Thoughts on Retailing
This post on Motley Fool is well worth a study if you are interested in retail.
Every time we see a wavering vision of ‘core customer,’ we can predict disaster. Witness Talbots. Or Walmart for that brief stretch beginning when they promoted a former Target exec to head of merchandising — he immediately went for new target customers (plural!). Walmart fired him late last year and they have been coming back on track since.
Contrast that with one gruff old-school retailer — the CEO of a then-successful regional competitor to Sears. He described his customer succinctly as (something like): ‘She’s 55, 38C’. (I may not have this exactly, but one fashion executive in the room audibly choked when he heard the comment.) Now this isn’t to say that all of this retailer’s shoppers were this woman — but whether it was sofas, men’s accessories, juniors, infants, cosmetics, whatever, this shopper would be right at home, comfortable with everything offered — whether for herself, her husband, her daughter or her grandchildren. Unfortunately, the retailer didn’t long survive this CEO — it was gone within a few years of his passing.