A view of the industry through the
eyes of independent and chain retailers.
Stake Your Claim … Don't Play
the Recession Game!
Attitude makes all the difference.
by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender (June 15,
We're so sick of hearing the "R" word. No matter where
we are people tell us: "Business is down. It's tougher than
usual, but what do you expect? We're in a Recession!"
Well, we're not playing the recession game, and we hope that you
We read recently that the retail industry in the U.S. represents
a whopping four trillion dollars. Now, let's think this through.
Yes, business can be hard at times, but even if the retail industry
took a devastating one trillion dollar hit, there would still be
three trillion dollars worth of business being done. Stake your
claim to those dollars by adopting a power approach to growing your
business. Let everyone else cry recession – you can't shrink your
way to greatness!
How you stake your claim on your portion of that multi-trillion
dollar pie is up to you; the answer lies in how you see your
business and your opportunities.
1. You can move from the Defiance Syndrome to Positive
Expectancy. Statements like, "This can't be happening to me.
I've been in business for 15 years!" is a sure sign the
defiance syndrome has set in. It's far better to adopt an attitude
of Positive Expectancy and look for opportunity instead of failure.
You can't give up in recessionary times; now more than ever you need
a positive can-do attitude.
2. Stop Placing Blame and Accept Responsibility. Some people
will blame the business environment or the economy on their store's
lackluster performance. They think there's nothing they can do about
it; it's not their fault business is slow, so they "suck it in
and tough it out." Unfortunately, the only thing this creates
is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Instead, accept the realities of
today's business environment and decide now what you can do to
prosper in turbulent times. Don't pull back, plan ahead; anticipate
what needs to be done in your store to attract shoppers, and then do
3. Stop haggling with yourself and go with Accountability and
Creativity. Self-Haggling is negotiating with yourself to do as
little as possible; minimizing risk to get over a dilemma.
"Well, I suppose if I just do this …" Self-Haggling is
merely tweaking your business; making only small changes.
Accountability and Creativity is all about re-invention.
Retailers with this attitude have a strong desire to make the
customers' experience different; better, using events and
promotions, new ideas, and new applications as strategies to lure
customers back to the store.
4. When despair is in the air; when everyone's talking about
what's wrong, go in the opposite direction. Despair breeds
destruction. It robs you of the desire to step up and do what needs
to be done. Adopting and maintaining a Positive Atmosphere in your
store is hard when everyone else is complaining, but adopt it you
must. Put a positive spin on things. Look for opportunities, not
disasters. This is essential: your attitude is reflected in your
people, and their attitude is reflected in how your customers feel
about your store.
5. Embrace a "One More Thing" Attitude. Ask
yourself, "What one more thing could we do to go above and
beyond what our customers' expect?" We do. When we send our
press kit to perspective clients, we shrink wrap all kinds of
goodies in a big basket so the client can't wait to open it. We add
a bag of popcorn, a theater-size box of Dots®, and cotton candy for
the client to nosh on watching our preview DVD. We send freshly
baked chocolate chip cookies with birthday cards. We pride ourselves
on the fact that we're crazier about this "One more thing"
attitude than our competitors are, and that's a good kind of crazy!
Regardless of what the naysayers tell you, you can prosper in
turbulent times. Believe in yourself and your ability to do whatever
it takes to keep your business healthy. Turbulent times call for
leaders, not followers. Stake your sales claim now! And if you're
fresh out of ideas, give us a call. You know we're always good for
an idea or two. Or 200.
CHA Summer Show, Orlando.
A."4th Quarter Calendar: EVERYTHING You Need to Run
In-Store Events that Build Sales!" Mon., July 27, 2:00-3:00 pm.
Business Seminar S103
B. "Retail Rescue: How to Find Opportunity in Tough
Economic Times," Tues., July 28, 12:00-1:00 pm. Business
C. "Stories of Triumph & Success: Meet Successful
Independent Retailers and Learn What They Do Right!" Wed., July
29: 12:00-1:00 pm. Business Seminar S112. Visit www.chashow.org.
(Note: Professional speakers, authors, and consultants,
Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are nationally recognized experts
on customer diversity, marketing & promotion, and everything
that affects and interacts with consumers in the retail environment.
Each year Kizer & Bender speak to thousands through their
"Retail Adventures in the REAL World™" keynotes and
seminars. Their unique consumer insights are widely featured in the
media, including the ABC National News special report, "How
Stores Hook You." Their book, Champagne Strategies on a Beer
Budget!, has helped thousands of retailers improve their bottom
line, and their "Retail Adventures™" Blog is
visited by tens of thousands of readers each month. In 2004 they
were named two of the "Most Influential People in Retail
Today," and their popular magazine column, "Georganne
& Rich on the Road," won the American Society of Business
Publication Editors (ASBPE) Award of Excellence in 2004 and again in
You'll find thousands of strategies, tactics, tips. and
techniques to help you grow your business on their Retail Adventures™
They mean it when they say to call if you want to talk about your
store. They know how tough it is right now, and they're happy to
brainstorm ideas with you – they want you to succeed! To read
previous articles by Rich and Georganne, click on the titles in the
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