Anyone on this planet the past three years gets it: things are more fragile than appear at passing glance; change is perpetual; misperceptions multiply thanks to the two previous conditions. And everyone is on edge, second-guessing even closest allies.
Chicago got belted by 75 mph winds suddenly on Monday. Power outages darkened (and overheated) the homes and businesses of more than 700,000 ComEd customers. Many are still without power today. At right is a tree I pass every day, a casualty of this storm. It always looked sturdy to me. I think it’s a Maple. Good bark. Plentiful leaves, unblemished. The exterior layers of its trunk are pale. New young wood. Seemingly. Upon closer examination, however, (photo below) you can see its interior was consumed by insects or grubs. This tree was just one storm away from being taken out. It was going to happen. If not this week. Then next.
How many of us in retail feel this same way: Keeping up appearances but fragile, hoping no one will take notice. One crisis away from “the big one” that takes you out. If you are in top management, you have the unfortunate bird’s eye view of the real vulnerabilities, the scary “what ifs” you pray won’t come to pass. No one knows what will transpire between now and Aug. 3, when this nation faces default and may be unable to pay its bills.
Several of your peers have come through some storms and are ready to share their war stories. Want to hear them? And share your own tales? Join us at the RetailConnections Business Executive Summit, Oct. 11-13, 2011, Hotel del Coronado, near San Diego and you will hear…
• a prominent luxe retail COO detail the ordeal, and subsequent FBI investigation, stemming from a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack to their web site. Denial of service equates denial of business.
• a national menswear retail EVP outline how his company was transformed by the crash of 2008 and how they’re responding today to remain competitive. Downsize? Staff up…staff down?
• a national department store chain enlighten you with new ideas to captivate shoppers with a unique in-store experience
• a pair of retail CIOs spar about the best ways to optimize the multichannel experience.
• experts in mobile/social reveal what’s coming next.
There’s a bunch more. The Summit convenes retail VPs and CXOs from a wide range of verticals. Why? Many business challenges and opportunities are universal. Sometimes — when business issues are viewed through the lens of a retail vertical different than your own — Pow! Epiphanies happen. Hope you can join us! Go to our web site for more information. www.retailconnections.com Or call me. I’m generally not doing much, anyway. Just checking the trees.