We NEED good independent retailers AND bricks and mortar stores. Here’s why!
Years ago, before the turn of the century, I was commissioned to do a seminar for the retail dealer network of a Canadian distributer. As a seventy-five
year old business they had seen a lot of changes. The topic? “High Tech. High Touch.”
I researched and found out that with technology taking over and making people feel like nothing more than a number and having computers doing everything for them, this put a HUGE DEMAND on High Touch. What is high touch? High touch is what makes a person feel special, cared about, and valued. Personal Attention! It also means "touch" as in feel.
Who did the “retail prophets” say would be the best to offer this? Boutiques, specialty stores, and restaurants! That makes you, the Independent Retailer, in high demand. Let me quote a high profile expert and see what she had to say back then.
Faith Popcorn, in “The Popcorn Report” (1991 Double Day Pub.) gave a whole lot of predictions based on her research and market tests. I love to go back and read these after a quarter of a century and see if they were right. In my first seminar on this topic, I quoted her as saying, “Two kinds of going-out-to-shop experiences will remain”€
Specialty boutiques OR Huge emporiums. This is what she says about the Specialty Boutiques: “Specialty boutiques, selling such items as gourmet foods or household and personal products. These small, local, ‘edited’ markets offer personal service. What entices you to buy at these shops (rather than by screen) is also the personality and style of the owners. With so many aspects of shopping now automatic and perfunctory, what remains will have to provide shoppers with a joyful, satisfying experience on an individual basis.”
She concludes that chapter with two more comments:
- “Shopping is an activity we’ll plan on doing two or three times a month, as an alternative to the movies or sporting events.” and
- “Consuming is what we’ll still be doing every day. On screen or off. The end of today’s way of shopping is just the beginning of a new way of consuming.” Efficient, smart, personable, profitable!
This is what gave me so much hope as I started a business in 1991! After being trained as the Display Manager and Advertising Coordinator at Eatons, I wanted to freelance and use my talents and experience to help small Independently Owned and Operated businesses. Now you have access to what big box and department stores know and use, but you have a huge advantage! You’re small!
You don’t think of that as a huge advantage when you see all the space, products, and advertising that the huge stores manage. But if you think of a speed boat compared to a big ship, it takes a whole lot less time, energy, and water to turn around, or go in a different direction. IN the day in which we live now, and I’m writing this in 2016, things have to change more frequently and more quickly.
The way in which I’ve developed my talk and techniques so that I can explain and illustrate the key principles is what will help you, the Independent Retailer, make these changes more quickly and easily! Remember, the delight is in the detail! Today’s Displays are Tomorrow’s Dollars.
VMP Display Consultant for 25 years. Consulting, Instructing, Public Speaking and Writing.