The Horrors of 2018 Retail
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Categories: Thought Leadership

The Horrors of 2018 Retail


It’s Halloween, and the horrors of 2018 retail have come back to haunt us. 2018, like last  year, has been at times shaky on the retail success side. But, from every horror story, there is always a lesson to be learned. The bright note is that we need to learn from some of the horrors of 2018 retail to learn adapt, and kickoff 2019 on a much more successful footing.

Related: Is foot traffic still important? 

Retail Bankruptcies

One of the horrors of 2018 retail were a few surprising and a few expected bankruptcies.  Bankruptcies this year include Mattress Firm, Toys R’Us, Claires, Sears …. While many people believe the nightmarish term ‘the retail apocalypse’, we like to attribute these shifts in retail power to changing customer demands and expectations. The flicker of light on this stormy eve is to keep up with your customer and stay true to your brand. That includes providing the now very expected omnichannel services customers are getting used to.

Only 37.6% of Retailers Provide Omnichannel Services

OrderDynamics’ SuperConsumer Research found that 69% of customers have tried click and collect. Retailers not having it readily available could be the reason for some of the horrifying demises! Okay maybe it’s not THAT bad, but having omnichannel services engages customers. That’s good for encouraging return customers, new customers, and a positive overall brand experience. The experience is what it’s really about. Ok – no scares or surprises here….

Retail Experiences Gone Wrong

One of the biggest horrors in 2018 retail was a certain teddy bear retailer’s promotion.  Smash success (kind-of), but the retailer was just not prepared for the demand after the pay your age promotion event in July. Parents and children left frustrated, upset, and disappointed at how the promotion turned out. Lines had to be cut off. Malls became overcrowded. People who waited hours left with nothing. Oh the horrors!

Retailers, questions to ask yourself before your next promotion:  Is it a good time of year to use your promotion? Is it appropriate? Will people like it? Will you be able to meet demand? Will it convenience people and provide for a better experience? Do you have a backup plan or Plan B?  The thing to fear most this Halloween is giving your customers a scare they did NOT want. Worse yet is the scare that was just too lame to notice.

Here are some other ways to learn from retail failures. 

Did you find these things as horrifying as we did? Tweet us to let us know about other horrifying retail stories for the year that we may have missed. Oh … and have a Safe & Happy Halloween!