March 13, 2024

Stores are Closing

Even the successful folks (click here).

There is a dearth of Leadership in Retail and in Old-School Cataloging these days, and when that happens, third-party voices fill the void ... and for good reason ... they're trying to preserve what they had/have.

I've had the good fortune to work with a handful of e-commerce brands in the past six months who are thriving. Their approach to marketing and merchandising is fundamentally different than what third parties are telling you to do. "Be Amazing" is not a strategy. "The Power of Paper" is not a strategy. "Omnichannel" is not a strategy. Those are things that are said when folks don't have a strategy.

I live in Arizona. If you take a drive North on Loop-303 from I-10 toward I-17, you can see the future of commerce.

  • Endless distribution centers. Endless. Enormous. Cold. Sterile. They make sure your frictionless digital experience results in your dog chews arriving in two days.
  • A UPS hub with so many trucks that it can be hard to get through a red light if you are turning left.
  • Costco and Total Wine. Ponder that one for a moment.
  • The sprawling TSMC semiconductor chip plant that would likely be seen from the surface of the Moon.

You don't see a brand new "Galleria".

Across my client base, I see some extremely wise 60+ year olds who are handing the keys to the future to a new generation of Leadership. Smart. They're letting the experts apply their knowledge.

New generations of Leadership easily see that we are replacing 6,000 square foot stores at 300 locations across the country with a 300,000 square foot distribution center paired with a delivery network that includes giants like UPS and your neighbor Heather driving a 2006 Toyota Corolla (sorry, she's saddled with all of the fixed/variable costs associated with owning a car). That system, albeit unfair to some, is more efficient than forcing a customer to drive 20 miles to the Galleria to purchase a product without the ability to comparison shop.

The future, to be honest, is so darn exciting! It's fundamentally different than everything we experienced prior to 2020, of course. That shouldn't scare us from changing. And it most certainly shouldn't dissuade us from handing the keys over to the next generation of business leaders. 

Remember the scene in Moneyball (yes, I'm watching it again) where Billy Beane is talking to David Justice in the batting cage? Beane wants to extract every last ounce of playing ability Justice has, Justice wants to stay in the league. Beane tells Justice to be a Leader to the younger players on the roster. Justice agrees to do that.

You see where I'm headed with that comment, right?

By the way ... watch just the first minute of Iowa Lottery magic from 1986 here, as Iowans were formally introduced to the magic of gambling. This is what we look like if we don't change.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Your Low-Cost Items

In most of my projects in the past nine months, the importance of having "something" at a low price repeats ... a recurring theme ...