“It’s because of the weather . . . our location . . . the stars” and other excuses are heard for why sales are low during hard times.
It was during the recession of the 1980s when I first came to understand that “It’s Always the Product” is a fundamental Law of all retail. When business is bad and there is a general economic slump, the proper execution of all Five Laws (or lack thereof) comes into sharper focus.
When times are good and it seems like almost anything sells, this situation can cover up a multitude of violations of any or all of The Five Laws. But when times are hard, retailers seem to look for explanations anywhere other than their violations of The Five Laws. More than likely, they’ll make excuses to explain the negative performance and blame it on external circumstances:
- “It’s the weather.”
- “The store is in a bad location.”
- “We need more advertising.”
- “Maybe if the salespeople provided better customer service.”
- “The price is too high.”
- ”If only we had a bigger sign on the street.”
- “It’s the wrong shade of green.”
- “The moon has moved into Sagittarius, and that’s a bad sign for polyester blouses.”
Any or all those things might or might not be true and have an effect on sales. But if the product is not right, nothing in the world will make it sell and be successful. This is usually a big part of the true explanation for what’s going on when sales are low.
Yet if the product is right, it can succeed even during a recession.
This is an excerpt from my book, The Five Laws of Retail, to be released Spring 2019. You’ll want to do the exercise at the end of the section, The Third Law: It’s Always the Product. Be sure to fill out the contact form to be one of the first to learn when the book is released.