From the Introduction to RETAIL JAIL, RETAIL APOCALYPSE
After retailing for nearly 30 years, Bobby Dazzler had some interesting stories to share with people. Being born, raised, and educated in Canada, it was a dream to be an entrepreneur in the retail world. Especially for a Indian girl born to immigrant parents who wanted their child to be a doctor or lawyer. It was one of the highest personal feats to reach for a 70’s kid. Retail is creative, exciting and different from the norms that most people go by. Sure, it is hard, challenging and very easy to fail in, just like many other businesses. However, it appeared that retail was a true calling in a certain special way that led to so many other aspects of life being fulfilled. It is the love for sales! The love of a business! The love for people! Working for yourself has many benefits! Learning from the many people that walked into the store made retailing all the more exciting. Plus, it is fun to create a retail store with products that were hand picked, put together so that a concept could be created from nothing. Bobby Dazzler was that concept! What began as a means of making money and a livelihood for the family, later turned out be an exciting place where so many other events in life took place. It was indeed the first love for so, so many years until it eventually became a retail jail where the passion for it finally died.
That passion started to dwindle along with the other retailers who were part of a retail apocalypse that began in 2008 in the United States and some parts of Canada.The poor sales just never picked up to pre-2008 levels.The poor sales only multiplied to a low in late 2016 and right into the entire 2017 onwards. Retailers were hurting and were part of a shift that consumers were going through. Retailing is truly part of the materialistic world. Everything brand name was looked upon as cool until people just started to wake up to a whole new world. Humans had taken the simplest thing: water, and decided to put it into plastic bottles with funky labels and brands to sell itfor a profit. Retailing and the materialistic world had gone too far.People were starting to mature and get wiser. It appeared that ethical consumerism was starting to take off. That is when retailing also started to take a nosedive. Society was not as naïve and gullible to the whole idea of “let’s just buy it!” People were becoming conscious of what they did with their hard-earned money. Consumers were no longer just dropping money on just about anything without a reason. Over time, Bobby Dazzler took notice of all the different changes that were taking place in the retail world.These changes will be discussed in Retail Apocalypse along with some technical points on the “how to” of retail.
As things rolled daily in the Bobby Dazzler store, observation led to a documentation of what was actually happening. The hours in the mall got longer and longer along with the number of the days the mall was closed during the year.Then, there were personal events that made retailing difficult which included a certain amount of harassment and being unable to renew a lease in the most profitable store location. As time went on, the retail world started to feel like a jail due to the changing dynamics of retail. That is how the story of Retail Jail – Retail Apocalypse came to be. It so happened chapters of the book ended up being five letters each. This is interesting, since it is a fact that 555 in numerology denotes major shifts and spiritual growth. Perhaps this retail apocalypse appears to be a catalyst for people to experience a whole new world: a world with less retail and consumerism, and more experiences closer to spirituality. This shift took on a whole new momentum by late 2016 and beyond. Bobby Dazzler’s lease was to expire by mid-2017 and the time had come to be released from the retail jail to bring forth a new world.There were many different issues and problems that had been experienced by Bobby Dazzler over the years. Some of the problems and issues were normal retailer problems that were general and could prove to be helpful for an individual deciding to go into retail. However, others were personal and specific to Bobby Dazzler.This book will discuss both the general and personal challenges of retailing in a “reveal all”. Sure, there were positive experiences in retailing as no one would stay in retailing for nearly 30 years if it wasn’t fun and profitable. But the fun dried up towards the end. Retail hours, retail sales, retail rents and the passion for retail going from really high to really low made it feel as if it were a prison. Hence, the term “retail jail”.
On a positive note, there are many different secrets revealed in order to be a successful retailer. There are important topics that can help a retailer who is just emerging and also help those who are already retailing. Writing enables a healing process but this healing can also be revealing of all.There are many reasons that retail can be termed as a jail but the ones that are personal to this story truly made it a sort of prison that cannot be described by others in the same way. There were shady characters, events and issues that were connected to the retail business that made this story a unique experience to be shared with others. Yes, this can happen to a little retailer.