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retailers do as the online behemoths wade into brick & mortar in 2022?
You’ve seen the headlines about 2022 being the year that Wayfair will
start to step more deliberately into the brick-and-mortar world. Amazon is
doing the same. The mere mention of both of these online giants conjures
up concern and an ominousness from all HFA member retailers. No matter
their size, the retailers I speak with daily always seem to sense that
they can’t compete in the online world with these behemoths. Even if they
can, it’s in some ways like a gnat bothering an elephant.
Who is the Disruptor?
I want to challenge that thinking not just as a cheerleader for the
industry but as someone who heard something interesting at the HFA CEO
Summit in October.
We know that most transactions start digitally, but most sales are
finalized in a store. In your store! Some surveys place that percentage as
80 percent or higher.
It’s true that Wayfair, Amazon, and others in the eCom space are
disrupting the way that retailers across the board do business. However,
as they seek to tiptoe into the world of furniture store brick and mortar,
remember that they are walking directly into your territory, looking to
find ways to do what you do best. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Maybe it’s time to see your home furnishing retail business as a disruptor
that has the power to disrupt the plans of those giants in the eCom world.
Draw a Line in the Sand
I’m not suggesting that you ignore eCom; quite the opposite. You need to
have your feet in all of the channels that lead to sales and bottom line
profits. What I am saying is that now is the time to do what you do best,
better than you ever have. Those HFA members who are winning right now are
aware of the competition and the external disruption, yet they’re focusing
hard on what has made brick-and-mortar great. It’s the customer contact
that electronic communications cannot replicate.
So how about becoming the disruption rather than adjusting to disruptors?
Draw the line in the sand that no eCom entity, no matter how large, will
do brick-and-mortar better than you. It’s the best card you can play; it’s
what you know; it’s what you do best. Don’t try to beat them at their own
game. Beat them at yours.
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A feature about Home Furnishings Association's retail members, legislation affecting the furniture industry and other retail news from HFA.