I’m Back and Better than Ever

9 Jun

Getting Better

It’s been months since I have written a blog post, fortunately it is due to the fact that I have been too busy. The last quarter has been a huge departure from this time last year and the year before. Our local retailers here in Philadelphia have made changes,for numerous reasons. Many are moving locations due to landlord renovations and the rebound of rental costs, downsizing is apparent. Regional malls are busy filling the spaces vacated by the nationals during the recession. Short term leases given to locals seeking the traffic a mall can provide are popping up everywhere. Due to this movement Lynne and I have been stretched to the max. I can barely leave my phone with all the “follow-thru” going on.

Perhaps the worse is over, retail has been culled of the non-performers and those who have nothing new to offer and it’s about time. Those choosing to attempt a new retail concept must have a sound business plan and plenty of cash to survive the first 3 years. Retail is no longer a pastime for bored “empty-nesters” [which used to include most of my customer base]

The generational shift is continuing to force established retailers to examine their business model as “boomers” retire and re-examine their buying habits due to fixed incomes. Movement is occurring everywhere as giant retailers struggle to target the younger buyer. J.C. Penny has launched a mammoth campaign to lure new customers. On the other hand Sears is suffering a slow painful death due to a lack of creativity and an aging customer base.

As I count myself among that “aging” customer base, I have had to exert a colossal effort to stay in front of the curve. My post recession client is half my age. As a designer I must spend more time to familiarize myself with new materials and methods of display that are in step with my very fashion savvy clientele. Just as in all matters the “Yin Yang” holds true. My years of experience afford me a large library of solutions for every retail quandary. I find this to be a comfort but also a challenge to apply my time-tested methods to a new set of requirements presented by younger clients.

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