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Showing posts from March, 2017

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

Disruption is Inevitable, Essential & Painful

America has too many stores, too much inventory, and too few shoppers. Macy’sJC PenneySearsJ. Crew and other major retailers have already announced that they will be closing stores because in the new retail landscape they cannot justify the return on these expensive fixed assets – and because customers no longer choose to spend their money in old-model retail stores. The market capitalization of American department stores dropped nearly $80 Billion since 1999, according to Census data. The cost of disruption is more than store closings and diminished market caps, it's people and jobs. Macy's and JC Penney, alone, will be closing over 200 stores and eliminating over 12,000 jobs. You can not shrink your way to success. However, you can buy yourself more runway.

What I Should Have Said, But Didn't

Last week in Las Vegas, during the largest fashion industry trade show, MAGIC/PROJECT, I delivered the keynote presentation for the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund and UBM Advanstar. It was entitled, “Disruption is the Mother of Invention.”  At the end of my presentation a woman stood up to ask a question. Actually, she made a statement.
I own a fashion retail store, she exclaimed. 

I’m a good merchant, it’s a good store. It’s been in business a long time. Customers shop my store with their smartphone in their hand… and then they buy the item on Amazon Prime. 
She cried out, 


It’s not right. It’s not fair. 
And then she said,


What do I do? My answer was “textbook,” when the last thing needed was a textbook.