6. Planning to reopen your store


Hey everyone welcome back for another retail ventures. Podcast heiser bender and found. I am the Bouwman Kaiser Bender and bow and with me as always are rich. Kaiser and George Bender guys. Why are you Jason? Good welcome back to another week right. We have a another special guest. This week we have. Mary Lives Curtain now marry. Liz is the honor of Leeann Lulu Metro Detroit. Award-winning lifestyle retail store. It's located in the historic ambassador. Roller Rink and then she has a restaurant called three caps. That's located in Boston. Theater in downtown Clawson Michigan. She's so one of a kind and custom furniture. Chen spectacular selection of gifts books toys accessories and women's clothing so she's also speaker and a good friend of ours but we wanted to bring her into this episode. Where we talk about getting your store. Ready to reopen. Because Mary lives is living at right now. She has a retail store and she has a restaurant so she's up to our ears in what's going on it and how to read open. Welcome areolas. Well it's so nice to be here. It's always fun to play with. You guys right you know Mary. Lou is Liz. Liz Lynne Maryland is a known her a long time. What can I say mental okay? Merrill Lynch one to make your life easy. What's good Mary Lou before too Saddam? Don't worry about it and you know one of the things that I have enjoyed about you in. Your store is the fact that every once in a while. You've taken us on video tour and you've told us what you're doing inside the place and I have to tell you we see a lot of stores. Spectacular ghetto I mean every time we see store and listen to your story. We walkaway really motivated to help. Other people short drives visit us. Well under sequester. We can't get out no traffic jams. Will they'll try to we feature you? We have feature your videos your high tech videos on the retail adventures webinars. But we'll talk about that later. So Jason Give US OUR WORLDLY UPDATE. The world is Is Different but I think we're all kinda getting a little strangely used to it In our own ways Some some good news. Cvs and Walgreens and seen a lot more orbit Retailers are are now providing virus testing So so that's happening In addition to where I am colleges are offering drive-thru testing Through their facilities The PNC bank arts center so a An arena is offering drive-thru testing here in New Jersey for ason thematic tests So they're really doing a good job ramping up the testing for covert and. I think that's part of the whole release. Dermatology Center is now offering test to see if you have the antibodies. So I'll be going over there later. Figure out how a lot of states would do the same and and we just got notified actually here That the antibody tests are available. And we're actually able to get those through. The local urgent cares as well as some doctors offices so They are ramping. Those up they're getting. Those out of the antibody tests are met with a little bit of criticism. I think right now. They're not really sure what to make of all that whether it's a false sense of security or not There was an article that today that came out about that And the whole Passport thing if you were if you were positive and you had antibodies. They were saying well. You might have a passport to go around because you can't get it again while now an article that came out today Saying that's not necessarily true. They don't have enough data so I don't really know what an antibody test is going to do yet until we have that data. I probably wouldn't be out in about anyway All we know for sure. Do not drink or inject sanitizing braise or or trying to do some fun names. This could be a homework for our listeners. Give us the best name of a Lysol drink. You Might WanNa watch the Randy Rainbow Video. That came out a couple days ago about Ingesting CLEANERS. It's really really funny. Cut It look it up Joe Ingest cleaners. I can't say okay dog. Okay Jason Weiner up did you. Yeah so and then The payment protection program got its infusion of cash And it's it's going quickly so if you haven't already applied for it and you can apply for. We would definitely recommend that you talk to a local bank. Talk to your accountant whomever You know handles your your money and see if you are are able to get that But with the with that infusion of cash the portal crowd a portal for small businesses administration crashed Making it really hard for people to apply It's back up and running and if you haven't applied Go for it because that four hundred billion is going very quickly I here. We got some of it this morning. Congratulations our restaurant. Got The p. p. a. and you know what is also happening. Big larger businesses were taking from it And they were met with a lot of criticism and they are now able to pay that back so one of the businesses that took quite a bit The Los Angeles Lakers received a four point six million dollar loan. They've always looked like they were hurting to me all these past few years. They have been They're going to pay it back though every the to apply for this loan. You're instructed to go through your bank so someone at their bank approved that they get that loan. They approved Ruth Chris's. They approved steak shack. Who gave their money back? All of those were approved by someone who knew they weren't small business. Harvard said they never even applied and they got millions of dollars. So hopefully this go around. We'll go to actual small retailers. Who need the help point of question? Isn't Ruth Chris? Though a franchise environment separate owners I now I think she has different locations. She had each one of old or whatever it was each location applied. Maybe maybe that's valid. But they got a lot of money. Yeah I know shake shack was the other one. That was a big name that got criticized for taking money And then just yet they did their. And that's the thing they're now able to give the money back which is Probably the best thing Since a lot of small businesses are really hurting right now and then to wrap it all up The reopenings I know we're going to be talking about that in today's show says is the best place to kind of wrap up the news. Update in In Mary Liz is Home area of Michigan and Outside of Detroit General Motors Fiat and Ford are resuming car. Production in Detroit starting may eighteenth. So it's it's a little bold but probably a good move For for the economy especially in the beaches factories are as bold. It's bold move in the factory as as it may appear because I think they've really figured out what they have to do to keep their employees safe so I I don't think that going to work every day in a controlled environment by some by a big company like that nearly as dangerous as Georgeanne going down to starbucks to her Internet connection would work. Yeah I think and that's what we're GONNA be talking today. It's really all about. I mean protecting your customers and protected employee's so nineteen states are set reopened by early May Illinois. Isn't we're under lockdown until may thirty first and they just passed Illinois last week that non essential retailers could open up to curb service. Can't come in the stores but you can do curve service up until last week. They couldn't do that and they also passed this Friday anytime we're out in public and we're not in a place where we can social distance. We must wear masks so there you go. So what's going on out there right now that it's all over the place? I different states are doing different things. Different cities have different rules. You could be in town and the one right next to. You has one rule and you don't have a rule it's like it's like it's like the hunger games who's GonNa who's going to be out in front. So the non essential retailers can now provide curb service and remember before all this started. We were all over bogus. Buy Online pick up in store. Well now the new turbos Bo Pack Feo. Pac Buy online. Pick up at curbside and right now bow. Pack IS THE NEW BOOK. Implement the so. Here's what we know from all the conversations we've had with retailers. Mary lived. We've had this conversation with you. You've had other retailers retailers aren't sure what to do. We don't know we really don't know what's going to happen when stores do. Reopen are the customer is going to be ready to shop or are they going to be afraid to are the staying home rules and social distancing How long will baby so recommended by experts and governor officials? We do know this that when you get the okay to reopen your store. He wanted to start slowly. Have a soft opening open for a couple of hours to make sure that you have everything wind up and sanitized and policies in place and all the things that you need to do because there are so many new things that you need to do now to re open your store. You can't just run in the next day and opened the door. And say hey. I'm good to go No shoes no shirt. No service has been replaced by no math. No Service on the other hand. It's a new fashion accessory. Expect the new. Headband is reading glasses. You're going to need forty five mass. So they've match all your outfits. There's always telling masters are absolutely are they are like you give them like they look like half of your faces of skeleton or big lips or they're on order your. Amino when you get because I want the newest here. Here's what I think's going to happen. George I do think that you know you've been are open to be careful because you'll want all the is dotted T.'s. Crossed and I think that we're GONNA have a consumer. That's going into stores that are going to be looking for new cool things because they WANNA be lifted. We've got a customer. Now that has been neither the right to get the excitement shopping and see cool things and they know what you look like when they left. You can't look like that when they come back. You know what? It's gotTA BE A new environment. Editing Energy Environment and and so. I think that a lot of people I saw have been unpacking boxes all during this in working in the store themselves as ours but I also think you gotta be very very careful a minute you step up to the front door of the store so to speak. It's got to be an exciting kind of almost disney environment. Where right now of never sounded before but but I think that that's the critical point. First Impressions gotTa be really a great impression right now. You cannot go into the store. No I know that Dominica that good minute. They reopen the midday. So right now. We've been talking in our podcasts and webinars the for the last five weeks about how to merchandise the front of your store and what your windows and he's like etc last weekend this past weekend my husband and I went to Long Grove Illinois. Which is a really quaint shopping district in Illinois and there are lots of stores there that were just closed and when I look obviously but when I looked in the windows there would just pile of boxes and merchandising crap right inside the door now. Maybe they're packing. You know. Maybe that's probably been covering your windows because it looks. It literally looked like a tornado had gone off and most of the stores that I looked in. Well I think you'll see in many places up there. Lots of people walking so there's more foot traffic and a lot of areas. We're in downtown on Main Street and we've got more people walking by than we ever have. Yep We gotta look good when I look in the window and I'M IN A. I'm in a similar area with a with a lot of foot traffic traffic and we have You know a lot of people on the streets and we have a good main street if you will And there are some funny signs. There are people who are Making light of it. But but at the same time you know not being Upping Steph. They have some funny signs in the window. They have to be closed at might as well make the best of it with something funny in windows that people will remember so if they go by again you know maybe it will come back to the store when they can something broaches disappear longer was doing this thing called. Stop pop and go shop top ago so you shop online or your phone in your order you pop into the store pop. Open your trunk and then you go get people in there. You know I think we're GONNA for sure. See things like plexiglass shields at cash wraps and we're GONNA see boxes on the floor that tell us out of social distance. I read an article Mary Liz. That retail consultant was recommending. That you take all of the merchandise off your floor and put it in the back room that everyone thinks is put it in your back room and then just set up a showroom where you just show one of every item. I suggest he should get a different job in a line of work for which is better suited as exactly what I thought. I is a rough hewn retailers. That's that's a lot of this is going to be dictated by the customers. We'll we'll have gloves. Expect him to come in here wearing gloves. I don't expect him to touch things as much. We've stretched out. Our merchandise. Were not as jam packed. Is We usually are to make it easier? But we have the benefit of really a big space. Whatever whatever size your spaces anything you can move around now. Even if you haven't been getting Richard is for the last four days. You got stuff there you can shake it up moved to the front of Brown dust it. Make it look. No 'cause they haven't seen the stuff in six weeks it's a lot of it. They're going to forget that you had but you WanNa look alive and vital and the music pumping in the a fun place to go. How we're going to deal with how many people have in our stores at a time is certainly an issue that none of us know the answers to various well. That's interesting that you bring that up Because I was reading an article from Bloomberg that came out yesterday that to top trade groups. The Retail Industry Leaders Association in National Retail Federation. And I know we're going to kind of bring us up later but maybe I'll bring it up now because it's pertinent You know they're working with some of the big boxes Walmart target and best buy and they've basically gone to the government and said rather than state by openings. They would prefer to open all of their stores at the same time and have the same guidelines in place for all of them and have something uniform rather than piecemeal it -at's that's interesting coming from some of these big boxes and with the powers of those two associations behind them and one of the things that they were That they put on the requirements lists of reopening was no more than five customers per one thousand square feet of shopping space. That's pretty common. I'm looking at their report right now. We'll be on our retail adventures blog. By the time. You hear this podcast. They go through all three phases of reopening restore the first one is allow e-commerce contact lists curbside pickup and in home delivery to was reopened. The source of the public with social distancing protocols and reduced occupancy and phase three is established protection then lift all restrictions so they have a pretty good checklist for your store. Entry void that. I think they're doing that in Georgia at the nail salons in the hairdressers that opened the movie theater. Yeah you know what what? What was the thing we read about today? There was on retail wire. Today they're they're coming up with a new way to standardize entire buildings I forget what it's called but I I thought we've been following very closely. What's going on in Las Vegas 'cause rich and I work in Las Vegas an awful lot. There's a lot of trade shows there and I've been following what the casinos are doing. And how they're preparing and getting ready and servant so many leaked documents from the casino and they're talking about the big thing that came out yesterday was mgm. Grand is talking about sanitizing rooms. So you know how you have. The toilet seat sanitized for your protection. There's a strip of paper. They're going to do that on hotel. Rooms where the. The Room is sanitized for your protection. So you know I I. It's everybody for themselves so far. There's not any. There's not any big book of guidance. To some of the most important things for our independent retailers is not to overreact. And not drive yourself crazy with trying to do everything in worried about every single because you can't until with the right thing is to do. I think that there are lots of people who are going to go. Launching off into sanitizers into all sorts of stuff that will then prove not to be worth what little money they have had just wasted on it. You know it's all those Osama's how many how many phone calls have you received from people that WanNa come in sector store. We got three today to our office. Man I haven't had any really. Maybe they think we're clean. You're getting telemarketer cleaners. We're going to refer you realized you know when you call get over in Michigan. You know what I saw in the New York Times. It was It was a crazy picture in Atlanta Barber shop and the guy opened and he's making his customers. Fill out a waiver that says if you contract the corona virus basically by coming to the Benthic. They're not liable which is interesting at other retailers. Doing something like that or is that a little excessive. I see people who often have a grip. That isn't as tight as maybe it should be saying. What about liability? And then they get nowhere after that they just start screaming. What about my ability so? I don't think that that's something that I'm GonNa worried up right now. It'd be pretty now to take a court and convinced them that I got this in. I got it in that particular store. I think that won't be the pretty hard sheldon to crack. But it's not a guy that doesn't have any legal background. I I you know what I really believe. This is like another first date for a lot of people again. In other words you know they were going to having a great time in Austin it all stopped it all dried out and I think there's a lot of enthusiasm for this to get out and then to be entertaining the retailer entertainment. Just the YOU'RE GONNA go in and buy tons of goods. They're going to go in and just breathe the excitement in and I think that's what people living in Mary. Louise I know because I walk through your store. Virtually about a week or two ago I think it was in. You took US ruin. You know when I when I saw what you did in the store what you do in the store really all the time but I thought man perfect signed for the front of your store was waiting to see what we have in store for you. What what a welcome back sign. It would look better now than it did when we did that video. And so you're GONNA win. You'RE GONNA win. I'm not saying you're going to break all sales records but you're GonNa win the broken off of the last six weeks. I'm not surprised. Good surprise. Look you rich love way. Do we have in store for you? Oh I do think why because it. Who else can challenge that? Nobody can change in its run. Oh we did a very unscientific poll about one hundred retailers answered. The poll one was if your store has been cleared to reopen aside from sterilization and social distancing which guidelines have you been asked to follow guest response was there haven't been any no response whatsoever to that question. Some a couple of people came on and said they have not asked us or told us to do anything as your state Mary Lou. Nope rejects. But we're only legal now for curbside pickup and shipping and our restaurant. We've done the same thing. Take out before but our chef developed a series of Menus. Three Dinners Forty Bucks. That are fabulous. They're designed to travel not so he really. What our customers needing. How can I serve them? Rather than what am I trying to get you know? How could we increase sales? What what would Georgeanne like for dinner? So she can get three meals with soup with deserve forty bucks you can either pick it up or we'll deliver it and it's kept re cooks and two from the House people working for six weeks. We did over four hundred meals at Easter art wild. So you guys listening to this. What can I do to serve my customers? Not what I should do to be making money. So that's that's really and I saw when you did that. I thought yeah. You Bet you not around here. It's all right but I think with in retail always if you think about how do I make my customer happy? How do I take care of the charities that we serve? If you think that way I it always ends up with sales if just how am I going to sell more stuff? It's not as much fun as you think about. It is looking at the way. Or how long have you been closed at retail closed since March sixteenth? Okay so since March Sixteenth. You've had goods coming into back door correct. Time were the case. Is what changes have you made in the store especially like up in the front of the store? Have you done anything like that? Well we we were an old roller skating rink. So we have a giant wooden floor which we polyurethane fifteen years ago when we were getting open so we took this opportunity to completely re polyurethane debt floor so the end of last week basically Restore like somebody had picked it up shaking the building. Put it back down so there we've had to move every single piece of furniture every fixture every everything found dust. Kittens as big as my head was fabulous. Now we're completely redoing. Oliver vignettes Janas going through and going. It's a whole new. Look reading things out so that into the living rooms. You're not as close together. And then our feature table in the front will feature something we don't. We haven't figured out what it's going to feature yet don't know when we're opening that changes of course we have either ten foot table in the front. That changes constantly data. L- look fresh and new but we're really going to have a whole new looking store because we'll never get no god. Hope we never get an opportunity like this when we can do. These mea much drew trout. We completely repainted inside the building rebuilt. We're doing customers yet. They don't like the smell dinner. I don't know why use the word opportunity though you know. 'cause 'cause you're seizing the moment kind of you know as unfortunate as it is to really revamp what you're doing cans for a do over. I'm vacuuming out my basement so mary. Liz have your people that were you have received. You've done inside the store or we've got four people on staff and I don't know how we're going to bring people back which is another problem. Many of us are facing. We have a number of employees are making more money. Thanks that six hundred dollars a week on unemployment than they were making for us. Yeah so I am afraid that some of them. We pay fairly well. We pay fifteen dollars an hour where we try to get a lot of our staff and hire. They're not gonNA anyway. I don't know if we're going to have trouble getting some of them back. Which will be an interesting challenge at least until at least until the rundown right? Yeah there's a CNBC article that You know a lot of people are facing the same issues where their employees are actually asking to be laid off a trend that happened. My friends are making nine hundred dollars a week staying at home. What am I coming? Workforce should? That's another challenge and that's going to be a little bit of a challenge with the GP. They want us to employ everybody at at the same levels which is a problem because it brings more bodies into the store than you need financially and also brings more bodies into the store breathing on everybody so if I could only have five people for Thousand Square Feet. I don't want to waste any of it on extraneous staff. There's a lot of things about the stuff that weren't really thought. Perhaps all the way through through all right so the next question our poll. You knew sell clothing so this'll be a big one for you too. So the question was when you reopen your store will customers committed to try on clothing eight percents the Yes twelve percent? The no the next question was had been instructed by your state or community closure fitting rooms twenty nine percent yes. Seventy one percent said no. What do you think's GonNa Happen with people coming in to tranquilize near store when you have the ability to reopen? They're gonNA come in. They're gonNA try on clothes. We're GONNA steam them and you'll see something about this next few days when I get the website together there is a if you steam it to a certain degree. It'll kill whatever on your clothes so we'll let them try it on. Then we'll steam everything. Should we get a return? We'll see in everything an defeating rooms. After somebody uses it will wipe them down. I'm expecting that's what what's going to happen. Is People will buy stuff and take it home and bring it back. I think the home and we'll steaming put back on the racks that that's another thing with returns like like here. The Finney rooms are closed at target. They're close at Walmart where I live. But what Pete what's happening is that people are trying on the garments on the floor. Here you know about that not going not going into the Changing rooms look like a fashion show. People get excited I just say screw it and they just twenty five ladies in the in the department and they're just trying stuff on we only have rooms and two bathrooms. So if there's a line you're probably not you're probably not seeing sending there in your underwear. Jason but might have a tank top on and you take it out. I think I didn't. I didn't ask that question. Yeah I can see it in your face. Twenty five year olds here. Thongs chain rich go sweater back on song. Try a pair of pants. I I certainly hope that all the stores Are like you to be vigilant enough to have signed Prepares your statement degen. You're safe here because I think some people are going to say. I don't know if I want to go on a fitting room. I don't know who's been there before. And so you're telling them yeah. It's really safe where sanitizing were steaming. Were doing things that that's A. That's that would be a brilliant move this just another assurance I can shop save. What are you doing in your bathroom? Your Business Oh sorry. Once you have like a miner's hat would lights on you know. We've we've gone we've got. Why would we will wipe every bathroom and asked people to sanitize after themselves and we will clean more aggressively. What is the Restaurant Business? Which is going to be the hardest hit more than the rest of us. There are so many restaurants are tiny. And to enforce social distancing. They won't be able to sell enough dinners open all they're going to happen. They're going to have to continue to carry out. That doesn't work for everyone because carry out really hard business. So we're GonNa see huge attrition there. I'm sorry I'm on. I'm almost afraid to think of that. But we have that region who are making more now with online sales and curbs than they did when the stores Rovan which is unhappy with not one of them. Business is going to have a nice bounce. Because I think there's a lot of people who are at home going. I hate this. Oh Oh that's me I started. You know I'm a visual merchandiser store designer. I have to be moving stuff around. I Rearrange Hotel Room. If I'm going to be there for a long period of time I mean I moved the furniture you I have already moved furniture for my living room into my family road. And I'm changing. We have an office downstairs when my husband has a study upstairs. I'm already trying to make one of the rooms into an office for me. I can't stand looking at the same and I keep thinking. I'm just going to run down to Tom. Good through I'm GONNA run over and I stopped myself every time and it's not the same getting an online near this question for you. Now you you're gonNA open your store and it's going to be beautiful and I believe that because like I said I I've seen it. How long is it before the promotional signs? Come up and I don't mean to turn it into a store. But how long is it where you start to get back into normal mode of signaling to people in a more aggressive way without looking like you know? You're you're trying to do that but they don't have a problem with selling people in excessive way. I just WanNa make them happy so we will immediately are closing department is we just earlier is the biggest issue. That's all going to have to go on romantic markdowns on a little concerned about facing all the other stores all the department stores some. We're going to open just to liquidate and close. They're going to be firing to repeat. Does in every one of the things that we have to out pours. I don't want anybody to think that now that we've reopened you're homegoods or EJ maps for a constant markdown place. 'cause we're not that's not how we built our brand and we we aren't so we will have stuff that we sell on sale but will be very careful about how we present that. What if you're ready for new grass rich? This'll be attempt to get this one Michigan. Go blue nobody there. Aren't you are? All big retailers. Have been doing lately. It's a Nordstrom last week. Sent out an email blast they they do sell twice a year. Send out an email blast seventy percent off your purchase. So I think they're going to try a lot of we're GONNA try and get rid of a lot of wealth still online. While they're in trouble nordstrom trouble I think they have a year of cash I don't know if they've downgraded I know Penney's macy's was cold was Neiman Marcus is going into bankruptcy but I don't know if it's seven or eleven you know they're all in trouble. I think that we're going to see a nice bump for the independent retailer at the end of this. I think we're GONNA SEE PEOPLE WHO WANNA shop local. And what is the people who gave me giggle while they were host and I think traffic in the malls is going to be able to say. I have to say macy's has to be saved. Wouldn't you may be Herald Square store and the Thanksgiving Day parade? I can't imagine a world where those things do not exist so You know department store girl. I love my independent retailers but I also love department source. Because that's where I started so around. Think that's more event long. I mean Allow these things are event driven rate? what you just described to were events. They weren't necessarily shopping experiences. I know there's a shopping experience tied to it but the those are events. I think what's parade without me? Sure sure the storefront What's really interesting is like like what you just said Mary. Louise Into the big boxes are struggling through this. In a way that it's giving an opportunity to some of the The small independent who were set up for this in some ways with an online ecommerce platform or being able to show their store or in even distribution wise Amazon is having a lot of issues right now. shipping there should not shipping Non Essential goods. So there's an opportunity right there Shoppers are looking for other places to go and sometimes they're going either direct to the to the manufacturer in many ways or they're going to these independents who were set up for e-commerce so it's kind of leveling the playing field in some ways that That it's interesting You are definitely GonNa see the uptick erasing. It also remember that buying stuff and shopping or different issues. Buying stuff is when you need a toothpaste or you. Whatever it is you go online and find the best price on chopping is when you're searching for something you're looking you're trying to find the best one and it's part of the experience and it's it's an adventure right that's doing. Oetzi was doing Poor as going into this had been struggling for a little bit And coming up throughout this pandemic I've been seeing Thanh coming from patsy about their stores doing well again So that's pretty interesting and as a shopping experience as a shopping experience because you look around for stuff. Amazon is buying experience. You don't really shop on it. You just go look for new. You wanted for Prime Day. Get whatever fidget pushing. Maybe one of the key words in this entire reopening of the retail world is experience. Tell me in ten words. What was your experience when you walked into store in ten seconds? I think that's important but I like that. You know George adults a good point. I think I'll tell you what else you're going to see because of what we just gone through. It's going to be a repeat of the early two thousands and there's GonNa be a lot of retail space again available at probably fairly bargain rates that that'll house retailers for another two years in those people find out retail isn't an easy ball game to play. They'll recycle the business again. Because that's exactly what? What do you really think that there's GonNa be more retailers coming into the space though right now after the pandemic we're putting people out right now? Is there a lot of people that could not stomach did not have the ability to stomach what they just went through Glen capital right now though was capital to spend on something like that? You you think there's too much capital. No I'm saying I don't think anybody has the capital. Well that's what I'm saying. So it's you know it's GonNa there's GonNa be a flash. I'm not sure what you're saying rich. Do you think that after it? Lots of stores close and there's all the space people will start to fill it with new retail. I could do. And here's why do is because landlords do not take a kind look empty space so if I was second while I yell at my daughter's fifteen you first prize getting fifteen bucks a foot and I got nobody in that space. I'll take you lovin it. Sometimes it might be a percentage over whatever the case but we did that in two thousand and eight we. We filled a lot of blank spaces and they were Dingli. What's going to happen? In the short term is at the local mall that have had empty stores. Beforehand are now going to have more empty stores. And they're going to be filled by those retailers who have homemade signs. That's what I'm not going to be. It's not gonna be it's GONNA be chained source coming back and it's going to be somebody who's always wanted to open up a shop and she got cheap rent at the local mall. 'cause tempe that's what happened at like. Strip malls. George. You know in two thousand eight right. Go to space and then to space you think though that showcase stores are GonNa like make more of an emergency because like what they're doing here in New Jersey with toys R. US. You know toys R. US came back as a showcase store. And that's it It's more experiential you can go. You can walk in with with your kid and you can play with the toys. And it's really more showcase related. Yeah I don't know how many are you can put in the same block. But but I'm sure I'm sure there will be showcased but let me tell you something you start arguing about ten and twelve and fifteen percent of your income is going to pay rent your margins now are getting really sick and if that happens you're not gonNA play that game very long. Is going to catch up review so retailers have got. It's it's all about. It's all about turn the oven to resell the products and get it back back in again. That's the key you know those showcase stores. They were cool before this happened. And I'm sure they'll be cool afterwards but my mindset right now as a consumer and I don't think I'm alone my mindset right now with I wanna see I wanNA have a big selection I want to. I'm not going to let my. I'm not gonNA let my grandson go into one of those showcase doors that has a lot of toys and you know games and things for them to do and touch everything. He can't know any might not be able to do that for another four to six months. You know we were just in. We went to in our F- show in January I went to Hudson yards. And they have this really wonderful store. There called Camp and camp has all these experiences. And there's a little cafe and there's craft rooms and they had this one really awesome those pillows with the sequence and you push them one direction and then the other what the Call Mermaid. Burr MADE SKIN. They had a whole or put mermaids pillows and funeral homes. Calm people down Anyway they had a whole room of that three-sided room. I'm not going in there now. I don't know what's in the sequence. I'm not going to let my kid a ballpit and just so. I don't know how those experience stores are GonNa do S- about-turn it's about-turn no question about it if you don't turn it you can't pit around. What are the other issues with the online experiences? It's very expensive to fulfill to ship. You get stuck into free freight in your margins this point. We're not looking at ugly things like margins were just look at any way we can police our customer and get some stuff out the door right. Now that's what you should be doing. The online experiences labour-intensive and then at the end of day will look at the dollars. Go solar south. Yeah have you in our poll. One of the questions was. Have you been instructed by your state or community not to accept returns? Twenty nine percent said yes. Seventy one percent said no so I heard from customers at stores like target Wal Mart or not accepting returns in storage. You have to send them back. Have you had any conversations like that about return for your sore? We've already? We've always had a very generous return policy and we will continue to do so. I don't WanNa make any more rules and a half to and what I probably will do with. Our customers is instead of charging them for goods. I'm GonNa take stuff on approval will ring it up into register suspend the transaction. Because what I don't want to do is send you out with a thousand dollars worth of clothing and have you bring eight hundred dollars back and I have to pay the processing fees on the whole thousand so I think we're going to do a lot more. Let our customers take a lot more stuff home? Try It on and bring it back. We already do that with with furniture. You can take it and try it without paying out of here you can. For how long can you keep the furniture for the Bar Mitzvah? We generally say forty-eight hours do that around here. That's why you're homegoods. That's your problem. We don't have a store like yours around here honey. But the part of the reason is you look at the cost and if somebody takes a chair home to twelve fifteen hundred dollar chair if I start mastercards clip me for that and I don't get it back when they return it. So that's a good point. A lot of retailers have extended their return policy from the usual thirty to nine and I think at some point some retailers are gonna get a whole pile of things returned. We do thirty except if you get here after thirty we still take it. We're very sophisticated. You're a good retailer but I think that saying thirty days is certainly plenty of time. My favorite is when somebody comes in. They're ready for a fight. Well I mean I was. I was in Palm Beach and and then you tell them yes and they don't know what to do and sometimes they keep fighting after you're gonNA take it yellen took my. I was customer service at Kmart and I'm sorry. Oh Yeah I had a lot of those. My my favorite with someone trying to return a book. We're we don't have return policy on books. This is library and It escalated but yes I have many many interesting blue light. Special special stories. That's not. That's where Jason got his start into being the. The industry called the Voice of God voiceovers attention Kmart Shoppers Fun. Fun was the hottest blue light special seller. We had socks dollar BEN SOCKS I dunno it was kmart so it was probably like by one sock at the other half okay. I'll date myself. I really miss those God. Awful submarine sandwiches made right in the front door. You remember that I smelled. Oh my goodness smell of Kmart remember that now. Mary Louise Usurp Popcorn and near store right so it doesn't sound like no we do. Not You don't have. Somebody reported US TO HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR UNSAFE FOOD HANDLING PRACTICES ATLANTA LILLO. Because you know there's a lot of popcorn faced food disasters. We used to have coffee and popcorn at all times but we finally gave up. Interestingly enough every coffee pot at the hairdresser every popcorn machine evac hardware store. That's all illegal and the health off. Yep It's all unsafe. Food handling health. Departments tend not to do anything about it unless somebody calls but then once they call you are stuck so in order for your top board. We have two three compartments sank. We have to get a new boiler that heats the water hotter than you need to. We need to. There's a whole bunch of stuff walkw- machines at hardware stores and at sears. Not Working for well. I learned something new today. Rich prizes learned something new. I wonder if OTAS spunk. Meyer would come under. That would preparing it. That's the kind of homemade cookie. We used to make their great. But we're serving it or serving it in a Unsafe Environment Nam cookies that we served millions of them so hungry right now. We have kids. Who would little girls would roller skate? Around on weekdays and served hot cookie on weekends Syrup. Popcorn and hot coffee is coffee. It's just be entertained. Fortunately Roller Skating Rink closed. A rate knows where to learn so we can't find any who can skate anyway except my daughter who What what what are your uniforms in your store We try to get our staff to wear stuff that we sell. Oh isn't that a good idea? And we often makes him. They can wear anything. That's in the store. They can model it for the day. We sell a lot of stuff off the bodies of our voice when I worked for a department store and when I worked for a couple of specialty stores you had to wear what was on the sales floor. You might be able to get a pair. Get Away with a pair of random black pants but they gave you no extra discounts. The chain stores did because there's nothing worse for me to go into a store and say I really like what you have on. Where is it will go on Amazon? Get Out of the store. The problem with Having them fight then you run out of the inventory so we found that it was a better deal to have the model. What's in sale now? So that I can take off of my body and sell it to you. We'll let you but I worked for the gap and they had you know that's a different story. How many how? Many tens of thousands blue work shirts did they have. Any you know. On the sales floor in the seventy s the argument the independent can be very strong in a marketplace. Yup they can be so. Is there anything else before we head into wrap up Mary? Mary live that you think it's important for our listeners. Who are primarily independent retailers? To know about get what? I think is important is first of all we're most of us are going to get through this or we're not but it's there's going to be an end to it. You have to try to maintain your cheerful good nature because people don't WanNA committed here. How miserable you are because you were closed for six weeks you want your. You gotta remember that our guest coming to see us because they're looking for an escape. They're here to have fun. They WanNa play with something you know whether they're looking for craft but they're looking for that interaction and I think we also drive ourselves crazy thinking about sanitizing everything every thirty seconds and I think it's going to be self leveling I think as we go we'll figure it out but since we don't have any direction yet it's terrifying so take a step by step in. Don't don't go crazy till you need to stay out teenagers. We got kids to drive US crazy. We don't need this too. I'm just so glad that my kids are still in school that I have to be home. Schooling them and trying to do my job. My daughter mccomb came to. I think she thinks we're GONNA die. She can't take care of us. That's Nice it is nice. I tried to. I tried to get my son to do that. He's like Yeah Mom's not going to happen less than saying social listening before we get off. Would you please be sure and give us again? The name of your store in the City Leon and Lulu in Clawson Michigan. And if you'd like to go to Leon Lulu Dot Com you're welcome to watch Liana Lulu television. Which has a bunch of our videos and some of the nonsense that we have been doing during this particular shutdown and very shortly our most exciting new initiative drop catch home butter contest. This pure we realized much to our some shock that we don't have a jingle so we are starting a contest to write a jingle for Leon Lulu and by May thirty first. We'll have a winner. Somebody's GonNa win a thousand dollars in a big box of Liana Lou dinner at the restaurant and bragging rights for having written the Liana Lula Jingle will you share the entry some of the entries with us and we can. We can share them. That'd be I think we might have a sideline that if you don't do one you could also do lipstick to your favorite. Jingle Stamina Fun. I'd love that had cool. The Jingle is such a lost art. They used to be so great. Well thank do. The research on Jingles and your head will be spinning with your worms for days a week for us. I have a jingle for every single thing in my life right rich. I mean they jumped. Oh my God come out of nowhere. My my nephews are like mom. Why does aunt Georgina Emma Song about everything? What was? Maybe I'll enter with convention. Was it that we were going home in the gun in a plane was filled with the conventioneers that we we worked with in? Let us hear the Jingle now the National Journal directors and it was a jingle about my cat and and they were singing along. And I'm not seeing that here. This is not appropriate. Venue for for the Jingle. I thank God for Mary Liz last night and again. Thanks for including me on this. Thank you so much. Mary lives. It was really great to me. You and you on the podcast so Mary Liz and rich and I are going to be compiling all of the information that we know about getting your store ready to reopen and that will be up in the next couple of weeks. Probably both of our websites. I would say absolutely. Yep Right now in the meantime if you go to our retail adventures blog the address is retail adventures blog dot com. We have posted on their kroger. Grocery stores has created sharing what we've learned a blueprint for success and so they put together a seventeen page booklet based on what they read there. Yeah it is from their vendors and and from the what they learned in their stores best practices to help other businesses take steps to develop protocols and procedures to reopen safely. And it's really good and the other thing that they've given it's free the thing that you have a link to is. They've made generic signs for every single kind of sign. You can think of in store washing your hands. Social distancing Touching merchandise every single sign. You can think of and their pdf files. You can download them and print them to use in your store so you don't have to reinvent the wheel and they also have a couple of jingles on there so you can play over not jingle a couple of recordings that you can play over your intercom to remind customers have back up so that all of that is available on our retail adventures blog dot com. And shortly we're going to put up that checklist that the retail industry leaders Association and the National Retail Federation. Put together the three-phase checkup checklist. So before I turn it over to you Jason to bring us home one thing we know for sure if you're doing really well and online selling just because you open your doors back up you cannot back off online sale. You have to stores now. And until we get back to some semblance of normality GonNa be like that a while it. Don't take away expectations. If they expected of you. Then do it. If you've always done yup more gives a more religious thank you. That's a good point guilty more so one of the things that we forgot to tell you about the rich and I are doing for twelve. Nineteen is that we have a one on one. Coaching calls so for two hundred and forty nine dollars. You get to one half hour calls a week with rich. I we do it via the telephone or on zoom so. It's two one half hour calls for ninety days and there's more information about that on our retail adventures blog and on our facebook. And if you are not sure where to go how to do it. What your sources look like what to do with your employees sign up for Kaiser and Benders. One on one coaching call and with that that about does it for another episode of Kaiser Bender Inbound podcast. We thank you for joining. Thank you again to marry Liz for joining us for the podcast today. You can find out more about her store. Leon and Lulu Dot COM Recommend going to it once you are able to and you can also find out more about Kaiser Vendor and this podcast that retail adventures blog dot com. We are available on Apple Music Apple. Podcasts spotify stitcher Google play and a bunch of others that I'm forgetting we're all over. You have no excuse path to subscribe and you have to listen. And you have to give five starters there you go so thank you so much for joining Send US questions. We'll answer them meet. Promise Lady Okay Take. Care of a region. Stay safe thank you.

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