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Seven Critical Things Specialty Retailers

Must do to Survive in the Amazon Era


By Bob Phibbs, , The Retail Doctor®

Before I share how specialty retailers can survive and thrive, I must ask, have you ever played Jenga? It’s a game where players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed from the bottom is then placed on the top of the tower, thus creating a progressively taller but less stable structure.

A lot of specialty retailers operate their businesses as if they are playing Jenga – they get some loyal customers, build a brand and in their own way, they build their tower. Like a lot of Jenga players, they do many things right in the beginning.

But when the inevitable winds of change blow with increased competition for retailers, they can be rocked to the core or even collapse. For example, Forbes last week reported that the United States boasts 10 times more square footage for retailing than most other countries. That means there are more places to buy more stuff than anywhere else in the world.

Some retailers run to technology for salvation as fewer shoppers linger at the mall, walk into stores and buy less impulsively. But those retailers are just building a taller tower. As time goes by, every business notices holes in its foundation. How its managers handle those holes tends to separate them into two camps: They either settle for where they are and fall backwards, or they push themselves to keep moving forward and thrive.

Those brands or stores whom I have the privilege of consulting with always seem to be working to create a stronger foundation, or if some of their metaphoric blocks are weak, they bring me in to strengthen their existing foundation. Here are seven critical things specialty retailers must do to thrive.

 Read the full article in the Members Only section

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RRetailers, Servicers, Suppliers: A Call for Industry Participation

For more than 75 years, the North American Retail Dealers Association has been the voice of independent appliance, electronics, bedding and furniture retailers. Through education, representation and a host of benefits, NARDA has worked diligently for all retailers.

Here’s how you can help both the industry and your own enterprise: NARDA is now moving forward into new areas and seeks volunteers that can give an hour or less each month to help guide the association. Please indicate your interest and you will be contacted and given more information.

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NARDA also is asking you to identify the areas in which it can assist you and your business. Whether it is legislation, education, legal services, publications, repair service or cloud-based services, please indicate which issues are most important to you. The very best suggestions will receive a $100 gift card.

Please express your willingness to volunteer and suggestions to

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North American Retail Dealers Association
222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2100
Chicago IL 60606
Phone: 312.648.0649 or 800.621.0298 (US Only)
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