America has lost almost 100,000 retail jobs in 2017 alone.
Let that sink in for a moment.
This, coupled with my ‘adulthood’ being spawned by the Retail Industry are why I started the new Evolution of Marketing podcast.
Together, we can do something about this statistic.
This first podcast episode provides a glimpse into the psychology behind what’s causing the ‘Retail Apocalypse’ and how retail companies can simply adapt and evolve their business model starting TODAY, to begin saving some of these American jobs.
There’s no need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to evolving your brand, or store.
100% of all retail consumers are humans and humans now require a bit more of a reason to get off their couch and come into your store.
So…what can you do?
You simply give the people what they want.
With the emerging ability to get EVERY consumer product delivered, to your customer’s home in 2017, NOW is the time for you to shift your business model and below, we’ve given you some suggestions which we’re able to help you with. Simply email: Info@thefriscoconsultinggroup.com to learn how we can help you evolve & adapt your retail business today.
By no means is this a definitive list and we welcome ALL of your suggestions including how you’ve been able to evolve & adapt YOUR retail location’s business model in order to satisfy your customers in 2017.
We want to hear from you in the comments below because helping others is the name of the game.
A rising tide lifts all ships!
Remember, the only limits you have are the limits you place on yourself.
We can help your store evolve & adapt by
adding more ‘experiential’ elements which WILL
help you save American jobs.
Here are some suggestions…
- Be the first store in your area to offer new ICON Soccer Training Simulator (shown here featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Facebook’s biggest celebrity). The ICON is in high-demand and already being used by FC Barcelona and other top teams in the world and now available in the US market. Your ICON can feature your store’s logo and colors on the powder-coated aluminum unit and it comes in many different sizes to accommodate your store’s available floorpplan. You can offer there ICON to your local residents as an ‘arcade game’ and they can choose one of :60sec interactive games which are preprogrammed into the ICON‘s state-of-the-art app. A swipe-card terminal, mounted on the unit generates revenue for your business, so you don’t have to worry about ‘dead floor space’ and if your store is the only location in your city to offer the ICON to your local residents…expect a crowd. (There’s a reason why you’re seeing it in a Tag Heuer commercial…it’s amazing).
Or…if you’re REALLY wanting to re-invent your store and offer your local families something new & exciting that they can come and do for hours (which at time of writing this has virtually no competitors in the US market…yet), you can set up several ICON units and have each one of them generating revenue for your retail location. Oh…the sport of Soccer in America is SKYROCKETING…so there’s that, too.
Each one of these units in the above floorplan generates consistent revenue.
You can see all available ICON units and learn more here.
2. Another option you can do with your retail store in to do what’s already working to bring kids & families out of their homes and install a few Bowling Lanes in your retail store. Here’s a recent example of a small Bowling Alley which can be installed in your retail location, complete with arcade games. The choice is yours!
3. One more amenity you can offer your customers is a Sports Bar, Concession Area…or even a small Restaurant to replace an underperforming area of your store.
4. Laser Tag, Mini-Fitness Centers and anything else which is proven to get people to leave their homes in 2017 should work for you, if you implement the concept correctly.
In summary, these are just examples of what you can offer your customers and whichever path you choose, you MUST adapt & evolve your business in 2017, and give the people what they want!
Feel free to share this page with anyone you know, who works for any above the companies listed above, so that TOGETHER we can start thinking of new and innovative ways for them to not become a layoff statistic!
If you have any suggestions we haven’t covered, or any questions, simply leave a comment below and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
*Below is a transcription of the podcast episode for those of you who prefer to read instead of listen:
Intro: “Consumer buying behavior is evolving faster than most companies can keep up with. Created for CEOs, business owners, and sales and marketing professionals, the “Evolution of Marketing” podcast, hosted by Kevin Saint Clair of the Frisco Consulting Group will help you gain new strategic insight in the world of marketing, and help you adapt and evolve your way to success.”
“My name is Kevin Saint Clair with the Frisco Consulting Group and welcome to the “Evolution of Marketing” podcast. In this first episode, I’d like to explain to you how I believe we, together, can save the retail industry in America. Because right now, by any standards, we are experiencing what I call a retail apocalypse in this country. In 2017, major companies like RadioShack, Payless, The Limited, JCPenney, Kmart, CVS, Macy’s, Sears, and many more have announced hundreds and hundreds of store closings. Now, this is only what was announced this year, in 2017. These stores, total, combined amount of closings numbering in the thousands. And again, that’s only this year in America. Now, if you look at thousands of retail stores that are closing their doors in this country this year alone, you’re looking at layoffs of hundreds of thousands of employees. And if you’re listening to this podcast and you know anyone who works at any of these retail stores, I encourage you to share this information with them because what I’m about to explain is going to help these companies reinvent themselves around the changes that have taken place regarding consumer buying behavior.
But first, I wanna give you a little bit of background of myself and why I’m so passionate to save retail in America. Approximately 30 years ago, I was a young and ambitious 15-year-old who had to get a work permit, just to get a job washing dishes in the back of a Western Sizzlin Steakhouse in Southwest Virginia. After I turned 18, I began working in a beautiful new retail furniture store where my job was to lift, carry, haul every piece of furniture you can think of out into the 60,000 square foot showroom where I was taught how to set up furniture displays. The living room furniture had to be displayed in the living room section. The bedroom sets all had to be set up extravagantly in the bedroom section. And of course, we had a dining room section, electronic section, you get the idea.
After approximately one year of working this job, the store managers decided to give me my first crack at sales during our company’s annual super sales event. People in my town who come from miles around, and many of them would wait all year just to come on this one day because the deals were there, and everybody knew it. On this day, we must have had 30 or 40 sales associates working the floor. I don’t recall the exact sales numbers for the day, but they were massive. And I was an 18-year-old kid who was young, eager to learn. And I had spent the previous year listening to the sales people, reading books on sales of Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, some of the greatest minds of our time, and really studying their craft and hoping that I could get promoted eventually and be given an opportunity. On this day I was.
So we went to work. I think we opened at 9 a.m. that day. The store was a huge furniture store with beautiful decor everywhere. We had tons of people. They were serving food and it was very exciting. Now, fast forward to the end of the day when the sales totals came up and everybody on the sales staff kind of got in line and wondered how much we sold. This was a commission-based job and everyone except myself were getting paid on commission. And it just so happened that at the end of the day, I ranked in the top 10 salespeople for the amount of sales I did that day. No one was more shocked than me. My manager was ecstatic, his manager was ecstatic, and some of the salespeople were ecstatic, although a lot of them didn’t see this coming and I learned very quickly that you can’t please everybody in the world. So suffice it to say, I had been bitten by the retail bug and I learned that one Saturday, almost 30 years ago, that I was good in sales and this was something I wanted to pursue.
So I spent the next few years honing my craft and doing very well for myself. By the time I was 21 years old, I was managing my first furniture store. And I had a delivery crew, small staff, and I had moved a couple 100 miles away from my small town. Now, this was my first lesson in adapting and evolving when it comes to the retail industry. Because prior to my arrival at this furniture store, the owner of the furniture store was specializing in water beds. Now, I know I’m dating myself, but if you’re born in the 50s, 60s, 70s, you’ve probably slept on a waterbed and you probably remember when they were at their peak. Most furniture stores were selling them. It was almost like a status symbol if you owned a waterbed. And so the store, prior to my arrival, had just come off of that wave of part of that popularity. The owner did very well for himself. And unfortunately, when I arrived, the waterbed trend had subsided and waterbeds sales had dried up. So I had to do a little bit of redesigning in the showroom, and I had experience doing this. The owner wasn’t too interested in advertising, which puzzled me, but I worked at this store for a year. And I did everything from hang new signs, set up interesting furniture displays. I even went outside in the parking lot and repainted the parking lot lines yellow instead of white in an effort to grab more attention.
Now, keep in mind this was almost 25 years ago and I had not studied marketing at all. I hadn’t realized that it takes more than sales ability to make a retailer location successful. So after a year of running the furniture store and not having much in the way of advertising to bring in traffic, I decided to resign from the job and move on. Now, shortly thereafter, the owner ended up closing the store and he went out of business. And I knew at the time that there was things that could have been done that weren’t. And so I moved into another career which we’ll get into in a future episode. But I never lost the passion for retail, and I never lost the excitement and the satisfaction, and the relationships that I gained from meeting people and helping people improve their quality of life, even doing something like buying furniture. It was really rewarding to me, and I loved my job.
So now, what I see happening in America is the lack of adapting, but on a grand scale. And I wanna just explain first what’s happening which I touched on earlier, but actually, why it’s happening. And then I’ll get into what we can do about it. Now, many of you know that since the dawn of Amazon, the statistics in the big box retail stores don’t look good. The future is bleak. Most of these companies are going bankrupt. Most of them are soon to go bankrupt and everyone is kind of pointing the finger at Amazon. Well, evolution is going to happen. It really doesn’t matter who the name of the company is, what they provide, it’s all based around our own genetic makeup, and it’s programmed in our DNA. Now, understanding why this is happening requires at least a fundamental understanding of human psychology.
Now, there are a lot of scientific truths in human psychology and most of the big successful companies right now who are dominating their industry are fueled by these underlying psychological truths that we all possess. And I’ll give an example. Curiosity is one of the most powerful tools we can use in marketing and advertising. And in my company, the Frisco Consulting Group, we use it often with certain campaigns or certain clients. But the power of curiosity is evidenced by the success of a company named Google. The reason Google exists is because of the power of curiosity in our DNA. We are genetically predisposed to wanna know things. Google knows this. They knew this when they started the company 20 years ago. They made it very simple to go out and find things, find answers to things, have an algorithm created that crawls different websites, and it’s…I won’t get into the technical aspects of how they operate, but you’re familiar with Google.
Their website is not elaborate. There’s nothing there except the search bar and a word named Google. Now, I couldn’t think of a more wonky name to call your company than Google, but that just proves that it doesn’t matter what you call the company. It doesn’t matter how elaborate the website is. What matters is the underlying psychological principle of curiosity. So it works. Curiosity is powerful and Google is one of the most powerful companies in the entire world. Now, moving on to another psychological principle.
The next one is the power of community. The power of community, a good example of the power of community would be sporting event, football game, baseball game, basketball game, clubs. And I’ll give you probably the most revolutionary example in our lifetimes of the power of community, it’s called social media. When Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook, he understood the power of community. But again, we’re genetically predisposed to wanna be around others. We’re very social creatures and we enjoy the company of other social creatures. And Mark Zuckerberg knew this, he understood this. When Facebook was started, their business model basically set up to encourage people to come together. Now, they have spawned an entire industry, not just Facebook, but Twitter, Instagram, you know, the list goes on and on…Snap Chat. There’s so many social media companies out there that are all fueled by the underlying psychological principle of community. So Google was founded and is fueled by the power of curiosity. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all these other companies are fueled by community.
And in addition to community powering social media, curiosity is always there and it is the very reason that when you put your thumb on the screen, you wanna scroll up. The reason that you wanna scroll up is because you don’t know what’s beneath the screen that you’re reading and your mind really wants to know. It doesn’t matter what’s next. They serve information to you based upon your behavior online and your interests, and your likes and dislikes. So they try to custom tailor your news feed to you. But there’s actually a scientific reason why you scroll up. It triggers a dopamine release in your brain each time you do it. So that’s why there are more than one billion Facebook users in the world, and that’s why the average user spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook. And now, I’ll tell you this, Facebook also owns Instagram. And between the two platforms the average person in America that goes online, they spend an average of one out of every five minutes, each day, on one of those two platforms.
Now, that number is staggering. When you talk in terms of market share, that’s a 20% market share for just going online. I don’t think they even planned themselves that they would grow that strong. So we’ve covered curiosity. We’ve covered community. Now, let’s move into an area which most of you know already and what I just touched on earlier. When Amazon came out, I believe Jeff Bezos knew what he was doing. He wanted to facilitate a faster way to get products into people’s hands, products into the consumer’s hand, and he wanted to essentially cut out the middleman, which is what you see happening here in retail store closings. So, you know, I don’t think it’s a thing where he was intentionally trying to put people out of work. Like I said, if he didn’t do it, somebody else is gonna do it. It’s just the natural evolution of how we want things.
Now, humans are fairly lazy. I think most psychologists would agree. If you give a human an option to sit there and do nothing, or get up and do something, the majority of people are going to sit down and do nothing. It’s proven by statistics and it dates all the way back to when the cavemen walked the earth. A caveman would spend most of his day just hanging out. When he got hungry, he would get some food. When another tribe came around that wanted to attack, he would have to get up and defend himself and defend his family. If a dinosaur showed up, he would have to get up and run. So other than when a caveman or woman was called upon to act, he didn’t act. They just sat still. And that’s what we wanna do as creatures. We don’t really wanna do anything if we don’t have to. So if we can buy stuff online and have it come to us without us going to it, that’s what we’re gonna do. Jeff Bezos knew that a long time ago. A lot of companies have known this. But he is by far the most successful in turning the tide and making it a reality. And now, he has recently purchased Whole Foods. I think we all know what you’re gonna see more is you’re going to have the ability to get a lot more food delivered to your house. There are other companies that deliver food. For 20 years, there have been companies who would go to restaurants, pick up one meal, and bring it to your house. But now, Uber and Lyft, and these companies have come out. They are increasing their reach. And they’ll deliver food from specific restaurants. So I think we’re not gonna see a slowdown in any of those areas.
Now, if you go back to the retail companies who’ve announced these store closings, you’ll notice…we’ll take RadioShack, for example. When you go to my website and look at this image, it’s gonna be at thefrisco.consultinggroup.com/retail. When you go there and look at this image, the top company that announced the most amount of store closings this year is RadioShack. And they’ve announced they’re closing 530 retail locations. I’m just gonna use them as an example. Now, RadioShack has all the products that the majority of consumers need. They have been in business as long as I can remember. So if you wanted headphones, or batteries, or, you know, computers, walkie-talkies, anything when I was a kid, that’s where you went well. Well, now, you can buy those on Amazon. You can have them shipped to your house. You can buy them on tons of other websites and have been shipped to your house. So you don’t technically need to go into the store. And again, I would like to remind you, if you know an employee who works at any of these stores, and I’m gonna put this image up on my website, please share this episode with them because they’re going to want to hear what can be done moving forward.
First, let’s go down the list. 2017 announced store closings. On this list, the company who’s announced the most amount of retail store closings this year are RadioShack with 550. There’s a tie for second, Payless shoe stores and Rue21. Each announced 400 store closings this year. Now, just stop and think about the amount of employees that work at one Payless shoe store. I don’t know right offhand, but I have to guess, I would say probably 30 employees. So if they’re gonna close 400 retail locations, and you’ve got 30 employees working at each one, that’s 1,200 jobs that will be lost. A lot of those 1,200 people are mothers. They’re wives. They are sisters. They are daughters. These are people trying to make a living and they’re going to lose their jobs. This is why I started this podcast. I think we can help them. And in a minute, I’m going to explain how third place on the list, The Limited clothing store, they’ve announced 250 stores will be closed this year. Again, I don’t know how many employees work in each Limited location, but we’re talking thousands of employees per store locations.
So moving down the list, you’ve got companies like Bebe, Wet Seal, Crocs, all close to 200 stores each they’re closing down. There’s a big one coming next, JCPenney. They have announced almost 140 retail locations will be closed this year alone. Now, my brother worked at JCPenney when I was in high school, and I think there are probably 200 employees at a JCPenney location. Two hundred employees with 140 store closings, that’s 28,000 employees. That’s 28,000 Americans that are gonna be out of a job this year. Those are mothers, daughters, friends, sisters, neighbors, college students, high school students. They’re all going to lose their job because these stores are closing down. So I call this the retail apocalypse because it is. And if you go to the website and look at the image, again it’s thefrisco.consultinggroup.com/retail. Just kind of do the math of all of these companies closing each of their store locations and putting all of these people out of work.
Now, let’s go back to psychology for a minute. The reason these companies are closing down is simple. If you can order a shirt off their rack and have it delivered to your house, you’re gonna do it. That’s just human nature. Sometimes even if the price is a little more, some people are gonna do it. Now, these companies are all doing the same practices, more or less, that they were doing 10 years ago. That’s not gonna work anymore, obviously. The statistics prove it. Due to the evolution of consumer behavior, if you do not change your business model around consumer behavior, you will become extinct. And that’s what’s happening to the major big-box retailers in America right now. So, since consumer behavior is evolving, we as American companies, must evolve and adapt with them.
Now, I own a marketing and business consulting agency. We work with clients, big and small, and we constantly have to keep our finger on the pulse of consumer behavior. Because if you don’t, this is what happens, that the consumer changes and their attention span shortened. Their wants, needs, likes, dislikes, their influences from celebrities, or influences from magazines they read, they’re constantly changing. So if you’re not paying attention to these changes in evolving and adapting your marketing campaigns, product launches, business models, around what they want and what works for them, then you’re gonna go the way of the dinosaur. A lot of these companies and a lot of the shareholders at some companies, they are very proud of how their business was created and how it was able to succeed through a recession or two, and overcome a lot of obstacles, except this one.
Now, here’s where it all comes together. Humans, by and large, are pretty lazy. Now, 10 years ago, we didn’t need a real good reason to get off the couch and go to the mall and buy clothes. That’s changed now. To get a human off the couch and into the car, into the mall to buy clothes when they don’t have to, you’ve gotta have something that I call business bait. But what is business bait? Business bait is simply giving them a bigger reason than you needed to give them five years ago. And why do you have to do that? Because they’re lazy. They don’t wanna come to your store. They don’t wanna get off the couch. They’re watching Netflix now, playing with their kids. They’re hanging out. They can get their food delivered. They can get their clothes delivered. They can get everything delivered. So why would they leave the house? Well, a lot of these companies have been trying to figure that out for several years. In 2017, you’re going to have to give your target consumer a much bigger reason to get off their couch, in their car, and drive into your retail location than you had to five years ago. Because they don’t have to.
Now, if you take away clothing, food, things that can now be delivered to consumers, what do we have left? Well, sporting events. People will get off their couch and come out for sporting events. Concerts, a lot of people still love to go to concerts. I don’t think the online world is going to take that away from us anytime soon. Because back to the power of community, people like to gather. Now, how does this tie into retail? Well, this is the best part. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, “The Founder,” or not. Love him or hate him, Ray Kroc was a smart businessman. And Ray Kroc took over that company. He had a vision, and he grew that vision. So let’s look at one thing Ray Kroc did that was one of the keys to his massive success. It’s very simple and it is something that has proven to get people off the couch and out of the house. Ray Kroc installed something called a Playland. And when he did that, all of a sudden, kids in America, they had to go to McDonald’s. They told their parents, “We’re going to McDonald’s.” And the parents really didn’t have a say in the matter as far as I could tell.
Now, I’m not saying the playland is the solution to the problems at RadioShack. But if you look at things that will bring people out of the house, incentivize the parents and families to leave the house, if you are a big-box retail store and you expect to hang clothing up and stock your store shelves with products that can be ordered and delivered online directly to a consumer’s home, if your entire business model is relying on that and you haven’t adapted, and you haven’t evolved, and you haven’t introduced any new and innovative concepts in your store, and changed your business model away from what it was five years ago, you’re going to go the way of the dinosaur. No doubt about it. This is proof. When you go look at the website, you’ll see all the numbers.
Now, for a retail company to survive, moving forward, they need to drastically change their business model and incorporate some of the power of community, combined with fun, and geared towards children. You might wanna write that down. Because children are proven to be able to motivate the parents to get off the couch to go somewhere. And this is evidenced by the industry that is not suffering at the moment, and that’s called the family entertainment center industry.
Now, where I live outside of Dallas Texas, there are hundreds of bowling alleys, trampoline parks, arcades, laser tag, rock climbing, indoor. I’ll even go a little further, indoor volleyball, soccer, basketball. A lot of these indoor fun places geared around younger kids and athletes. Now, we have a new product. It’s a revolutionary soccer training product that was just endorsed by the world’s most famous celebrity, Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s called the ICON. It’s a new soccer training simulator and it’s basically what the batting cage is to baseball, only it’s for soccer. I’ll put that up on the website so that you can see Cristiano Ronaldo demonstrating it in a TAG Heuer commercial that we just released. But that’s just a suggestion. Just an idea. Just something to get the thought there that when you redesign some of these retail stores, they can be redesigned to cater to things that people actually want right now, and are proven to get off the couch and come in and experience. So if you just have the same things you’ve always had that can now be purchased online, you’re going to close your doors and you’re going to end up playing off your employees and I don’t want that to happen.
So I’m very passionate about change in the industry. I hope you can share this with other people. Leave a comment down below with suggestions of what you think will help. I think this is a situation of strength and numbers that, you know, we’re looking at hundreds of thousands of people losing their jobs this year, in 2017, that in my opinion, if the companies make a conscious effort to step out and look at their existing business model from the opposing direction, in other words, look at it from a consumer’s perspective, not from the shareholders perspective, not from the managers or the employees perspective, but look at it from a consumer’s perspective, what are these people leaving their houses to go do? They’re going to watch movies. They’re gonna have fun. They gonna play soccer. They gonna play hockey. They’re gonna swing on monkey bars. You know, there are a lot of things that can be done to capitalize on that need for community and that fun, you know, camaraderie with kids that most of these stores are not doing. They’re just going down at a high rate of speed without changing much of anything from what I see.
Now, some of these names on the list, these big-box stores, some of them may be doing some things. I have not been in every single Payless. I have not been in every single RadioShack. I usually focus on research and most of these companies haven’t done massive changes to their consumer experience.
In summary, consumer behavior is changing. It’s constantly changing. It’s constantly evolving. It always has been and it always will be. We, as a country, have become complacent and very presumptive in how we think consumers are going to behave. And a lot of these companies incorrectly assumed consumers will stop evolving and not change their buying behavior. And that’s proven by the fact that most of these companies have not changed their business models. They’ve got to get innovative. Whoever’s making most of the decisions, they’ve got to get more innovative. If you know someone who works at any of these stores, I encourage you to share this podcast with them. Because if the right people hear what I’m telling you and they’re willing to, instead of closing 200 stores, they’re willing to remodel a section of the store and implement some innovative ideas, ask them to get in touch with us. We do this. Ask them to contact me on the form on our website, thefriscoconsultinggroup.com. We’re able to provide interior remodeling of retail showrooms and implement some of these ideas.
The most powerful change based on our research that we’ve done, and again, I’ve been studying consumer behavior for more than 25 years, the most powerful things that are going to get people back into the stores are going to be fun, interactive, community type things that they can’t order online. Okay? So if the company has to make some sacrifices and change their business model a little bit to offer people what they want, then that’s what needs to happen. The shareholders need to understand this. The managers need to understand this. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
Again, thank you for listening. I hope, together, we can avoid the retail apocalypse. If you know someone who works at any of these stores on the website, please share this with them. We need to get the word out to help some of these companies understand they can simply evolve their business model a little bit. We want to help save American jobs. We’re looking at, like I said, hundreds of thousands of people who are about to lose their jobs this year. And based on our research, and based on proven human psychology, I think we can turn this around.
Thank you for listening. Please subscribe to the new podcast, “Evolution of Marketing.” We really appreciate it. Please leave us a rating in iTunes store if you like what you’ve heard so far. We have a lot more where this came from and most of it’s based on consumer psychology. Let’s save some jobs in America. This is Kevin Saint Clair from The Frisco Consulting Group. And let’s make sure your business is able to evolve, adapt, and succeed. Until next time.”
“Thank you for listening to the “Evolution of Marketing” podcast. If you wanna learn what’s possible for your business, please subscribe, rate, and review this show in the iTunes store. You can also learn more at www.thefriscoconsultinggroup.com. “Evolution of Marketing,” Adapt and evolve your way to success.”