If there's one constant in this world it's change. We feel for the buggy whip salesman who didn't get that memo. And as we watch the number of retailers tanking, it's clear that the brick-and-mortar industry of retail is in a major state of flux.
Have we contributed to the demise of the likes of Sears, Charlotte Olympia, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Kors, Gymboree and Payless with the tap of an app? Absolutely, we own our part.
And by the tap of an app, we mean Amazon, of course.
In an interesting turn of events, the online retailer recently partnered with the brick-and-mortar chain, Kohl's in a deal that allows consumers to return unwanted Amazon goods to Kohl's stores. What's in it for Kohl's? Foot traffic. In fact, sales at participating Kohl's stores have already gone up. Think about it: if you're already there to return a piece of electronics, you just might stay and buy a shirt.
We're cheering on the folks who remain committed to an exceptional brick-and-mortar experience. As far as we're concerned, it's about great people. Quality customer service will never go out of style, and there are just some things that people still want to touch, taste and see in person.
Just walking in the doors of Tootsies' new location on Peachtree Road and you can feel the energy. It makes you want to hang around. They don't need to have a DJ on Friday afternoons, but it sure elevates the experience, as does a glass of wine while you shop, spacious dressing rooms, luxe bathrooms (yes - so important to a quality retail experience), great lighting and that team of fab folks who work it for you every time.
We could listen to our client, Michael Coles talk about retail all day long. Fortunately, we've booked him on enough podcasts that we actually can listen to him all day long. From his decades in fashion retail to opening a little cookie shop in the mall that - thanks to his uncompromising commitment to a great retail experience - grew from an $8,000 investment to a massive return when he sold Great American Cookies for $100 million and later taking Caribou Coffee public as its CEO, his insights on retail are contagious. Thanks to Michael, we can't walk through the mall and spy a salesperson on his cell phone without cringing.
In this ever-evolving state of retail, one thing is for sure - if you don't change with the times you will go the way of the buggy whip.