Bye-Bye, Brick & Mortars?

You’ve seen it splashed across headlines.
A sensational retail doomsday is upon us.

It’s enough to cause panic. Every one of these articles has devastating stats on stores that you used to go to.

“JCPenney recently announced it will be closing 140 U.S. stores.”
 – Multichannel Merchant

“More than twice as many stores have closed this year than at the same point last year. ”
Olean Times Herald

“More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry…”
New York Times

Yep, devastating.

I hark back to the days of the neighborhood Ben Franklin, or Venture stores, where my mom bought me Hotwheels and Napoleon pastries. These are my first memories of shopping, but where have these stores gone? And what’s different about retail today?

Online shopping is the main culprit for the recent mass exodus. Brick and mortar closures are just a product of technology and the times. But what about when stores or brands stop innovating? Or when they panic and chase everyone, losing sight of their customer and what they did best when they started? *Cough* Sears *Cough*

The reality is that change is inevitable. It doesn’t stop to ask if we’re ready, it just does its thing and watches us scramble to figure it out. Those companies with agile leaders, the wave riders, are the ones who get it – who embrace it – leaving the dinosaurs in their dust.

But truth be told, it’s not that bad for retail. If buzzworthy headlines are making your head spin, try this one on for size:

Don’t Be Fooled: Retail’s Demise Is Greatly Exaggerated

See? It’s not so bad.

In fact, almost 90% of retail transactions from shopping, purchasing, and returning still take place at brick and mortar locations. It’s true. New brands and retailers pop up all the time. The retail sky is not falling. It’s just changing, like it always has.

Instead of relying on brick and mortar locations to launch new products, smart startups use the online channel to launch their companies, giving a greater perception of size and sustenance. It’s absolutely a great model to test and learn in our fickle, fast-paced retail world. Some of those same companies are now building true brick and mortars, creating wonderful in-store experiences for their customers. Did anyone think Warby Parker or Amazon(!) would have a physical location some day? The fact is, people of all ages still love to shop in stores. You can’t beat trying something on, seeing it in-person, holding that tangible item in your hands as you carry it to the register to make it yours.

Brick and mortars might be taking a hit, but when was the last time you went to WetSeal or The Limited? It’s the innovative brands that are still players. And you can be one of them.

So how do you navigate the ripples and waves of retail?

  1. Assess Your Performance at Retail – Take a hard look at what you’re doing in every retail channel: in-store, online, experiential, marketing advertising... Is it getting the job done, or do you have some obvious gaps? Is there consistency in your brand’s efforts? How do you know? You have to start by asking yourself the right questions. If you’re stumped about what those might be, we’ve got a quick assessment you should try. Thank us later.

  2. Set Goals and Be Realistic – You might find that you’re doing everything perfectly. But if you’re one of the 99% who aren’t, don’t feel paralyzed by what needs improvement. Once you've assessed, you'll have to be realistic about what to do and how to accomplish it. Quick and minor efforts can yield immediate results, but others may need some long-term planning and bigger budgets. Do what you can with what you’ve got. Just don’t sit idle.

  3. Execute Internally or with a Partner – 90% of bottlenecks occur in this step. This is where ineffective solutions, disjointed executions and wasted money happen. So how do you filter through the noisy suggestions and half-baked ideas? How do you create a strategy that serves your goals? By building a team or finding an experienced partner who aligns with those goals – who has your best interests in mind.

I can’t stress enough, this new retail wave is leveling the playing field for companies of all sizes. Retail giants and startups are on equal footing now. But this also creates a whole new set of marketing challenges. You’ll need to think holistically, engage more intimately and make every customer experience seamless. To accomplish that, you’ll need a particular approach. We call it Continual Retail, and it helps brands thrive through recognition, differentiation, and engaging customers in stores, online and anywhere in between.

Like we said, the first step is figuring out where you stand. Take our assessment to find your strengths and where you need to focus. We’ll be with you every step of the way.

Continual Retail is here. See if you’re ready for it.


What is Continual Retail?

Retail is changing. You know it.
Your competitors know it.

Even your customers know it. But what you may not know is how to turn that challenge into an opportunity. To stop playing catch up to new technology and new consumer expectations, and instead get one step ahead of what the rest of the industry is doing and create a bold new future for your brand.

The good news is, retail doesn’t have to be rocket science. So how do you put your brand on the right track? It starts with having the right strategy. Succeeding in today’s retail environment takes more than good prices and good products. Consumers are smarter than ever, and the retailers that are succeeding are the ones who build comprehensive, cohesive experiences. The kind that start engaging consumers before they even step in the store, and stick with them until the next time they shop.

That’s why we created a custom, retail-centric strategy that is designed to help brands look at their approach as a whole, identify their strengths and weaknesses, and create a cohesive approach to connecting with consumers. We call it Continual Retail. With this strategy, we’ll work with you to identify what’s working (and what isn’t) in your approach, and show you how to craft a shopping experience that consumers will never forget. Here’s how it works.

Crafting the right strategy to connect with your consumers starts with defining the four key areas you need to deliver on: Brand, In-Store, Digital, and Experiential. Let’s take a look at each.


It may seem obvious, but too often, companies get so focused on specific marketing tactics that they lose focus on the bigger picture of what their brand stands for. Is your brand unique and memorable? Is it relevant to your customers and the current market landscape? Is it at the core of every decision you make? Your brand should inform every part of your retail strategy. It should breathe life into your displays, guide your digital approach, and excite your consumers at every touchpoint. Continual Retail starts with showing you how to take a brand-focused approach to retail, which is at the core of creating a cohesive strategy that actually works.


Despite the growing impact of online shopping, 90% of retail sales are still made in stores. That’s why your in-store signage, displays and other collateral need to support your strategy at the same time as they drive sales. Well-designed displays build your brand, demonstrate product benefits and differentiate you from the competition. And applying a consistent creative approach helps you build awareness and affinity from consumers.


Even if e-commerce isn’t at the heart of your sales strategy, you can’t underestimate the value and impact of an effective digital strategy. This includes everything from app design to social media and email strategies to coupons and more. It also helps you to gather actionable audience information, so you can better understand your customers as a whole and as individual shoppers. And most importantly, your digital strategy can help support and increase the effectiveness of the other parts of your retail approach.


One of the best ways to build brand loyalty is to show your customers something unexpected. With Experiential design, you have the opportunity to create unique experiences that both support your overall brand/retail strategy and delight your fans. Want to build a pop-up shop in Times Square to show off a new product line? Or take your products on tour in a custom-designed Airstream camper? The unique creative opportunities that Experiential design offers help you bring your brand to life in new ways, and can help you stand out in the hearts and minds of consumers.

Brands who use our Continual Retail strategy align all of these key pillars to create a singular, focused retail approach that keeps them ahead of the competition while also delighting consumers. And best of all, it’s easy to get started. Just take our quick assessment, then we will work with you to understand your brand’s needs and partner to build a plan that can take your brand to the top of consumer’s minds and the top of the industry.

3 Reasons Your Brand Is Missing The Mark

Post-Mortem is so.... well, morbid.
It’s the cold hard facts.

It’s the obituary of your campaign. This process can be frustrating, especially when your expectations were and continue to be high. But you’ve done your best, and now you’re going through the painful task of assessing the data and finding all the peaks and pitfalls. What went right, and what went so very wrong. And most importantly, why? So what do you want your Post-Mortem to say?

Wouldn’t you like to see your own peaks and pitfalls, your strengths and weaknesses, before you launch rather than after all is said and done?

At Edo, we like to work on our “Pre-Mortem”. Think of it as a more proactive version of post. We assess the current strategies before rolling out our campaigns in order to maximize effectiveness across digital, in-store and anywhere in between. We call it Continual Retail and the first step is assessing your current strategy.

Wouldn’t you like to see your own peaks and pitfalls, your strengths and weaknesses, before you launch rather than after all is said and done? We know we would. That’s why we developed our Free Snapshot assessment. So friends like you can figure out what you need to know to make your brand speak to people.

If you’re doing just fine, that’s wonderful. God bless. We love a great success story. But if you’re having a tough time with your retail strategy, it’s important to understand why it’s not working.

Here are a few of the top reasons why it might not be:


    Think about all the places, big and small, where your brand lives. Think of all the channels you’ve invested in – digital, in-store, experiential… From the aisle to the internet, if messaging is off in even one instance, you risk losing a customer. At best, it makes you look inconsistent. At worst, it makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s not nit-picky, it’s your brand.


     If you’re a marketing director who’s been tasked with overseeing all your brand’s campaigns, or you’re relying on hired hands to deliver the right message on time and on budget, you might run into this issue. You’ve created the perfect brand messaging for your teams to implement across the board, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. Someone wants to try a bold new strategy, or a cool new viral tactic. It seems like a great idea, until you realize that digital didn’t consult in-store, or vice versa, and now your new message is way off. This is a hard place to be. And if you’ve ever been there, Continual Retail is the solution for you.


    Have you ever heard the phrase “jack of all trades and a master of none”? It’s a cute way of saying “do less”. Trying to make it all happen by spreading yourself thin opens you up to the risk of sloppy executions. This doesn’t mean you can’t do many things, eventually. Start small. Work with what you’ve got. Master the strategy. And then add another challenge. If you’re already juggling, our Continual Retail Snapshot Assessment can help you figure out your strengths, your weaknesses, and how to prioritize.

If you find yourself relating a little too much to any of these, you probably have gaps in your brand and retail strategy. Marketing doesn’t work in silos anymore. Consumers have constant and continuous access to more information than ever before – including your business. Continual Retail is here. See if you’re ready for it.