Without a doubt retail has been in turmoil for sometime, everywhere we look from the traditional High Street, to those household name Department Stores that at one time seemed invincible. 

They told us prior to this pandemic the reason it's all falling apart is because of an outdated high rent/rates model.

Throw in a worldwide pandemic and we see the true extent of retail 'Darwinism' at play

If it's not the rent/rates argument it's the old chestnut of blaming 'online'.

As most of us have been told to 'stay at home' the hospitality industry have had to face some extremely difficult challenges, which include playing hokey cokey with employee availability, to either throwing away all manner of consumables and then having to repurchase them - just in case!

Several have adapted to provide a 'home delivery' service and now compete with established 'take away' establishments like the 'Chinese Takeaway'.

If you forgive the analogy - when businesses talk about 'innovating' what we tend to see is something like getting out that Chinese menu, studying it for 5 minutes and ordering the same thing you ordered last time!

I've been around the retail industry for sometime operating across all areas and channels of the retail enterprise, so I do understand that there's no silver bullet to all these problems. 

So what can all channel retailers learn from where the industry is going, what can they learn from huge successes that don't yet seem to be impacting their 'Why'?

When you launch an 'employee advocacy' program it's a fact that most employees will need to leverage their own 'social footprint' in order to start the 'advocacy' ball rolling.

In reality this means they will commence getting the message out there via their first degree friends, family, and business connections. For some of them this will initially be a  difficult a thing to agree to as it is for the company wanting to leverage their network.

If the training to do this is delivered by qualified professionals it unleashes an amazing 'Superpower' - if used 'strategically' social media might just be one part of the 'silver bullet' solution you are looking for.

China is leading the way for 'social media' innovation, as such if you and your leadership team don't have a focus, watching brief and looking to test and trial what several of these huge companies are doing in the biggest market in the world then you might as well pack up now.

Social platforms like 'TikTok' might seem yet another millennial or Gen Z fad to you, but if I told you that in 2019 and 2020 the app was downloaded more than any of the Facebook stable of apps including Instagram. 

What about 'live streaming', do you even know what it is, what it can do to help you recover your 'Why'? Most of the live-streaming campaigns today are simply sales pitches. 

Content quality is not too different from the most traditional TV infomercial. Even for brands with the largest live-streaming audience, such as Xiaomi, Adidas and Kiehl’s. This used to make sense since traditionally live-streaming target particular audiences who are price-sensitive and have lots of free time. 

All of this is here NOW, your leadership team you should at least be aware of it at worst, and be testing some of it today at best.

I can't say it enough - what was is no more!!!!

Rear view mirrors are for looking at where you have been and what's behind. 

The windscreen is to allow you to see where you're going, and that Sat Nav can help you get there but you still have to do the driving - for now!

So if your leadership team spend more time looking in the rear view mirror don't be surprised when you run into bumps in the road, which will also end up with a crash.