“Shoppers returning to their earlier pandemic behaviors, research finds” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

“Shoppers returning to their earlier pandemic behaviors, research finds” by Daphne Howland via Retail Dive

kajakiki via Getty Images Dive Brief: Consumers are retrenching in the face of the delta variant of the coronavirus, with 20% “highly optimistic” about a return to normal, down from a third at the beginning of the summer, according to Numerator research. Nearly 60% are “very or somewhat concerned” about holiday plans being disrupted by the pandemic, Berkeley Research Group found.The number of people who said they had resumed pre-COVID behaviors fell for the first time, from 39% in July to 27% in August, Numerator said. Nearly half say they expect a full reopening to be delayed until 2022 or later, up from 23% who said so in July and 18% in June, the firm found. The comfort level of shopping without a mask dropped 15 percentage points from July to August, with 34% preferring to go in stores with mask requirements and 36% having a higher level of respect for businesses that enforce mask wearing, per Numerator research.  Dive Insight: After waning this year, troublesome uncertainty is gaining strength, as the delta variant of the virus spreads and immunization rates in many areas falter. Wells Fargo economists noted that new COVID-19 cases were averaging about 100,000 daily at the time of their August economic outlook report, but had risen to more than 150,000 per day at the time of their September report last week.  “As a result, Americans have generally become more cautious,” they noted. To address the renewed strength of the disease and its risks to health, life and the economy, President Joe Biden last week announced an unprecedented move to require large businesses to vaccinate their employees or have any unvaccinated employees produce a...
“September Surf Expo Health and Safety Guidelines and link to SES Interview with Roy Turner about the Show plus retailer registration, BRA specific events and Surf Expo highlight videos” via the awesome people behind Surf Expo

“September Surf Expo Health and Safety Guidelines and link to SES Interview with Roy Turner about the Show plus retailer registration, BRA specific events and Surf Expo highlight videos” via the awesome people behind Surf Expo

Surf Expo is the largest and longest running watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow in the world. Since 1976, retailers from around the globe have relied on Surf Expo to identify new trends, new brands, and to get business done. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this vibrant, award winning marketplace! Surf Expo is excited to welcome our board specialty retailers back to forge new relationships and celebrate old ones with Vendors and each other. The Surf team is committed to creating an event experience at the Orange County Convention Center’s West Concourse where their customers, partners and employees can safely and effectively conduct business. Show Dates:  September 9th through 11th, 2021 (Waterfest Sept. 8th)Location:  Orange County Convention Center, West Concourse, Orlando, FL  | View Map Show Hours: Thursday & Friday: 9 am to 6 pmSaturday:  9 am to 4 pm Register for the Show: Click HereMake Your Hotel Reservation: Click HereTo view the Exhibitor List:  Click Here BRA Specific Events at Surf Expo: BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion on The Stage (Thursday, Sept. 9th at 2 pm). BRA Retailer Gathering/ Happy Hour in The Neighborhood Lounge (Thursday, Sept. 9th at 4:30 pm). HEALTH + SAFETY GUIDELINES AT SURF EXPO Updated: August 27, 2021 In line with CDC guidelines, everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status while at the show and all show functions (this includes the show floor and registration areas). Masks will also be provided at the event if needed. Surf Expo is excited to welcome our buyers and vendors back to forge new relationships and celebrate old ones. Our team is committed to creating an event experience...
“Ending prices that end in 99 cents” by Al McLain and 29 Retail Experts via Retail Wire

“Ending prices that end in 99 cents” by Al McLain and 29 Retail Experts via Retail Wire

Retailers might want to rethink doing away with prices that end with “.99” if they believe the results of new research from researchers at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. The study found that setting prices “just below” round numbers (i.e., $19.95, $19.97 or $19.99 instead of $20) can make consumers less likely to spend to upgrade to a more expensive version or size of the product or service. In a coffee stand experiment done on campus, the researchers changed prices hourly, offering a small coffee for 95 cents, or a larger cup for $1.20. Every other hour they would change the offering to $1 for a small cup or a larger cup for $1.25, so both sizes of coffee cost more. When using the latter pricing scheme, 56 percent of customers upgraded to the larger size, versus 29 percent who did so with the first pricing scheme. The researchers concluded that while the just-below price makes a product seem like a bargain, it also makes the step up to the premium product seem too expensive. “Going from $19.99 to $25 may seem like it will cost more than going from $20 to $26, even though it is actually less,” lead author doctoral student Junha Kim said in a statement. “Crossing that round number threshold makes a big difference for consumers.” Students in a lab study were also more likely to choose a costlier car or apartment options when base prices were just above round numbers, rather than just below. The study appears to indicate a shortcoming in the theory around charm pricing, or psychological pricing, that holds that goods priced using...
“How to Motivate a Retail Employee” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“How to Motivate a Retail Employee” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

How to motivate retail employees …  It’s a subject retailers routinely ask about. My answer is always the same: You don’t. That might sound strange coming from a motivational speaker, so let me explain. You can try to motivate a retail employee with the “do this or else you’re fired” speech. But fear only goes so far — and you only get to use this tactic once or twice during a person’s employment.  And sure, you can try to boost an employee’s motivation by constantly giving compliments to improve their self-image. But this is problematic, too. Trying to pour good feelings into a bucket with a hole in it becomes increasingly frustrating — and doesn’t fill up the bucket. Soon, you’ll give up, and you won’t have more sales (or more motivated staff) to show for it. Before we learn how to motivate retail employees to sell, we must brush up on our managerial skills and understand what employee motivation actually entails. Let’s dive in. What exactly is employee motivation? Do you associate motivation with achieving goals?  Then you’re a goals-driven retailer, and you’re probably a Driver personality. I am, too. You’re like a hungry bunny. And the sales bonus or award? That’s like a carrot dangling in front of you.  You only need to know what or how many to sell, and you’re ready to go with your retail strategy. That’s because winning is important to you (as it is to me.)  If everyone were a Driver personality, then retail games to motivate employees would be a great idea. But here’s the thing: not everyone is. There are many personality types, each with different motivations.  The opposite personality style of a Driver is the Amiable personality. This retail employee...
“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Why Inventory Management Matters” by RICS Software (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

It’s not easy to keep inventory in line. You analyze sales trends to make decisions. You review margins, sell-thru, and return on investment to evaluate profitability. You create buy plans, propose reorders and cancellations, and you suggest markdowns. All this just to keep your inventory in line. Inventory management is crucial to thesuccess of your business. Why? Because accurate purchase order planning is a necessary step towards optimal profit. Inventory influences sales.Sales drive business.Business creates profit.And profit measures success. Having the right product at the right place at the right time is the reason why sales occur, making it crucial to use all the information at your disposal to make inventory management decisions. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. The longer you hold on to merchandise that isn’t moving out the door, the more moneyyou are losing. In this article, we will share the 7 best practices on how best to manage your inventory, putting you in charge of you store’s success. When you’re not selling merchandise, you’re losing money. Period. Plan before you buyUse your data to plan out your assortment rather than reordering using the same quantities you always have for convenience’s sake. In the long run, profits beat convenience. Take the time to analyze which items are profitable and use past numbers as a guide to forecast future demand. Only after thoughtful data-driven planning should you start writing purchase orders. If you’re in the process of ordering merchandise for a particular season, use historical data as a benchmark for pricing decisions and sell-thru rates. Too often, merchants get stuck pricing seasonal or trend-driven...
“Resolve Retail Customer Complaints in 4 Easy Steps” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“Resolve Retail Customer Complaints in 4 Easy Steps” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

It’s never easy dealing with a retail customer service issue. Sometimes it may seem like someone is looking to find trouble, but complaining customers are most often just looking for a solution to a frustrating problem. If you provide excellent customer service, go the extra mile for your customers, and follow procedures then complaints should be rare. When they do occur, however, stay calm. Breathe. I know, staying calm is tough when your patience is challenged by complaining customers! But customer service means taking the good with the bad. Use this four-step system to deliver excellent customer service:  1. ListenLet the customer voice their complaint without interruption. The biggest mistake is second-guessing a customer service gripe and trying to cut them off before they have finished their story. Use this time as your chance to identify what it is they are REALLY upset about. Remember, don’t take it personally. It’s probably not about you. 2. AcknowledgeSay you understand and are sorry for the situation. An unhappy customer wants your attention and understanding. You won’t lose dignity or concede to being wrong by making the customer feel that you understand their frustration. Remember, you are saying you understand. You are not saying you agree or will give them the moon. They’ll also be more receptive to your solution. 3. SolveOffer the dissatisfied customer real solutions, telling them what you CAN do for them. Don’t dwell on what you can’t do. You might begin by asking what they would like you to do. They may actually require very little. Sometimes we hear “I want my money back” instead of “I want to exchange this.” Resolve the complaint on...