“Retail sales explode in March as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily” by Jeff Cox via CNBC

“Retail sales explode in March as consumers use stimulus checks to spend heavily” by Jeff Cox via CNBC

KEY POINTS Retail sales boomed 9.8% higher in March thanks to a jump in spending at bars and restaurants as well as multiple other groups.Economists already had been expecting a gain of 6.1% as consumers received their $1,400 government stimulus checks.Jobless claims added to the good economic news, with first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunging to 576,000, easily the best week since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. View CNBC VIDEO by clicking link below https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000186441 Retail sales surge in March as consumers use stimulus checks A fresh batch of stimulus checks sent consumer purchases surging in March as the U.S. economy continued to get juice from aggressive congressional spending. Advance retail sales rose 9.8% for the month, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That compared to the Dow Jones estimate of a 6.1% gain and a decline of 2.7% in February. Sporting goods, clothing and food and beverage led the gains in spending and contributed to the best month for retail since the May 2020 gain of 18.3%, which came after the first round of stimulus checks. A separate report showed first-time filings for unemployment insurance plunged, with the Labor Department reporting 576,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10. That was easily the lowest total since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and represented a sharp decline from the previous week’s total of 769,000. The Dow Jones claims estimate was 710,000. As the jobs picture brightened, consumers took their $1,400 stimulus checks and spent aggressively. The money came courtesy of the nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act that Congress passed in March. The legislation...
“Texting is hot. How to use it effectively? Glad you asked – 7 Clever Ways To Use Text Messaging In Your Business” on-demand webinar by The Retail Doctor and Podium

“Texting is hot. How to use it effectively? Glad you asked – 7 Clever Ways To Use Text Messaging In Your Business” on-demand webinar by The Retail Doctor and Podium

Text is the only marketing channel with a 98% open rate. With that knowledge, how do you build an effective SMS marketing campaign?Covering everything from simple tips and tricks to compliance to building a world-class opt-in flow, this webinar will get you up to speed.We share insights on: • How to market like a human with personalized messages• How to increase responses and promotional engagement• How to provide value to your opt-in list This 30-minute workshop will leave you empowered to know how to use SMS messaging to grow your retail sales. Learn a new way to contact and be contacted by your customers. WHEN: View it On-Demand Right Now SMS Marketing 101 – retaildoc If you are currently a BRA Regular or Distinguished Retail Member, you can email doug@boardretailers.org to receive the Podium 2021 State of Reviews Report. If you are not yet a BRA Regular (no cost) or Distinguished Retail Member, please complete the super simple join form  Shortly after it is received, we will email you the report as well as the link to access the BRA Office Depot Preferential Pricing Program and more. BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Podium has joined Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to the solid people behind this outstanding resource, be sure to email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive...
“Conversational Marketing is Key for Retailers in 2021” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

“Conversational Marketing is Key for Retailers in 2021” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

It has never been clearer that mobile channels are where customers are. In 2020, consumers spent an average of 4.2 hours per day on their phones. At the same time, conversion rates for e-commerce hit a record, reaching 3.5 percent on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this past year. While that is way up from 2019, the obvious truth is the majority of marketing text messages, as is the case with all direct marketing, aren’t resulting in a transaction. In my view, this presents marketers with a quick win opportunity by shifting the way you engage with customers. Retail as we know it has changed dramatically over the last decade thanks to technological advances and the demands of savvy customers. However, despite the evolution of their preferences when it comes to how they access products, services and information, brands are still relying on one-way, high-frequency “spray and pray” campaigns to drive conversions. Quality is stronger than quantity when building formidable customer relationships. Take that 3.5 percent conversion rate, for example. Maybe the product and/or timing of the offer were spot on, but some of the 96.5 percent of consumers who didn’t click buy just needed some more information to feel confident in making a purchase. Maybe they wanted to see similar products at other price points? Regardless, one-way, linear mobile marketing can’t accommodate this. Enter conversational marketing. Related story: SMS Marketing Tips for Retailers in the New Digital World Conversational Marketing Enters the Chat Conversational marketing is the notion of activating two-way channels (e.g., SMS, or messaging apps such as Instagram or Facebook Messenger) to support marketing campaigns and programs so consumers can respond...
Available Now: On-Demand Relevant and Helpful Educational Webinar “Retail E-Commerce: Adapting to the New Consumer Mindset in 2021 and Beyond”

Available Now: On-Demand Relevant and Helpful Educational Webinar “Retail E-Commerce: Adapting to the New Consumer Mindset in 2021 and Beyond”

Board Retailers Association kicked off the first of many relevant and helpful quarterly webinars on a variety of topics in collaboration with BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One on March 30, 2021. Fortunately, many board retailers saw demand for products rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, however store closures impacted the 1-on-1 personalization of in-store experiences, while supply chain disruptions altered buying forecasts for upcoming seasons. To survive in 2020, retailers were forced to embrace the adaptation of e-commerce, but how can board retailers successfully navigate the new retail landscape in 2021 with a larger focus on e-commerce? Achieving success in an increasingly digital era DOES NOT mean throwing away the traditional retail fundamentals, but augmenting the existing processes with new capabilities that adapt to the new landscape.View the on-demand webinar by pushing play in the box below to learn about the e-commerce strategies that are working to help board retailers meet and exceed pre-COVID benchmarks, while building a solid foundation for the years ahead: “Alan Roseman at Management One has been a great partner to have for my business. He helps not only manage inventory and cash flow but has proven to be a valuable consultant on marketing, expansion, hiring, advertising and just about anything a small business owner may be dealing with.”—Dan Hasselschwert, Ossie’s Surf Shop “Management One has transformed our business! After running our retail stores for many years and having the constant concern of cash flow, we needed to find a better way. Management One provided that way. Our business has truly reached the next level of success and continues to grow.”—Dave Carlson, Unlimited Skate and Snow Click on...
“Vaccinations Do Not Mark the End of Americans’ COVID Shopping Behaviors: What Retailers Need to Know” by David Fisch via Total Retail

“Vaccinations Do Not Mark the End of Americans’ COVID Shopping Behaviors: What Retailers Need to Know” by David Fisch via Total Retail

We’ve entered the next stage of combating COVID-19 as vaccinations roll out across the country. While this may be the next step towards getting the pandemic under control, consumers remain wary. In fact, vaccine or not, most Americans said they would hardly change their current shopping behaviors — an important finding for retailers currently planning their long-term strategies. As part of our ongoing efforts to support brand and retail partners with regular insights throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Shopkick recently surveyed more than 21,000 consumers to learn more about their sentiments toward the vaccine and how it will impact their shopping habits. What we learned is eye-opening. Many Consumers Don’t Plan to Get Vaccinated Part of the hesitancy to revert completely to pre-COVID shopping behaviors comes from the knowledge that many people will choose not to get vaccinated. While some of the folks surveyed had already received at least one dosage of the vaccine (8 percent) or were planning to receive it (48 percent), nearly half (44 percent) said they didn’t plan to get vaccinated at all. Retailers must also recognize how these views differ amongst demographics in order to successfully reach and engage with their target consumers. When broken down by generation, millennials made up the largest segment of those not confident in the vaccine (35 percent) and not planning to get vaccinated (51 percent). Meanwhile, the youngest and oldest generations proved the most confident in the vaccine, with 71 percent of Gen Zers and 75 percent of boomers saying they felt some level of confidence. Related story: How 2020 Shaped Consumer Behavior: Key Insights for 2021 Don’t Dismiss Online and Omnichannel — Consumers...
BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently updated State Regulations for In-Store Shopping on March 30, 2021

BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently updated State Regulations for In-Store Shopping on March 30, 2021

Welcome to the BRA COVID-19 Resource Guide. Below you will find resources for the benefit of all board specialty retailers (BRA Retail Members and non-members alike) during this challenging period. The Board Retailers Association is actively aggregating resources to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters. We update this page with additional resources regularly. If you are interested in contributing relevant information or helpful resources that will benefit other board specialty retailers, please email our Executive Director at doug@boardretailers.org Relevant and trustworthy online resources providing facts related to transmission of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and strategies to battle the spread #spreadthestokenotthevirus Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Official Website Flatten The Curve – Everything you and your customers need to know to battle COVID-19 is on this website World Health Organization – Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak This epic and relevant drawing was created by Reddit User Darth Voter Relevant educational webinars (on-demand) > Crystal Media – 3 Tips To Get Started With Social Selling Today and Staying Top-of-Mind and Connected to Customers During a Pandemic > Management One – 1) “The Retailer’s Guide to the Economic Stimulus Package & Financial Options to Address COVID-19” – The CARES Act is a complex mix of government aid and bank loans each with their own timelines and requirements. The parameters and regulations for these loans is changing hourly! 2) With rent being one of the highest monthly expenses for brick and mortar retail businesses, it’s a good idea to approach the subject of temporarily altering the structure of your agreement – The Art of Landlord Negotiation to Ease the Highest...