You know one of the nice things about owning your on business? You can do things when you darned well please. So the other morning I decide to go to the grocery store while all the working stiffs are chained to there desks. It’s so much more pleasant to shop when you nearly have the joint to yourself. So much less stress.
I Overheard Something Very Interesting
As the checker was ringing up my groceries I overheard a conversation in the next check-out line. This Wal-Mart employee was confirming Wal-Mart was indeed cutting everyone’s hours back and making them do some funky shift rotations. Hmmm… interesting.
This was especially interesting because here in Iowa we often never feel the extremes one way or the other that people who live on the coasts do, so I immediately wondered if that meant things were getting tough here too. Yet, at least in western Iowa, people tend to hold very conservative values when it comes to money so perhaps they are simply reacting to what they are hearing, reading, and seeing.
I also knew if sales were falling for Wal-Mart it would strike terror on the hearts of other businesses because everyone things if Wal-Marts sales are down you are doomed. Even though that thinking is untrue “stinking thinking” as Zig Ziglar would put it.
So I did a Little Checking
Daily Markets had an interesting article about how Wal-Marts sales are falling amid tight consumer spending and confidence. And an interesting quote…
When I read that quote it was like someone hit me over the head with a baseball bat. It never ceases to amaze me how people get so caught up in their own mindset they can’t see a GINORMOUS opportunity that’s right under their very nose. Please realize I can be every bit as guilty of this as anyone else. Just one more reason a good coach is worth their weight in solid gold.
The GINORMOUS Opportunity to Get More Business Wal-Mart is Missing
Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke, bless is ever loving little heart is stuck in Wal-Mart’s low price model mindset. That mind set is one that feeds a scarcity mentality, a frugal mentality, a mentality that says you better not buy today because you may not have a job tomorrow. It encourages “average Joe Wal-Mart shopper” to feed his fears.
Do I even need to mention the fact that’s NOT a good idea? Mr. Dukes statement indicates he and Wal-Mart are COMPLETELY missing the boat on this one. They aren’t helping “average Joe Wal-Mart shopper” perceive things differently.
The Opportunity is in the Perception
Geez, everyone understands perception is EVERYTHING in business. Here’s how Wal-Mart can change “average Joe Wal-Mart shoppers” perception so they get more business and really help Joe in the process.
You don’t have to look hard or far to find numerous economists and economic pundits who are predicting the fall of the U.S. dollar as a result of predicted hyper-inflation. They say this hyper-inflation will occur when the government turns the billions of dollars the fed’s have printed and stock piled lose. What that means to “average Joe Wal-Mart shopper” is the $10 he’s saving today could have a value of $0.10 once hyper-inflation hits and he is forced to spend his savings.
So what do those same economists and economic pundits recommend for poor “average Joe Wal-Mart shopper”? Well, they would recommend instead of hoarding his dollars that Joe use his extra cash to purchase durable goods and hard assets now before the value of those dollars evaporates. So when Joe visits Wal-Mart instead of buying one package of razor blades he buys two, instead of buying two cans of green beans he buys four, etc.
Why does this make sense for Joe? It makes sense for Joe because when hyper-inflation hits Joe will need food, personal hygiene products, clothing, car care products, cleaning products, etc. just like he does now. Because Joe has a stash of these durable goods he won’t be forced to trade his $10 for $0.10 worth of goods. He can hold on to his cash a little longer and use his stash when everyone else is burning through money like water. Hopefully, he can hold onto his cash long enough to ride out the hyper inflation.
So… What’s Wal-Marts angle? Wal-Marts angle is helping Joe maintain his wealth. Wal-Mart is Joe’s wealth building partner. Wal-Mart should have two-fer deals up the wazoo and use their advertising power to help Joe see what they see… durable goods and hard assets are how Joe protects himself and his family from potential economic changes beyond his control.
And if I see Wal-Mart doing this I think a 6% share in their increased profits would be more than fair:-)