Think You Don’t Need A Retail Liquidation Consultant To Close Your Store? Think Again
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As a leading Liquidation Consultant, I’m always monitoring the retail climate, with an eye for the independent retailer and how it will impact them.
My retail liquidation consulting has been accordingly evolving over the years.
The numbers are in and Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home, had an enormous holiday season.
The biggest revenue days ever for the home retailer this year were Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Customers shopping online drove giant sales throughout the holiday weekend.
- A record breaking number of orders were placed via the Wayfair App. The Wayfair App is an award winning piece of software.
- Wayfair clients shopped for the entire house grabbing deals across all categories including: furniture, home improvement items, housewares, sheets, rugs, large appliances and holiday decor, including live Christmas trees.
- Wayfair’s award winning mobile app was taken advantage of by more customers than ever before.
- They experienced an easy and seamless shopping experience via their phone or tablet.
- This app is easy to download, easy to start using and leaves everything saved the way you left it.
- Unlike some shopping apps, it keeps all your items in your cart even if you don’t purchase them after a certain amount of time.
- Many competitive shopping apps do not give you this option. It will also give you updates on deals, if you chose.
Unfortunately, most brick and mortar furniture stores don’t have the technology of Wayfair’s sophisticated app.
Nor do they have the volume of Wayfair’s over 7 million products.
Even if they do have a website, independent retailers are not able to compete with such fulfillment desires as 2 day delivery.
Wayfair also offers a separate professional service with private account managers and a design team for each individual business.
Independent retailers don’t have the separate staff and man power to devote to a whole separate department.
Few small businesses are able to recreate this service model.
The app has many new features that customers absolutely love. One of these new features is called “View in Room”.
The feature caters to a common customer complaint by making it possible for shoppers to see furniture and decor in their room before ordering.
This way a customer can visualize a room put together before they buy.
Customers can use the new feature by clicking the button “View in Room” displayed beneath a product image within Wayfair’s mobile app.
Immediately, the product appears on the device’s screen in camera mode where customers can see their own digitally furnished space and save as an image to share with family and friends.
“View in Room” even lets you walk around products in your own space. Additionally, it lets you zoom in and zoom out.
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Another feature called “Room Planner” helps you recreate and completely transform any space.
Products that you love can be saved together and arranged in a virtual room to help you instantly imagine them in your space.
Being creative has never been easier.
With the “Day of Delivery” feature you don’t have to wonder when your order will arrive!
You can track any package in real time to see when they will be placed at your door.
Push Notifications and Instant Updates are offered to help you be aware of savings!
Recommended products, exclusive sales and more will be gifted to you via their personalized notifications.
More than ever before the Black Friday weekend marked an increase in sales with more clients than ever before finding thousands of holiday promotions and Flash Deals across Wayfair’s millions of home products.
Wayfair has said “we are excited to see the continued growth and momentum as shopping behavior increasingly shifts online and more and more customers discover Wayfair’s unparalleled shopping experience including award-winning customer service and fast, free delivery.
All of these features are examples of the many innovations Wayfair is rolling out to continuously enhance the mobile shopping experience for consumers.
Online purchasing will continue its upward trajectory, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The most money was spent by Holiday shoppers on Cyber Monday in 2019 ($9.1 billion) followed by $7.2 billion spent by shoppers on Black Friday.
Cyber Monday’s sales increased by 20.5% and Black Friday by 19.9%, both holidays had the biggest growth compared to 2018.
Here are some incredible facts that highlight how well the Wayfair model is working and the difficulty independent retailers will have competing with their systems:
- Wayfair customers shopped for the entire household throughout the holiday period.
- On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Wayfair sold a vanity every 10 seconds, a love seat every seven seconds, a chair every four seconds and a floor covering every second.
- Fun for the Family – entertainment stands with built in fireplaces and home movie night popcorn machines were widely sold.
Customers purchased and entertainment stand every four seconds on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Beverage and wine refrigerators were very popular in a wide variety of models. Also some smaller, counter size units were picked up as gifts.
- Blenders, air fryers, coffee makers and KitchenAid stand mixers also sold in record numbers for the kitchen.
- Shoppers took advantage of Wayfair’s free and fast delivery with no order minimums to purchase large appliances for the home.
- Along thousands of appliances from major brands, refrigerators, ovens, washers and dryers were selected.
- Surprisingly backyard spaces even came to mind this holiday weekend with all kinds of kid friendly inflatable houses and slides seeing huge growth in sales. Lawn games and swing sets were also very popular. Almost 200 tons of swing sets were shipped during the five day holiday period.
- Some of the most massive items ordered included a 3,000 pound Victorian Mansion DIY Kit Playhouse and a more than 2,700 pound gazebo.
- Holiday Hub was a new launch for Wayfair this year. Customers took advantage of Wayfair’s breadth of holiday items to dress up their homes for the season.
- Approximately every 10 seconds a Christmas tree was purchased on Black Friday and Cyber Monday..
- Customers also splurged on Wayfair’s offering live greenery. Life-size nutcrackers and tree skirts rounded out the trendy decor items sold.
Customers are finding the ease of online shopping and the use of apps as their preferred way to shop.
Wayfair and other giants like Amazon will continue to find top notch ways to reward customers for shopping on their platforms.
This trend is only going to keep growing leaving independent retail owners shops empty. 9 times out of 10 this season is a make or break time for these retailers.
Without this technology and award winning service, independent retailers will be unable to compete even during the holiday shopping season.
I’ve been a very successful liquidation consultant for decades. I’ve helped many wonderful people climb out of the decline of their business.
Especially in the furniture and home space, I have helped many people close their business profitably with their reputation intact.
I have helped independent furniture owners like Allan, the owner of a large furniture, home, & gifts store located in Pennsylvania.
He contacted me after seeing one of my videos on YouTube.
Like many retailers, he started with the best of intentions for profit and long term sustainability.
But after several years found himself with rapidly declining sales amongst big box and online competition.
Allan had big dreams of what his business could mean for his family. He carried top brand living and bedroom furniture, with an emphasis in dining and bars.
Had put everything into his business, his time and his money, making sure every detail was done to perfection.
Had many people come through and take pictures of his gorgeous displays only to find and purchase it online.
Allan was devastated by this practice. Done everything right and wasn’t seeing the sales from all his efforts.
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I am sure that most small business owners can relate to that pain and frustration.
Most importantly his sales were declining every single month and he knew he had to do something, so he reached out to me.
After a private consultation with me he proceeded to do even more diligence to be confident in his decision to work with me.
I understand that it is never an easy decision to close a business and I made sure that I knew everything about his unique situation.
We discussed all his fears and worries and how I would be responsible for running the sale while he continued to run his business.
He confided in me that he felt there was nothing he could do to turn the sales around and that things out of his control, like the changing retail climate were not going to get better.
After talking with me he felt confident that he could exit his business successfully and start his next chapter.
Allan told me that the biggest thing he was looking forward to was relieving the stress he had been under for many months.
He confided that his biggest weakness was marketing and getting people in the door.
I told him that he was in good hands and as long as he followed everything I told him to do, he would have great success.
I helped him launch the sale with tremendous success and the success sustained itself for 11 weeks when he finally closed his doors forever.
Yes, even with businesses like Wayfair you can have a successful and profitable going out of business sale in the furniture space.
I have perfected my systems over more than 20 years in the store closing business.
Allan is the perfect example of the types of clients that contact me daily needing help with the exit strategy for their business.
I am the first one to tell them that they have done nothing wrong.
I applaud them for taking the same risks my dad did years ago in leaving the employment of Sam Walton to venture out on his own.
When the experts in the business are calling online retail the “destructive destruction” according to a new study from credit insurance company Euler Hermes, independent retailers can’t blame themselves.
This is the new retail climate and as Allan stated “online isn’t going away”.
Smart owners are seeing that this disruption will be difficult to weather.
Independent furniture store owners are absolutely feeling this disruption deeply. As shown above the numbers for holiday sales for Wayfair were incredible.
Businesses like this and Amazon will continue to hone their systems and ease of ordering.
If you are an independent business owner and more specifically an independent furniture store owner then you really need to ask yourself, what is the exit strategy?
All businesses have a life cycle and you need to assess where your business is within that cycle.
Many have never considered the question.
What does the future of your business look like?
Do you believe you will be able to sustain the blows from the online “destructive destruction”?
The majority of business owners are telling me no.
There are many ways to shut down a business, even if it isn’t doing great numbers currently.
The important thing is to make the decision BEFORE the big decline happens because it makes it incredibly hard, if not impossible to close profitably when that happens.
My best advice as a leading liquidation consultant to you, if online sales are impacting your sales and you are seeing the decline in sales is: DON’T WAIT.
- Don’t wait to get your questions answered.
- Don’t wait to speak to an expert in this field and see what is possible for your unique situation.
- More importantly do not try to close your business with a sale and then look to get help. At that point I can’t help even if I wanted to.
- The other guys will tell you that they can come in and clean up your mess but I can’t.
- Remember you get one shot to get this right. One.
- You can exit your business profitably with your head held high or you can lose your money and your reputation in the process.
The decision is yours.