I’ve decided that my best recent article was “How Brick and Mortar Retail Has to Change,” written last June. I was surprised it got so little feedback. Probably because the list of what customers don’t need us to do anymore is a little intimidating, and we aren’t sure how to respond.
Even if, like Zumiez, your plans are responsive (as I see it) to the changing conditions, there’s still going to be a recession (not just in the U.S.), there’s too much product and manufacturing capacity, too many brands, too much retail space, too little product differentiation, and many customers have too little income. And they have to spend more of that income on necessities. I guess a cell phone is a necessity. Certainly housing, food and health care are.