It’s Halloween — the holiday that has everyone hiding behind the sofa. And what better way to mark the spooky season than with an exploration of the things frightening top tier retailers. Read on… if you dare.
1) Shrink – the $100bn bogeyman
The menacing blob of retail shrink continues to grow and grow – threatening not just profits but future investments and even the very nature of the way we shop. Theft, organized crime and inefficiencies are painting previously pristine white balance sheets an unfortunate shade of red. But don’t just take our word for it — here’s the National Retail Federation research showing shrink is now a near $100bn problem for US retailers.
2) Afraid of the dark
A worldwide energy crisis doesn’t bode well for retailers looking to stay connected. In the UK the rumor mill has been hinting at mid-winter blackouts for weeks, while in North America retailers face the ominous threat of further rises in energy costs. Could your store estate cope without power or a missing WiFi connection? What would happen if the lights went out?
3) The cost of living crisis
The undead have it difficult but only the living have to cope with today’s horrifying cost of living. In the US, Canada and UK inflation has hit 40-year-highs. North American consumers are struggling with rising interest rates and soaring healthcare costs, while European mortgage rates and energy bills only ever seem to creep up. Globally, retailers face a devilishly difficult choice this Fall. Pass additional costs onto consumers by raising prices, or freeze prices and suffer dwindling profits? And don’t forget the looming threat of reputational damage too – as this article on Canadian ‘greedflation’ shows.
4) Labor shortages
Normal Halloweens see bodies everywhere, but retail is suffering from a shortage of souls willing, able and available to staff shops and other industry positions. Last month BRC suggested UK retailers have 100,000 positions vacant, while figures reveal US retail – itself suffering an acute labor shortage – had a high quit rate of around 4% over the summer. Canadian retailers are also struggling to fill retail roles. Can your retail operation cope with skeleton staff?
5) Dwindling loyalty
Abundant choice and multichannel competition means customers are less likely to remain loyal to brands – unless they are given additional reasons to stay faithful. Personalization, a sharper brand purpose and an improved customer experience can stop the churn. But many retailers live in fear their monolithic systems can’t cope with additional capabilities or pressure.
It doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom this Halloween. Candy, costumes and fun-themed food all offer a great opportunity to excite customers and generate revenue. In fact Halloween spend is growing and could reach $10.6bn in the US alone this year. And with Flooid, retailers have the perfect platform to re-energize productivity, slash the specter of shrink and re-animate the point-of-sale experience… whether it’s online, offline, self-serve or associate-led. Speak to our team today about lowering TCO, while raising your retail game.