The Recovery and Re-Invention

3 Sep

It’s been more than a month since my last post and that’s a “good thing” Been up to my ears in work, it’s about time. I’ve spent the last two years moaning the demise of retail as I knew it, but now is the time to LET IT GO!  ON TO THE NEXT!….Adopt a new attitude and forget what you used to do…. and think about what you CAN do. That’s exactly what I’ve done

The reasons for my personal economic recovery are numerous, I have had major revelations in the approach to my profession. I will attempt to explain each. The first was not clear at first, but has become incredibly clear to me of late. I’ve been in toiling in retail for some thirty years with a group of clients who have  been retailing for the same length of time as me. Engaged in our working partnership we have “grown up” together in our respective careers and just as we mature from adolescence to adulthood we all travel different roads. The difference between me and my clients is simply that my artistic nature is part and parcel of my profession, not an avocation [ like a few retailers I know] my profession was not chosen by default setting. Many of my clients have faced this recession bravely but are just about finished with the retail game, fed up, they want nothing  more than retirement. I do not blame them, I understand fully their wish to get out, its been real tough, this is what I do best and I’ve never been better at what I do. I still gain satisfaction from the results of my artistic efforts and being a part of the success achieved by my clients. Almost two generations have passed since the beginning of our collective efforts, if they choose to fade away so be it. For myself quitting is not an option, I’m not ready to give up. It’s time to move on and RE-INVENT myself…like Cher

Remember this Cher?

I have been fortunate to have placed enough “Irons in the Fire” and spread around enough good karma to tap into different market segments and a younger client base. My second revelation “a younger client”  who is in the midst of growing a NEW business is the best way to move on.  A new business can benefit from my years of experience without the preconceived notions of what will work or not work to define their emerging  identity. A new start-up is without the baggage of the ” tried and true ” methods employed by me and my old-established companies. Working with a new generation forces one to cast aside my old “stock” solutions and see their business through their eyes [ which prevents me from going stale ] Case in point; I started my relationship with Revzilla Motorsports, about three years ago. It was simply a store planning referral, little did I know what this connection would portend. Young, aggressive and successful in growing their business they have energized my creative powers beyond anything I have experienced for years. Revzilla has also dropped me into a new merchandise category, cycle apparel and accessories [ a recession-proof boy toy category] a far cry from my high-end [ and now too old to purchase anything ] women’s wear clients. Womens is not the place to be these days unless you are a member of the blessed 1% or cheap like Wal-Mart [ nothing is as exciting as a new product catagory]

Biker Cher for Revzilla

The last realization I’ve come to is to reach a larger market. After years of servicing the owner-operated speciality store, I’ve switched my sights to target a market with growth possibilities. I have posted on this subject before, but since I have succeeded in landing a new growth client I will relate the news. The recession hit the suburban mall harder than the owner operated shop. The future of  the middle-income shopping mall is doubtful. The downturn saw national outfits closing units by the hundreds, leaving once thriving centers to become ghost towns. I’ve been receiving calls to mock-up display in empty spaces for a quite awhile, far more often than the shops still in business [ who can no longer afford my services ] A few months ago I received a call from one such client to inform me that they had acquired management of a “Mall in Peril ” A mass exodus of tenants left an unappealing selection of retailers to attract shoppers and little chance of landing new leases to fill the thirty-five vacant spaces. Not a good thing for the mall, but a very good thing for Lynne and I. We were asked to cross-merchandise  existing tenants products into the plastic tarp covered window spaces creating the illusion of habitation. [ essentially Dress it up! and hide the truth] The face-lift to this dated 80’s structure, helps quell the fears of those shops remaining and increases the chances of new shops taking up residence. Needless to say a good thing for all involved. The future possibilities of multiple sites in need of help and yearly contracts sound real good to me.



Then the best of all Chers..The Blond Cher



Everyday I read still another “recovery” article in the news, more propaganda hoisted by another politician trying to get re-elected, I’m sick to death of all of them and I’m not waiting any longer for a miraculous solution. Recovery will only come when we shake our self-pity,sense of entitlement and ferret out new opportunities. Nothing good comes without hard work and self-examination.Cast off the past concepts of what you used to do…RETAIL IS CHANGE… Look at Cher the queen of re-invention, she would tell you the same thing..Stop complaining! Get off your ass and brave a new direction.

Take a look at the Mall Transformation


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