Are You Stuck in the 5 Stages of Retail Stagnation Grief?

By: Marshall Gage and Drew Labrosse
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Last modified: December 14, 2017


Branded manufacturers are in the midst of a new go-to-market era. Retail bricks-and-mortar channels are crumbling with store closures and dropping sales, the time has come for brands to seize control of their future. However, instead of taking control of their destinies and moving forward, many brands are stuck somewhere in the 5 stages of retail stagnation grief.

The grief process begins with denial, moves to anger, bargaining, depression and eventually ends with acceptance. Arriving at acceptance means coming to terms with the fact that buying behavior has and will continue to change — and so must the way you reach your customers. To help you move through the 5 stages and future proof your business, we believe an online direct-to-consumer channel will put you on the right path. Here are 5 convincing fast facts about the current state of retail sales and why the time to go direct is now:

  1. More than 8,600 retail stores are expected to close in 2017, according to brokerage firm Credit Suisse.
  2. The National Retail Federation (NRF) projects online sales will grow three times faster than the retail industry.
  3. Amazon and Walmart have both indicated a key part of their strategy is to provide the lowest price for their customers.
  4. Amazon private label brands are taking over market share: sales of AmazonBasics batteries grew 93% YoY; Amazon Elements baby wipes (currently only available to Prime members) already own 16% market share in terms of dollars sold, putting it third behind Huggies (33%) and Pampers (26%).
  5. If they can’t purchase through a manufacturer’s website, 43% of customers put off buying a product.

The evidence of the massive shift in buyer behavior is indisputable, so why are so many brands still stuck in the denial stage rather than taking full advantage of an online direct-to-consumer strategy? The reasons we hear range from worrying about channel conflict, to a lack of ecommerce expertise.

Which stage of retail stagnation grief is your company in?

Heading to CES? Let’s connect to discuss how we can expand globally while reducing your reliance on retail partners with a direct-to-consumer channel. Pre-schedule a meeting with our team today.