Let the Bloodletting Begin
Well that’s an uplifting way to ring in the new year and new decade! Every year we encounter more and more retailers sending the first salvo of the ‘New Year’s Business Mortality’ results. “Over 9,300 store closings were announced in 2019 up nearly 20% over the previous record store closures in 2017, according to Business Insider. The number of store closings this year could be even higher with estimates from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield as many as 12,000 major chain store closings in 2020. With 2020 only one-week old, retailers have confirmed at least 1,700 stores slated for closure this year, according to the Business Insider analysis.”
Certainly, we attribute the fall of what we formerly called ‘traditional retail’ to a new model and a (r)evolution of buying goods and services at our fingertips. Are we seeing the end of brick & mortar stores as we know it? Retail isn’t the only sector affected and it’s a matter of time before the meatball falls off the dinner table. You have one choice as a leader or THE leader – adapt or die! The mantra of shareholder value for the last four decades has worn itself out, become tiresome and most importantly less relevant than three generations previously. Gone are the days of ‘favorably adjusting the balance sheet’ via eliminating or reassigning employees. Hey, but ’employees are our most important resource!’ Anyone else want to call bullshit on that one? Gone are the days of duplicitous leaders spewing garbage-laden, management-weasel-speak like some charismatic fop bloviating ‘refocus and redeploy critical assets.’ We’re ALL tired of the PC crap – STOP already!
The time to pay that debt is overdue and many markets are seeing the ill effects of repeated failures, overblown egos and ignorance. We studied the same (r)evolution in the 80’s of how the Westinghouse, WorldComm, Enron’s fell asleep at the wheel believing their own press as ‘Master’s of the Universe’ without true meat-on-the-bone solutions to the most pressing and complex challenges faced. Karma’s a bitch and she has no deadline!
“Do you have what it takes to stay the course of change or will you bail out of it to protect your ego?”