Three separate retail news items in the Big Box world spell opportunity for local retailers and media. All three events occurred recently within key categories.
1. Best Buy Closing 50 Stores
Chances are pretty good there’s a Best Buy store near you closing soon. Why is this important? There are opportunities for independent appliance and electronics retailers to grab vacated market share. Even if this isn’t happening in your neighborhood, independent stores need help in their battle against the Amazons of the world. (Just like Best Buy does … ahem, I mean, did.) Some stores — like Wettstein’s in La Crosse, WI — are already well-positioned to take on challenges like these. Seek them out. Then help them.
2. Ashley Opening 50 Sleep Shops
This year Ashley Furniture plans to open 50 Zzz’s Sleep Shops, with ‘thousands more’ on the way. You could argue that furnishings and mattress spending are trending up, but if this isn’t a wake-up call for local bedding retailers, I don’t know what is. Those who wait to “react” to this as it develops in front of them will be fighting an uphill battle. Ashley is not the type to quietly enter a local market.
3. Cable Operators Enter Residential Security Market
Comcast and Time Warner may soon join the competitive field in residential security services in your market, if they haven’t already. Smart, local security providers can ride this wave of additional competitive noise to increased residential leads if they have a well-timed and efficient retail plan in place. Because chances are good that Time Warner and Comcast will not. Operators like Jim Callahan of Ackerman Security (ESA ROI2012 featured presenter) are meeting this challenge head-on.
The interplay between Big Box and local independent retail is an ongoing battle — one which continues to serve up a stream of opportunity and challenges at the local level. Be sure to stay on top of this info. Follow ESA on Twitter or Facebook to get your daily helping of market intel!
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.