“Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative?” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

“Why does it take a crisis for retailers to get innovative?” by Steve Dennis via Retail Wire

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of Steve Dennis’ recent Forbes article. Steve is president & founder of SageBerry Consulting and a senior Forbes Contributor. His first book — Remarkable Retail: How to Win and Keep Customers in the Age of Digital Disruption  — came out earlier this year. The COVID-19 crisis has led to tremendous innovation and experimentation on the part of just about every retailer. From curbside pickup (and other forms of contactless delivery) to appointment shopping, hyper-online growth and more, so much change has occurred in such a short period of time. Legacy retailers are being applauded for embracing the notion that most customer journeys are digitally-driven and that online shopping and brick-and-mortar stores can work in tandem to produce remarkable results. To this I say, “Really?,” adding: “Glad you finally woke up, Rip Van Winkle.” (Note to Millennials: look him up.) Clearly, some shopper behaviors (and resulting retail responses) are very much of the moment and it’s uncertain to what degree they’ll continue. Yet there’s no denying the retail industry witnessed an epic revolution during the past two decades, much of it driven by digital technology. In turn, the power has shifted to the consumer and the underlying bases of competition have been upended. Even in the pre-COVID world, shifts were happening faster and faster all the time. Many retailers — from Home Depot to Lululemon, Best Buy Nike and many more — were keenly aware of the shifts and responded in remarkable ways well before a crisis. Their commitment to innovation and agile business models explains their better than average performance thus far during...
“How the COVID-19 Coin Shortage is Affecting Retailers” by Ashley Chiaradio via Total Retail

“How the COVID-19 Coin Shortage is Affecting Retailers” by Ashley Chiaradio via Total Retail

Photo Credit: Getty Images by Chuck Cross / EyeEm Some brick-and-mortar retailers are obligating customers to allow cashiers to keep their change as the U.S. experiences a coin shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PYMNTS reported. Recently, grocery chain Kroger has been temporarily refusing to give coins out as change to customers. In these instances, customers have three options: round up their bills to the nearest dollar; donate the excess to charity; or get their change stored on a loyalty card. According to pymnts.com, Kroger announced via Twitter that the Federal Reserve is experiencing a significant coin shortage and it’s impacting store operations. COVID-19 has disrupted the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coins. Over the past few months, coin deposits have declined significantly and the production of coin also decreased due to measures put in place to protect U.S. Mint employees. In addition to Kroger, Giant Food and Wawa have also made changes to deal with the coin shortage. Giant Food is reportedly doing the same as Kroger, and Wawa is reportedly requesting that customers pay with exact change, debt or credit cards, or the Wawa mobile app if possible. Total Retail’s Take: While consumers who prefer to pay with cash may disapprove of this situation, it does provide retailers the unique opportunity to promote their loyalty programs. Consumers who don’t already have loyalty cards may sign up just to prevent losing their change. The retailer will gain the customer’s personal information, which is beneficial for personalizing future customer experiences, but also the customer may revisit the retailer in the future to spend their unused change. Paying with cash was...
“Core Retailers Much More Optimistic After Big Rebound – Action Watch has been surveying core retailers during the COVID-19 crisis” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

“Core Retailers Much More Optimistic After Big Rebound – Action Watch has been surveying core retailers during the COVID-19 crisis” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this relevant Shop Eat Surf Article containing statistics and commentary from BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Action Watch:   Core Retailers Much More Optimistic After Big Rebound Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not already a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join...
“Challenging Times in Hawaii for Those that Cater to Tourists” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

“Challenging Times in Hawaii for Those that Cater to Tourists” by Tiffany Montgomery via Shop Eat Surf

Please click on the following link to view this Shop Eat Surf News Article (mentioning BRA Distinguished Retail Member Hi-Tech Surf):  Challenging Times in Hawaii for Those that Cater to Tourists Please note that this article is a Shop Eat Surf Executive Edition article so you will need to sign up and pay for access before viewing. We, at BRA,  feel that the benefits of the SES Executive Edition Membership outweigh the cost. Be sure to visit the Shop Eat Surf website to view valuable Industry News and Resourceful Articles regularly via this link: Shop Eat Surf If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join...
“The Reopening of Retail: Which Pandemic Changes Will Stores Keep?” by Bobby Maharmat via Total Retail

“The Reopening of Retail: Which Pandemic Changes Will Stores Keep?” by Bobby Maharmat via Total Retail

The COVID-19 pandemic drove customers away from stores, shut down businesses, and ground the global economy to a screeching halt. Now that the world has begun to return, retailers must think strategically to prevent temporary disruption from becoming a permanent end. When we talked to more than 400 retailers about how they adapted to the coronavirus pandemic and the regulations that followed, we found a group of people who were both flexible in their strategies and optimistic for the future. Our Reopening of Retail Report, released in June 2020, found that 80.5 percent of retailers believe sales will be no worse than slightly lower than usual for the first 90 days of reopening, while 22 percent expect higher-than-average sales in the first 90 days. How do retailers expect that optimism will translate into revenue, though? Which changes from the pandemic do they think will help them, which changes will they scrap, and which of their new processes and policies will be codified into permanent practices? Let’s take a closer look at what our research discovered. Related story: How Retail is Evolving and Where it’s Headed in 2020 How Retailers Responded to COVID-19 Restrictions Of all the changes retailers made, total store closure topped our findings at 51 percent. A little more than half of our survey population reported closing their stores entirely for at least a period of time. This should come as no surprise, given the prevalence of shelter-in-place orders at the height of the pandemic. While some retailers managed to stay open due to their status as essential businesses, most spent at least some of the time with their doors...
“How to run a store in a pandemic – It’s possible to safely operate brick-and-mortar retail, experts say. But with that comes great responsibility, and some consumers aren’t making it easy” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

“How to run a store in a pandemic – It’s possible to safely operate brick-and-mortar retail, experts say. But with that comes great responsibility, and some consumers aren’t making it easy” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

As the United States marked a subdued Independence Day last weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge in many places, prompting governors of several states to implement or reinstate strict protocols meant to combat it. Most of the latest restrictions are on bars and restaurants, which are proving to be potential hotspots for the virus to spread. But in certain areas, political leaders made it mandatory to wear a mask while shopping, even, as in Maine, forcing retailers to enforce that, along with social distancing. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo decreed that indoor malls must also have specialized filters in their ventilation and air conditioning systems in order to reopen. A 360 Look at the People, Processes and Data of Re-Opening Retail in 2020 Explore what it means for retailers and restaurants that are re-opening and how they can ensure they start off strong while being safe.Learn more These measures stop short of closing down nonessential retail, a tactic that for about a month and a half, starting in mid-March, helped to decimate retail sales in most categories, especially in apparel. A major rebound in May as stores have reopened is nevertheless well short of a full recovery. The reopening has also been rocky, as customers in some areas pointedly refuse to wear a mask or keep their distance from others, leaving store associates in the position of enforcers. But while there have been high-profile instances of recalcitrant shoppers, most Americans remain wary of shopping in the COVID-19 era. Nearly three-quarters said they wouldn’t feel very comfortable shopping in a physical store in the next three months, according to a survey from workplace...