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Retailers Taking The Offensive


Recent article by Peter Pishko:
"It's Over and Done But The Heartache Lives On"

Consumer confidence is up once again, albeit a small increase attributed to the Cash for Clunkers program initiated by the Federal government.

We have gone through all of the hard decisions during the past 12 months, cutting to the bare bones of our organizations, jettisoning some staff and operations that should have been cut from our organization long ago, but also letting go of some talent and expensive endeavors or plans for expansion that in these economic times are not cost effective; all very smart moves for survival, but now where do we go?

The decision to cut staffing levels at our executive levels have made for some grateful employees who are 1) very happy to be employed, 2) loyal employees because the loyalty thing goes both ways, 3) over worked because they are picking up tasks and functions their former colleagues, bosses, underlings used to perform.

Our store level employees have been cut to bare bones, staffing is at a minimum, affecting customer service and loss prevention. One employee reported to me that they have no security in their building on a regular basis, maybe two or three times a week for 6 hours.

The decision to terminate employees is not an easy one; it has been shown that it is often more stressful to let staff go than to actually be the one being let go. Yet our employees carry on and they are asking the same questions we do: where do we go from here?

The defensive moves have been made, but the game is not won on defense alone. Time to return to our playbooks and take a look at the offense and who to put into the game, evaluate the whole playing field. We have survived but the game is not over...

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