December 04, 2018
Retail PTSD | Ain't No Bull
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Retail has been in turmoil for the last 36 months. The paradigm shift away from brick and mortar store visitation towards e-commerce has been dramatic. The simple notion that nothing matters more than having a package delivered to your door has led the revolution.
In a series of articles, I explore scenarios that are traumatizing the folks in the retail and service industry trenches. The question remains how entrepreneurs who are affected will be able to cope after the "Going Out of Business" is done. Unfortunately, large market companies are so focused on the growth of a business that predatory practices are acceptable and the nature of local cottage businesses is being rapidly eaten.
Entrepreneurs who have programmed a business strategy into their DNA have been short-circuited by the rapid adoption of immediacy and desocialization. The fact is that the retail experience is being nullified by our rapid acceptance of large market platforms such as Amazon, Wayfair, and others that encourage these trends.
PLEASE REMIND YOURSELF IT IS NOT THE FAILURE BY WHICH YOU WILL BE JUDGED ... BUT RATHER YOUR ENTHUSIASM AND SPIRIT FOR HOW YOU PROCEED EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY THEREAFTER!
The owner's entrepreneurial spirit believes that 12 years of being part of the community mean something to his clients and that customer service will win out. 24 months later and financially crippled, the realization hits that the family's savings and assets are gone. Emotionally it is worse, the customer base is not concerned by the closure of another business, and the owner is whirling in thoughts as to how they are going to find a way out of this devastation. Self-doubt, age constraints for starting anew, marital conflicts, and lack of sleep begin to take their toll. Loyal customers show up with the intent of picking the carcass clean of any good morsel for the cheap price of 70% off, or worse throw that in FREE! The emotions well up and the ability to stay rational leaves as the calendars' months role past. The night sweats, the fear of the mailbox and inbox arises, and the feeling of being lost seeps into every pore of the body.
Due to the lengthy time exposure over which the trauma occurs, the recovery time is equally as long. There are so few folks out there that can begin to comprehend the personal loss by these entrepreneurs that it may take them years to recover, if at all. For those that can still afford services, there are firms such as MeadowLark Advisors who can guide the company through liquidation. But what happens to those that cannot afford professional advice and do not realize they need help to cope with the Retail PTSD. Not many folks understand that the entrepreneurial spirit is also a creative spirit that takes failure to heart. It is as if someone took their very core essence and placed it in a jar and shook so hard it became a fluid gel, that is Retail PTSD.
Case Study 2: to be continued...
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