Another One Bites The Dust – 3 Things You Should Know About Retail Right Now

This morning Macy’s announced it’s closing 125 stores and laying off 2,000 corporate employees. They join a myriad of retailers like Pier 1, Bed Bath & Beyond, Forever 21, Payless, Kmart, Ascena Retail Group (Loft, Lane Bryant and more), Game Stop, JC Penny, Stein Mart and the list keeps growing. Each time we hear the news we respond with shock and a water cooler conversation around the rise of online shopping and how prices are too expensive. But honestly that’s not why. Sure consumer behavior is changing but retail is not dead.

Over Christmas I went to our “fancy” mall. You know, the one with all the high-end designer stores. The stores with security guards that stop you at the door and say “ma’am, you don’t belong here.” No, that doesn’t happen to you? Just me? Anyway, I noticed there was a massive line around the Louis Vuitton store. The line was so long I had to find out if they were giving away free bags because that many people could not have been lined up to spend $1,500 on a purse that your phone doesn’t even fit in. After awkwardly surveying many people in line, they were in fact just Christmas shopping! Then I ventured into the Spanx store to happily drop $100 on the most popular faux leather leggings in the world. Who spends $100 on a pair of leggings? Millions of Women because they are ah-ma-zing.

Retail isn’t dead, but companies are failing because of 3 main reasons:

  1. Operational Discipline. This problem is so common it prevents many businesses from reaching their potential. They grow and grow but fail to stop and evaluate their operational discipline on a regular basis until it’s too late.
  2. Innovation. Retail companies are failing to innovate their approach, distribution methods and strategies. What do many of the retailers above have in common? We know but we’ll save that for another time.
  3. Brand Loyalty. There is a reason why some retail brands are thriving. Their brands have personality, purpose and loyalty. If I don’t walk into a Target every week or two I miss her and feel as if I am not nurturing our relationship. Amazon? She’s there for me when I need her. She’s not pretty, but she has everything I want and as quickly as I want it. Like yesterday when I needed a $25 “motivational” water bottle.

This is why we started W Creative Agency. To help businesses look deep down and evaluate their operational discipline, innovation and brand loyalty. It’s not about how big you are but how well you do what you are here to do.

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