors / Thought Leaders / Trade Journalists / Consultants.
  • The strategy (#omnichannel) not only didn't work, but it led to sales reductions.
  • Left with no choice but to fix the profit side of the profit/loss statement, stores are being closed.
  • Vendors / Thought Leaders / Trade Journalists / Consultants (most) now stand far away from the omnichannel mantra. Instead, they argue for use of technology, or #digital, as a way to grow online sales and improve the #customerexperience.
  • Macy's dutifully trashes the jobs of 10,000 employees who did what they were told to do, and reinvests the money in digital and marketing ... which benefits the Vendors / Thought Leaders / Trade Journalists / Consultants who offer this advice.
Is the same thing happening where you work?

I spoke with a reputable leader at a company many of you know. This person told me that the workload is overwhelming ... not regular work ... but work managing more than a dozen vendors while having staff reduced.

We have no choice now.

We have to immediately improve merchandise productivity.

We have to immediately develop low-cost customer acquisition programs that do not depend upon catalog co-ops, Google, or Facebook.

And when we succeed, we have to invest in the employees who actually work for our brands. Why do we continually choose to pay the vendor community and not pay ourselves?

Vendors succeed when we succeed. Vendors succeed when we fail.

We keep our jobs when we succeed. We lose our jobs when we fail.

This must stop.

Thoughts?