Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Retail Odyssey - An Amazing But True Epic Modern Day Journey

Like the original story by Homer, the ending of The Retail Odyssey is filled with intrigue and power.
This modern journey reflects the influence on events resulting from choices made by various retail executives while fighting the economy, rapidly growing e-commerce and each other for the hand of the consumer – The Amazing Retail Odyssey – a truly epic journey.

The Retail Odyssey begins with retail executives who know their company inside and out; what makes them tick, and what doesn’t, and are therefore great warriors.

But the majority of these warriors are struggling to keep up with what the desires are today of prized, ever-changing consumers, and what they don’t want any longer.

The graphs below show the effect on their companies by these beleaguered retail executives who have tried to make the consumer fit their company’s policies and products rather than making their company and products fit today’s consumer – resulting in The Retail Odyssey being similar to Homer’s Odyssey.

Using Amazon as the “Gold Standard”, these graphs show each of the 22 retail combatants and their individual epic journeys – a 15 year journey in time similar to the original Odyssey. Each is a unique retailer with different results - but only one appears poised to ultimately win the hand of the consumer.

There is only one retailer so far that has beaten the Gold Standard. We show their amazing and, to some, a shocking Odyssey.

Take a minute to reflect on each of these actual and truly epic battles being fought in each frame below: consider what they should have done, and must now do to change the future outcome and see the result of their strengths and weaknesses in this rapidly changing and dangerous journey. How close is your conclusion for each of these combatants to the conclusion of this Retail Odyssey?

You will find this epic journey factual and highly interesting – one frame at a time: collectively revealing and explosive.

The Winner beat the Gold Standard and Won The Consumer

The 21 Combatants – The Suitors, who are not yet winning against the Gold Standard (In Alphabetical Order)

The Retail Odyssey Conclusion – Part 2

So far there has only been one winner against the Gold Standard – very few of the others have shown any sign of real innovation over the last 15 years, and specifically over the last 3 years when it was needed the most.

The likelihood of any of these 21 Suitors exceeding the Gold Standard is highly unlikely without employing true innovation.

Eventually, one of these 21 will see and think outside the conventional box and recognize that the sheer size of the victory outlined in the charts below requires a Ulysses’ type endeavor not found in conventional marketing boxes.

Our solution to winning the hand of the consumer (chart 3 below) is easy to apply and it’s 100% turnkey.

Similar to Ulysses, we developed it at enormous up-front time and cost to us while overcoming adversity. After being shipwrecked after an ambush (chart 5 below), like Ulysses, we are the only surviving entrepreneurs capable of helping any Suitor win the contest, albeit appearing as beggars – same as in the original Odyssey.

We have proven conclusively that consumers want and need our solution and will reward the retailers who work with us to provide it.

Please contact us when you are ready to win.

Gail Nichols, Vice Chair
The Now Mall
The Ultimate Shopping Convenience®

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The New TRILLION Dollar Retail Market – Instant Gratification

The New TRILLION Dollar Retail Market – Instant Gratification

A brand new space age Trillion Dollar Retail Market is upon us.

It’s a new way of living – EVERYTHING – Delivered In a Flash®.

Instant Gratification: The Holy Grail of Retail

Virtually everyone wants Instant Gratification, and always has.

In addition to those who want Instant Gratification, many people need it (e.g. Mobility-Challenged: Seniors 50+, People with Disabilities (temporary or permanent), Caregivers, Busy Families and Office Workers – collectively 50% of the population).

And some desperately require it (e.g. those with serious short or longer term illnesses).

A few Big Box retailers will lead the way in capturing a large portion of this new Trillion Dollar Market based on their unique market presence and their need for new sales, new markets and much higher incremental profits.

These visionary Big Box leaders will become the dominant retailer in their industry, the same as Walmart did 30 years ago with their unique store presence and Amazon did 15 years ago with their unique online presence. Both have continued to dominate these markets with their innovative vision ever since.

Other less visionary Big Box retailers who were innovators initially (which is why they grew so well then) are now becoming virtually irrelevant because of inertia or myopia. They will continue to fade away, while denying the reality of each part of this new market with every excuse in the book – until it’s too late, because Amazon and Walmart – their arch enemies – are already aggressively trying to own this ENTIRE new TRILLION dollar market before any retail executive even acknowledges its existence and/or importance.

The first step in gaining access to this huge new market is to understand it – which, by their own admission (shown below), only a few retail executives currently do, other than Walmart and, of course, Jeff Bezos (CEO Amazon).


Let us walk you through this Trillion Dollar Market, exploring the beginning stages, long term effects and its various constituents including the consumer.

Chart 1 (below) is the U.S. Government’s look at Amazon’s e-commerce “Killing Field” that, over the last 15 years, has caused Bricks & Mortar retailers’ sales to falter and, in many cases, to fail.

And the worst is yet to come.

Over the next 15 years, if left unchecked, Amazon’s Killing Field will decimate Bricks & Mortar stores as we know them today – putting thousands of your local area neighbors out of work. It’s that serious.

The reason is simple: As the price for gas, groceries and other commodities continues to rise exponentially, including school tuitions, health care costs and taxes, more and more people need a second job just to stay even, leaving less time for in-store shopping, hence the compounding convenience of e-commerce and its continuing explosive growth as shown in the next 3 charts below.

Let’s look carefully at this NEW Trillion Dollar Market.

And a typical Big Box retailer’s potential to become a dominant player in it.

BUT FAIR WARNING – This is not for the faint of heart – very few retail executives will have the vision or the courage to tackle something this large – other than Jeff Bezos.

I’m sure you’ve noticed what he’s doing lately – Same-Day Delivery (not 2 to 10 day UPS/FedEx) in certain major cities where, at a cost of MULTI-BILLIONS, he’s building fully automated fulfillment centers – like the 150 others he’s now building nationwide – you see, he’s determined to OWN this huge new market – before most retail executives even realize or acknowledge it’s there !

The Amazon juggernaut is just picking up steam – it will take Bricks & Mortar retailers a lot more than conventional retail strategies to entice people into their stores or regular marketing tools to offset Amazon, let alone beat them. Instant Gratification (i.e. “one-hour” order fulfillment) easily beats more expensive “same-day” order fulfillment with lots of room to spare. And, with orders being fulfilled within an hour from store inventory rather than remote distribution centers, stores are effectively generating more traffic and sales to local customers. Then add our SuperCyberCenter© Network featuring local stores and lower prices and wider choices and the competitive scene is reversed on Amazon and Walmart. Here’s how.

The New Retail Trillion Dollar Market

That Amazon Is Spending $Billions To Own – Virtually Unchallenged – Even By Walmart.

In chart 4 below, compare the tiny green stats for the Trillion Dollar Instant Gratification Market in the 2012 column (red outlined). Then look at the tiny blue stats for e-Commerce in 1999 – 14 years ago, when Jeff Bezos was just getting started. Surprise – initially they are the same size. Very few foresaw the meteoric rise of e-Commerce then – and the same thing is happening now with a wide open opportunity in the Trillion Dollar Instant Gratification Market for farsighted retailers – while Amazon and Walmart are struggling to dominate this market.

This new “Instant Gratification” market has always been “The Holy Grail of Retail”; strong enough to save the very existence of visionary Bricks & Mortar retailers – look at year 2026 (but they can’t wait until then to act).

This Elusive Dream comprises:

(1) 1-Hour Online Order Fulfillment – usually in 30 – 45 minutes;

(2) Same or Lower Prices Than In-Store;

(3) Free Delivery;

(4) Payment At Your Door by Cash or Credit Card (Note: We pay the store before leaving with the order);


(6) Consumers Choose Their Favorite Shoppers / Drivers;

(7) Advantage Member Discounts.

However, this Dream is Reality, as we’ve been doing it for years.

Here’s a Look at a Big Box Retailer’s Portion of This Market

CAUTION – Big Thinking Zone – very few retail executives will have the vision or the courage to tackle something this huge – other than Jeff Bezos.


Recently, we were once again told by a Big Box retailer:

“Your concept is clearly different in its approach and perhaps one day, many people will shop this way. I have discussed this with my leaders. For now though, we are going to pass.”

This is somewhat surprising based on:

(1) The financial mess this Big Box retailer is in stemming from Amazon and Walmart, that everyone else seems to know about,

(2) Over the last 2 years since Amazon first emerged as a serious threat, they used every marketing weapon conceivable to no avail.

(3) The huge number of people already “shopping this way” as shown in charts 1, 2 & 3 above,

(4) Amazon’s continuing growth as shown in chart 2 above – nothing “perhaps” about it;

(5) The fact that we offer Big Box retailers an opportunity to test the program against our prior results (similar to chart 5 below) in 3 progressively larger cities with a 3 month ROI before rolling out nationwide !

NOTE: The person saying this to us – after several one-hour phone meetings (and months of emailed information) asked our team to attend a 4 hour meeting in their headquarters with him and 2 of his team members, after which he stated their company needed to at least try our program and that he was going directly to his “leader” with this recommendation. He was very knowledgeable, dedicated and open about the seriousness of their current needs. We believe he was sincere in everything he said to us and to everyone else in the meeting.

Although this long term, battlefield-tested team knew what was needed, they couldn’t convince their leaders to proceed with the program. This was partly because their executives were focused on getting customers to visit their stores by using free delivery for in-store pickup as a tactic to increase traffic, which does not offset Amazon (or Walmart) in the slightest. AND this was despite the significant new profits the SuperCyberCenter program provided, which they acknowledged were realistic (albeit seemingly preposterous…..similar to chart 5 below). Our experience is the average online “Instant Gratification” orders we bring are double the value of average regular in-store orders!

Therefore, these “leaders” lost their final battle against Amazon (and Walmart), without even knowing it – regardless of their reason(s). (see “Options” below.)

But this not-uncommon attitude by retail executives clearly shows that once again a major market (as shown in detail in charts 4 & 5) will slip from their grasp simply because of inertia, fear, myopia and/or apathy (i.e. The Four Horsemen of the Retail Apocalypse) that we’ve been fighting for years.

Instant Gratification, like all new major “game-changers” that change the status quo, meets with strong resistance from executives. As accomplished entrepreneurs, we’ve seen this repeatedly before (see chart 8 below).

We’ve often heard the old phrase “It’s Too Good To Be True – So It Must Not Be True”. However, to think that 30 to 60 minute “Instant Gratification” that 83% of consumers either want or need, will not arrive in due course is, well, ridiculous. It’s just a matter of vision and leadership and a very small amount of time.

To gain their portion of this Trillion Dollar “Instant Gratification” Market, there are FOUR major Tasks that Big Box retailers must first accomplish – all essentially at the same time.

Task 1 – Win The Fight Against: Inertia, Fear, Myopia and Apathy.

Retail leaders need internal Champions to overcome the usual “can’t do” reaction of those who are already scoffing at all the above, as many others will do and have done… it’s what always happens with any new game-changing innovation. Otherwise, they will miss their significant portion of this new Trillion Dollar “Instant Gratification” Market. It’s a defining moment with far-reaching consequences.

Task 2 – Offer CONVENIENCE: The Number One Consumer Choice.

By now, any retail executive worth their salt knows Jeff Bezos is doing Same Day fulfillment based on the numerous articles published recently. Sometimes common sense is revolutionary.

A few retail executives are doing some make-shift form of same-day service (e.g. store staff assembles orders for local same-day courier to deliver). Many retailers have tried this and all have failed for myriad reasons they never understood (see “Rules Of The Game” below). eBay NOW is currently trying this in San Francisco but, without radical adjustments, it faces the same dismal results as both Simon Malls and General Growth Property Malls experienced while they were attempting to provide a similar service, resulting in $50+ million loss each.

However – offering Same-Day service to compete with Jeff Bezos is simply being a copy-cat and he has all the other power weapons (price & choice) to continue his slaughter – Unabated.

Copy-cats won’t match, let alone beat, Amazon. True Instant Gratification will.

Instant Gratification (The Holy Grail of Retail) includes 1-Hour Order Fulfillment as an integral component of SuperCyberCenters© – locally focused online marketplaces featuring physical neighborhood stores rather than web-only e-retailers. While it may seem impossible, outrageous or even inconceivable, this facility will soon be a household reality when even one senior retail Big Box executive starts to listen to their customers’ wishes (as we did – see chart 6 below – there have been numerous similar studies with similar results), thus fulfilling the consumer’s number one choice of “Convenience”.

The Good News: We can help retailers achieve this elusive Holy Grail of Retail. We uniquely have the experience, technology, ability and proven track record doing exactly that: Our patented system is 100% turnkey – Retailers and their staff need do nothing extra. Even their e-commerce website will not need any changes.


Task 3 – Provide Low PRICE: Consumer’s Number Two Choice – in a Very Close Second Place

Warning: Retailers must not attempt Task 3 until they are 100% comfortable with Task 2, because Task 3 is entirely dependent on Task 2 – the critical parts of Task 2 are patent protected.

OK – the first thing to REALLY understand is: WE ARE NOT A DELIVERY SERVICE. Task 2 is Rapid Delivery but that is the store front – not the store.

We Are Amazon’s Equivalent – Working With The Retail Sector – Not Against It. A COMPETITIVE BUSINESS DECISION.

Our website describes all this: (use zip code 33180 for our demo site – look around it, you’ll be amazed). It’s a SuperCyberCenter© offering ROOF (Rapid Online Order Fulfillment©). You will notice numerous top retailers listed as participating Third Party Sellers with their stores ALL located in close physical proximity to each featured Big Box store.

The Now Mall partners with major Big Box retailers to offer consumers Instant Gratification. The Now Mall is the Operating Partner and the Big Box retailer is the Marketing Partner.

Each participating Big Box site, in each local area nationwide, has their own respective SuperCyberCenter and is called, by example: “ABC SuperCyberCenter©”.

These Big Box stores’ sales will individually increase a minimum of 15% due to cross-marketing with their local “Third Party Stores” (TPS) all as per our detailed records.

TPS also form a critical role in the overall success of every SuperCyberCenter – see item 6 in “Rules of The Game” below.

THEN – the Big Box retailer (as Amazon has done for years) attracts even more consumers away from Amazon (and others), by using their new TPS “EVERGREEN” profits to further discount their products, thereby fulfilling the consumer’s number two choice of “Price”.

Look to the green stars in chart 5 to see the effect on both the Big Box significant sales and profits increase from this new Trillion Dollar “Instant Gratification” Market.


The Third Party Stores, mostly local “Mom & Pop” independent retailers, have also been hurt by Amazon and Walmart even more than the Big Boxes. Instant Gratification is also their salvation thanks to the leadership of their SuperCyberCenter Big Box marketing partner.

Task 4 – Offer Widest Possible Product CHOICE: Consumer’s Final Deciding Factor When Choosing Products & Stores

“The Enemies Of My Enemies Are My Friends”.

With other Big Box retailers similar to those in chart 3 above (with exceptions, but including major malls, grocers, pharmacies, restaurants, sporting goods outlets, pet supplies stores, etc), operating as non-competing, co-operating SuperCyberCenters, this gives the consumer a vastly wider choice than Amazon or Walmart COMBINED could ever offer. This fulfills the consumer’s fondest dreams of the highest form of Convenience, the best Price and the widest Choice. PLUS it provides a service level that will exceed their wildest dreams.

Remarkably, we are the only people in the world today with the necessary years of widely varied experience in all aspects of rapid fulfillment, technology and ability to beat Jeff Bezos at his own game, with a much improved e-commerce version as an Industry Game Changing Solution. Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza, is also one of our founders.

We developed these unique assets and strengths through years of providing Rapid Fulfillment of time-sensitive commodities with major companies like Price Club/Costco; Staples; McDonald’s, and others. Then, by conducting our own extensive field trials in numerous cities as entrepreneurs, we learned the importance of a joint venture team including both a Marketing Partner and the Operating Partner.

Now here is the Big Box retailers’ chance to get back in the ever expanding online game they’ve all been classically losing to date.

The Big Box Retailer Risk Taker’s Options are:

1. Let Amazon and Walmart take this market and hope they can get enough leftovers to survive chart 1.

2. Let another Big Box retailer go first and try to copy them later – OK so they’ll have a big head start.

3. Do it themselves because their team is much smarter than: Webvan; Borders;; PublixDirect; Sears’ “”; Simon Malls’ “”; GGP Malls’ “” and, of course, McDonald's, and more recently you can add eBay NOW to the list – just to name a few in the long list of North American rapid delivery do-it-yourself failures.

4. Team up with a really smart courier company over whom the Big Box retailer has complete operating and profit control.

5. Use the Doubting Thomas approach – because they still don’t believe such a Trillion Dollar “Instant Gratification” Market exists (same as our example retailer) but to be sure, simply have their store staff do it with a local same-day courier and if it fails, so what ! And if there actually is a Trillion Dollar market, great - they’ll be ready. (Problem is using a same-day model, even if they could get it to work, will never show them the size of the real Instant Gratification market – and their cost per order will skyrocket as happened at McDonald’s.)

6. Team up with eBay NOW in San Francisco – OK so they don’t get any Third Party profits or the EVERGREEN plan to lower their prices against Amazon (see above).

7. Pay nothing to start, and get a lot of other freebees – join eBay NOW or become an Anchor Tenant in somebody else’s SuperCyberCenter.

The Big Box Retailer's Non Risk Taker’s Options are:

1. Work out a Risk Free Joint Venture Agreement with us.

2. Work out a Risk Free Charter Member Agreement with us if they are the first visionary Big Box retail executive – doubling the profits we show in chart 5.

We would be pleased to show the following to any objective Big Box retail executive:

1. Where all the numbers come from and how they get there based on our 35 years of detailed statistics and documented successes.

2. A detailed profit and loss including 5 ways to look at everything – then a look at the next 5 years based on actuals and confirmed by a prior major retail client.

3. A detailed Ramp-up of EACH store, order by order, dollar by dollar, month by month, showing every detail of exactly how it all happens and the costs based on our past statistical information.

4. A detailed Overview showing how the first SuperCyberCenters will achieve the results shown in chart 5 over the next 5 years (as impossible as this may appear).

OUR PREDICTION: this market leader will emerge in time for this Holiday Shopping Season and will permanently reap the highest rewards as did Walmart and Amazon in similar circumstances years ago.

We invite your participation in our venture and/or introduction to Big Box retailer executives as a possible fit for our program.


Gail Nichols, Vice Chair

Monday, February 6, 2012

The White Paper On The Future Of Retail Stores

Consumers Are Now Moving More Rapidly From Stores To Clicks – The Exodus Has Begun

Maybe We Can Solve This Problem With A Lesson From The Home Depot’s Evolution.

Here’s the Newest Retailer Problem which we have been predicting since 2007 – as well as a Solid Solution based on The Home Depot’s earlier startling effect on retail.
Amazon’s 2011 annual sales growth just increased by an amazing 40.5% ($14 billion) see chart one as more and more consumers abandoned retail stores and chose e-commerce due to Amazon’s convenience, better prices and much wider choice.   And, Amazon more than doubled their anticipated Q4 profits due to this turnaround in shopping habits.
In contrast, overall retail growth in 2011 was barely 3%.
If Amazon’s growth had been only 3% like most other retailers, their sales growth would have been just $1 billion versus their actual $14 billion.
So, Amazon took $13 billion away from all other retail competitors.  Just about the same as Walmart took – but Walmart’s growth is currently “only” an average of 6% annually !
TOGETHER, Amazon’s and Walmart’s sales growth totaled $42 billion in 2011 – $28 billion siphoned away from other retailers, putting many into significant losses because they couldn’t match the convenience, better prices and much wider choice of Amazon and Walmart.
Amazon’s & Walmart’s very simple Success Formula: More Convenience, Better Prices & Much Wider Choice.  Time proven, but tough to match.
“So What, We Hear This All The Time”
Yes, but it is much worse today than yesterday as Amazon is sea-changing the current retail status quo and nobody is doing anything effective to reverse this sea-change.
Until the Problem is fully understood, the Solution will never be understood, nor the need for it.
It’s the same as when The Home Depot first started in 1978  and upset the then status quo with a sea-change of convenience, better prices & wider choice.  The entire home improvement industry immediately went into rejection and denial.
A new business method had come to town and ALL of The Home Depot’s local competitors (every single one of them – no exceptions) ridiculed it instead of embracing it simply because it radically changed the status quo that they understood and were comfortable with.
So they didn’t even try to compete with it and The Home Depot ultimately stole the show unchallenged and they remain in that dominant position today, 35 years later.
Their competitors were big, long-standing companies with smart people – but not original thinkers.  They all vanished – other than Lowes, who took a while to catch on to the sea-change in consumer preferences.
BELLWETHER TSUNAMI WARNING:  2012 looks even worse for retailers than 2011 as consumers are leaving stores in droves as was forecasted years ago and is now proven by Amazon’s astounding growth, very similar to what happened with The Home Depot 35 years ago.
This is now well documented and deadly serious stuff.  But most major retailers are in denial of the serious effects of this tsunami on their local stores.
It’s already hitting most local area stores near yours – many are collapsing under the pressure but are blaming the economy instead of the consumer’s changing shopping preferences.
Something bold and decisive is needed quickly to get these consumers back into your stores and away from the tsunami beach head.
Ignore the following at your peril as early competitors of The Home Depot did years ago.
 There is a new retail business method capable of deflecting Amazon’s tsunami  – it can help retailers who accept the seriousness of Amazon’s challenge and who realize the comfortable status quo of retail shopping has changed forever.
A limited few retailers are beginning to realize that adopting new and more powerful common sense game-changing strategies is needed to reposition their current business method against this newest sea-change.
Unfortunately, most others are downplaying the sea-change and criticizing these new strategies.  They are hoping it is all just a bad dream (as The Home Depot’s original competitors all did) until it’s too late.  Unfortunately, this gives Amazon an unchallenged playing field (same as The Home Depot had).

“Our Stores Are Doing Just Fine – And We’re Real Happy With Our E-Commerce Growth”

You know how much business you gained in 2011, but do you know how much you lost ?  Maybe this case study will help.
CHART TWO:  See the stats below for what this “tsunami” just did to the world’s largest and best electronics retailer: Best Buy.
Look at their e-commerce sales compared to the Amazon tsunami.  AND BEST BUY IS ONE OF THE TOP 10 IN E-COMMERCE – they are a huge well-run company similar to yours.
Best Buy’s e-commerce sales are reportedly 5% of total sales and reportedly growing at 20% annually, but according to their 5 year trend line, even with 20% e-commerce growth, they are now losing a whopping 9% growth annually.
And this loss rate will increase if they don’t quickly find the right new game-changing business method to offset this newest tsunami.
Best Buy has historically been a reliable growth company under strong management.  Look at their record.  They’ve done all the conventional right things, including their website.
However, their recent efforts have been to no significant avail.  Clearly they share The Home Depot competitor’s scenario – stuck in 3rd gear, and being swept away.
But they are still “on the beach” in the Tsunami Hazard Zone getting progressively hammered as are the other major retailers.
Now Best Buy needs something very new and much more powerful than even their website just to stay relevant.
They need to go to newer, much higher ground.
This higher ground will not be found in conventional marketing programs, mobile apps, cost reductions, new store fronts, or a great new product, or even a few dozen new products as The Home Depot’s competitors all tried to do, in vain.
A huge “game-changing” new business method is needed to offset the size and power of the Amazon tsunami  – and it is needed RIGHT NOW.
But many executives are overwhelmed due to the size and scope of the strategies needed to compete with Amazon & Walmart, so, too often, they disregard the size of the problem and go back to updating store inventory and displays.
This is an entirely new game – like The Home Depot – with new rules and new unconventional players – it’s now adapt or die for most retailers.
This tsunami threat is the same for your stores and it is here now and growing exponentially every day.
You can be assured your growth has been altered in a very similar manner even if you can’t see it (or are ignoring it, hoping the future economy will improve things).
Does chart two (below) look anything like your current profile ?
”I still don’t think the tsunami will do major damage to my unique stores”.   – OK, let’s look at chart three.
CHART THREE:  So you say Best Buy’s problem is unique to Best Buy.
Well, because of their size, they are taking the biggest hit of all others so everyone notices it,  but Best Buy’s problem is pervasive in the retail industry.
Best Buy “only” lost $1 billion in new sales growth in 2011 with more to lose in 2012.  Where did Amazon’s other $13 billion come from, assuming Walmart didn’t also join in for the kill ?
Let’s look at 12 TOP companies in 4 major retail industries.
First, Office Products (chart 3 below) is an old reliable retail growth industry, comprising mainly Staples, Office Depot and OfficeMax – ALL of them recently hit by the tsunami.
Not too long ago, these were all top, “cream-of-the-crop” companies under great management – what happened ?
Look carefully at Year 2007 – the year BEFORE the recession began in 2008.  See anything strange ?
YES – In just a few years, Amazon caught up to and passed Office Depot and OfficeMax, then they both stalled – same as just happened to Best Buy in 2011 (chart 2)  – coincidence ?
NO WAY – look at Staples in 2010; exactly the same thing – Amazon passed them and Staples stalled.  Four in a row – no coincidence.
Office Depot and OfficeMax are now on the edge of extinction, and both are still in absolute denial – see chart 7 (same as The Home Depot’s long gone competitors).
The tsunami hit them hard, washing away their customers and sales, and they still can’t see it or don’t believe it.
Let’s see if any of this holds true in the Books & Electronics industries.
Well how about that !  The same thing happened in the Books & Electronics industries as shown in chart four below.
CHART FOUR:  In 2004, BEFORE the recession began, Amazon passed BOTH Borders & Barnes & Noble in sales and then they both stalled – Borders subsequently died in 2011 after a long and painful struggle.
Then Circuit City was passed by Amazon in 2007 BEFORE the recession began, and they died in 2009 (or should we say drowned in 2009).
Could Circuit City have survived against Best Buy ?
Probably, given a conventional playing field.  After all, Best Buy also subsequently stalled when Amazon passed them also sweeping away their sales growth. 
Here we go again – same thing:
CHART FIVE:    Retail Industry – Once again, Amazon creeps up and all six of these major retailers stalled (or died).  Mass Denial – Same as with The Home Depot’s competitors.
Look at Amazon’s website.  Today they sell everything: shoes, shirts, tools, cameras, sunglasses, and diamond rings, everything – not just books, electronics and office supplies.
Not too long ago, retailers were betting consumers wouldn’t buy these things online – well ??
And if you are counting on unique brands, fashions, styles, etc. – look again, Amazon is coming right after you with their TWO million Third Party Sellers.
Please look at year 2011 carefully.  Check our numbers yourself.  These companies are being devastated, starting in 2007, BEFORE the recession began.
And they are all oblivious as to the real reason because it snuck up on them in plain sight (same as The Home Depot did 35 years ago, devastating their competitors who complacently stood by and watched).
Unfortunately, many will ignore this warning and all the signs and signals just like all The Home Depot’s competitors did, until it is too late.  And, for many, it is already too late – they no longer have enough staying power (customers & profits) because Amazon has already swept them away when they weren’t looking.  Their Brand Names are becoming irrelevant:  “I haven’t been in a Best Buy store in 8 years, Amazon has everything I need at less cost and it’s more convenient.” (recent consumer comment)

”I Agree Amazon Is A Rising Problem, But I’m Still Not Convinced They Will Be A Major Threat”  – Let’s look at chart 6.
CHART SIX:  Notice how the retail economy still grew in 2008 and didn’t slip until 2009, leveling out in 2010 and growing again in 2011 – so why did most of the above companies stall in 2007 BEFORE the recession began ?
Simple Mathematics:     If the retail economy is growing at 3% average annually, and retail e-commerce is growing at 17% average annually (and rising) then it is e-commerce (convenience, price & choice) that is causing your in-store sales to decline from what they should have been, not the economy.  And this growth decline will increase as e-commerce growth is further compounded.  Again, Simple Mathematics.
When do the in-store and e-commerce growth curves cross each other ?  2020. After that, store closings will be rampant with huge numbers of job losses unless something is done RIGHT NOW.
Please notice how local store sales growth is gradually slowing between 2011 and 2020 as a percent of TOTAL retail as more and more retailers announce “downsizings”.
Then add Walmart’s Price, Choice & New Convenience (Next-Day delivery) and it’s game over for many stores much sooner than 2020.
The tsunami just drowned them.

“Nonsense – we’re doing just fine – lots of good things are in the works.”
Actually, we’re simply pointing out the newest statistics of the rapidly changing e-commerce retail world.  Let’s see if chart 7 sheds any additional light.
CHART SEVEN:  You may ask: “What’s all this red about ? Why so many ?  Sure there is always a few under water – but not half (or more).”
Not too long ago these were ALL super performing companies or they wouldn’t be on this list.  (Like The Home Depot’s myriad original competitors that denied the NEW reality and are now gone.)
The first step to solving any problem is to acknowledge it, then to clearly understand it.
No it’s not caused entirely by the economy.  And no, it’s not entirely e-commerce versus in-store either.  So what is the Problem ?
The answer is blatantly clear & simple:  Consumer Preferences Are Rapidly Changing As Technology Advances.  Ask the industry leaders: Amazon, Walmart & Google.
Consumers Want More Convenience.  Better Pricing.  Wider Choices.  NOW !
Give them this (as The Home Depot did) and this will stop the Tsunami dead in its tracks – Because This Created The Tsunami In The First Place.
“Wait, Wait, Wait – Not So Fast – We Simply Can’t Do All This.”

Well, actually YES you can do all this – easily, inexpensively and with even greater profits.    

CHART EIGHT:   Certainly this is not something any one retailer can achieve alone – you need a well coordinated, knowledgeable and very diverse team.  (A Consortium.)

Retailers like Best Buy have done all the conventional stuff and much more – but against the e-commerce tsunami, it’s been to no avail so they are buying back shares and retrenching (going smaller, less relevant) instead of looking for a new game-changing common sense business method as The Home Depot did (and as Amazon did – and so did Walmart when they added groceries).  Standing alone on the beach watching this thing roll over you is, well . . . . . !

“I’ve Heard All The Doomsday Sayers Before – I Think The Whole Solution Is Impossible and Blown Out Of Proportion”

Look, Amazon just announced its huge sales growth explosion and caught everyone off guard – so it will be much tougher tomorrow than yesterday – no doubt about it.  After all, consumers now love and depend on Amazon because they are reliable and they protect the consumer with positive AND NEGATIVE product reviews to guard and enhance consumer experience.  Plus today’s consumer can get everything online (other than most time-sensitive perishables) at great prices, which is why Amazon is expanding so phenomenally.  More Convenience, better prices and far more choice than you now offer – so the tsunami continues to roll over you.

BUT, when you really study the myriad components of The Network Consortium (below), including the massive geography, you will see that store by store and area by area, there is a simple symbiotic relationship significantly benefitting all participants that is absolutely designed to offset Amazon & Walmart in every way that most of you have never investigated because we have never heard from you, thus leaving you stranded on the beach.  Yes, we know this is a huge statement but we have 30 years direct experience allowing us this unique perspective.

The common sense simplicity is that our SuperCyberCenter with ROOF Network Consortium is the solution retailers need to defend against the Amazon tsunami.  The Network Consortium comprises local neighborhood  retailers including grocers, restaurants and pharmacies, thus giving the consumer more convenience, far more choice and better pricing as well as building on the community aspect.  But this is a radically new retail business method for local shopping and delivery, something retailers may find perplexing – but it is a true game-changer that is necessary to turn the tide of this new tsunami – Amazon (and Walmart).

Ignore this at your peril.

For retailers to benefit from The Network Consortium, it does require an open mind and a few exceptional and innovative executives (that will be well rewarded).  Here’s how it works:

The online SuperCyberCenter has Anchor stores with in-line smaller tenants in a group
setting – a simple structure used effectively for years by every major regional mall owner. (And Amazon & Walmart.)

This online SuperCyberCenter is enhanced by Rapid Online Order Fulfillment (ROOF): 1-Hour in-store shopping and delivery is the drawing card (the more convenient part) BUT THE MOST DIFFICULT PART .

With a diversity of dissimilar local neighborhood retailers participating as Third Party Sellers in the SuperCyberCenter – much wider choice is easily achieved, which no single retailer alone could match (including Amazon & Walmart) because, for the first time, we include retailers selling time-sensitive perishable items like milk, ice cream, cheeseburgers and fries.

But the tricky part is also offering better prices with higher profits & margins – therefore the solution is multi-part.

·         As each retailer promotes their own stores in the SuperCyberCenter Network Consortium, cross-marketing reduces all participants’ marketing costs substantially (same as in a regional mall)

·         As this generates all new incremental business – sales and profits are higher (same as in a regional mall)

·         Retailers can use some of these added profits to lower consumer service costs (same as in a regional mall)

·         Anchor retailers pay less and get more (same as in a regional mall) assuming their competitors didn’t get there first.

·         Your competition (Amazon & Walmart) now have a much higher threshold to achieve thus protecting your sales and profits.

This results in a very new business method, very bold and very decisive: certainly powerful enough that the tsunami can’t reach the Network’s higher ground – and it’s been fully tried and proven over time and at enormous expense.

Together we can overcome the looming threat of the tsunami with Bold & Decisive Action; assuming you still have a viable business left.

Chart 8  Look at what can be done if a few original thinkers take up the Amazon challenge.  (Amazon’s growth rate returns to normal – yours continues at an improved rate – leaving a level playing field.)

To sum up Amazon’s disconcerting news – Retailers Must Advance In Strength or Die.  The choice is yours.  Denial is simply not an option for you or your industry.  (Remember The Home Depot’s original competitors – all gone !)

CHART NINE:  Yes, there is a strong ongoing place for e-commerce – it’s certainly here to stay.  But let’s level the playing field !

To do so, we offer the National SuperCyberCenter with ROOF Network Consortium requiring national retailer participation;  starting with just a few visionaries who acknowledge their problem with the tsunami (Amazon and Walmart).

Then, as an early adopter Anchor or Charter Member in The Network Consortium, there are myriad other benefits you gain directly and indirectly.

Frankly, under these new circumstances, it should be an easy decision for most retailers TO AT LEAST CALL US to review their options.

Here’s How You Save Your Stores And Possibly Your Career.

Assuming you are past the normal excitement of watching the big wave roll in, and/or the denial that there even is a wave;

And assuming your brand name still has any consumer power left, which many no longer have;

Then there is virtually no cost to have one of your appropriate EVPs (or higher) call us – you owe at least this much to yourself and your shareholders.

AND if any of this makes any sense to you, and if by any chance you see your company threatened by the tsunami, please see our one-time incentive to join us below.

Overview:  The Retail New Business Method.

CONVENIENCE was, and always will be, the number one consumer driver.  With COST a close second and CHOICE their final deciding factor.  Consumers simply don’t care about your profitability or store traffic counts, that’s your problem.  But holding back on delivering faster, better, less expensive services to your customers because you don’t want to do something new or different is totally unwise.  (The Home Depot competitor syndrome.)

Let’s look carefully at how you can deliver the future to your customers AND GET GREATER SALES, PROFITS & IN-STORE TRAFFIC COUNTS – ALL TESTED & PROVEN.

1.       CONSUMER CONVENIENCE:   Rapid Delivery in 30 to 60 minutes from your local stores with us doing the entire order processing including assembly and payment before we leave your store;  you will probably concede every single customer you have would prefer this over FedEx or UPS delivery in 3 to 10 days and we can do this cheaper, faster and more efficiently than FedEx and UPS given our 30 years experience (see The Network below).  Both FedEx and UPS are currently trying to come up with Same-Day service which only 33% of consumers want (see chart above).  How about In-Store Shopping + Rapid Delivery in 1-Hour ? Net Result:  Happy and loyal new customers.

2.       CONSUMER PRICE:  These are all INCREMENTAL SALES so you are much further ahead to start BUT add to this your HUGE Local Third Party Seller profits via our SuperCyberCenter “SCC” Network (see “The Network Consortium” below) and you are light years ahead in profits no matter what you offer your local customers in pricing incentives AGAINST Walmart & Amazon.  Using your Third Party Seller profits, you can become more competitive in your core products and still make MORE profit than you are now.  Net Result:  Very happy and loyal new customers (and shareholders).

3.       CONSUMER CHOICE:  Let’s say you are in the electronics business as is Amazon.  Now add a neighboring Third Party Seller store in the dissimilar “shoe” business to your SuperCyberCenter “SCC”, similar to Amazon’s online Marketplace.  The resulting cross-marketing on your SCC produces new sales for your store exactly the same as major Regional Malls bring local shoe purchasers into your electronics stores.  It’s  effective, economical & powerful.  AND it’s probably why your stores are already in malls, shopping centers or high traffic areas.  Now add a few more dissimilar high attraction retailers such as restaurants & pharmacies & grocers to your SCC and your local store sales will rise proportionately.  Amazon is doing it successfully.  Walmart is doing it successfully. And every Regional Mall in the world is doing it successfully.  How about you ?  Net Result:  Extremely happy and loyal new customers (and ecstatic shareholders).

4.       IN-STORE TRAFFIC:   Traffic is important both online and in-store.  But in-store traffic is critical and, as we all know, it’s moving online.  Add cross-marketing with dissimilar high attraction Third Party Seller local stores to your SCC and both your in-store traffic and online traffic will increase proportionately.  Then add “in-store incentives” to your SCC and you have the best of all worlds.  Common Sense.  Amazon & Walmart have been gaining more traffic this way for years with dissimilar high traffic Third Party Sellers and online in-store promotions.

5.       RETAIL PROFITS:   Trying to stay competitive with Amazon and Walmart simply saps your bottom line unless you can increase your sales proportionately;  but against Amazon & Walmart – tough to do.  OK look around, what else do you have to create new profits ?  Look up.  Is the Brand Name above your stores powerful ?  If so, use it together with your 30 to 60 minute In-Store Shopping + Rapid Delivery of products from your stores to bring on board your dissimilar high attraction Third Party Seller neighboring stores whose customers also want In-Store Shopping + Rapid Delivery.  The value of your Brand name will sky-rocket and so will your bottom line.

6.       Killer App:  Great customer service is important to all retail executives.  If 20% to 30% of all your store customers went away unhappy and returned their purchases, you would go insane.  But you are OK with this when FedEx and UPS do exactly that EVERY DAY to your e-commerce distribution centers.  How about cutting that down to 2% to 3% by getting the right things to the customer from your stores so fast & friendly they can’t change their minds – as a supplemental service to in-store pickup.  Now you have control of the order every step of the way.

7.       In-Store Smartphones:  It is shocking how many people regularly shop with their smartphone front & center.  They check your product and price and then (if it’s cheaper) order it from Amazon BEFORE THEY LEAVE YOUR STORE and there is nothing you can do to stop this.  But you can turn it to your advantage:  Put in-store signs (the bigger the better) that invite shoppers to check your online price and 1-Hour delivery timing against Amazon’s online price – give them your SuperCyberCenter (SCC) web address so they can see your ONLINE price with our one hour shopping & delivery against Amazon’s 3 to 10 day delivery. 
Yes, your SCC online price can be less than Amazon and less than your in-store price AND MORE PROFITABLE DOING IT because you will use your Third Party Seller Profits (as Amazon does) to offset your lower online prices AND your 1-Hour delivery is more customer-friendly than Amazon’s unfriendly 3 to 10 days.  Now your customer’s choice is: (1) Amazon Online unfriendly & more expensive (2) You Online friendly and less expensive, or (3) take it home from your store at a slightly higher in-store price and you are local, Amazon isn’t.  Many will simply buy in-store and take it home with them – even more convenient.  Choices galore from previously limited choices.  And remember THREE things:  (1) online orders are historically larger and more profitable than in-store orders; (2) be thankful you have that customer at home instead of at Amazon (or Walmart); and (3) your local stores are now absolutely relevant to your future success, rather than a drag on profits.  Naysayers – beware of the rapidly growing tsunami.
HERE’S YOUR BONUS:  Shareholders and investors want a stronger company with higher profits.  Join us.  Result:  Higher Market Cap.

To achieve all the above, simply give your customers what they have always wanted. More Convenience, Better Prices, Wider Choices as provided by The Network Consortium (see below). 
Added Bonus: We sponsor FREE Delivery.

The SuperCyberCenter Network Consortium with Rapid 1-Hour In-Store Shopping + Delivery is all in one package.  And it’s 100% turnkey;  you and your staff do nothing new or extra (see below).
SUMMATION:   We know many of you are really struggling with all this (our communications get an amazing 40% readership – for which we sincerely thank you).  Your industry is in yet another massive change, and change is tough to swallow, but you know you must change and adapt or die.  Not a great alternative.

Secondly, you may have questions about who we are, etc, etc.  As the founders, we have invested 30 years and $ millions in R&D and myriad field trials in many cities, personally investing everything we owned (and more) as most entrepreneurs do – simply because we knew from our unique perspective what consumers want and where all this had to eventually end up.  Convenience (1-Hour versus 3 to 10 days)  Lower Price (Third Party Seller Participation as Amazon does) and MUCH Wider Choice (all your local neighboring stores with whom you already cooperate as a community, including those selling time-sensitive perishables).  Just as Walmart and Amazon have been doing at your expense for years.

We know you know this is simple common sense, and yet perhaps it still seems like very foreign stuff.  And many of you have outright told us you would prefer to stick to your product line and not add other things like (horrors) milk and cheeseburgers.  Yes, in simpler days, that is what we were all taught, “stick to your knitting”, then along came the tsunami (Amazon and Walmart).  Times have changed forever and so has the retail status quo, but with a SuperCyberCenter Network Consortium with Rapid Online Order Fulfillment, you still only concentrate on what you do best – we do all the other stuff in a symbiotic relationship same as we did so successfully with McDonald’s (see chart at the end).

This is an industry-wide problem, yet to our surprise it is also an industry-wide response same as happened with The Home Depot years ago:  resistance and denial to the solution, yet more than half of major retailers are already in serious trouble.

SOLUTION:  We need you and you need us ….Now!  Firstly join us in Buffalo, NY for your initial benchmarking (sticking your toe in the water); then when you find the water is actually rather nice, join us in Pittsburgh, PA (walk around the wading pool); then when you are really comfortable, join us in Atlanta, GA (swim across the pool – in the shallow end) then when all this is comfortable and paying off – go National with us as a Consortium, thus outmaneuvering the tsunami.

Those who join us now when we ALSO need you will receive initial and long term Charter Member privileges – not to mention at virtually no risk while potentially saving your company.  Here’s what you get.

this Decade’s TWO Biggest Retail Innovations – for “Space Age” Customer Convenience, Price & Choice:
1.       SuperCyberCenter© (SCC):  a HYBRID online “Marketplace” with Third Party Sellers similar to Amazon, eBay and Walmart but much more powerful:
A ‘Hybrid’ because we add a patented upgrade – we include “LOCAL”  physical stores;  restaurants; pharmacies, grocers & retailers with unique fashion and/or time-sensitive commodities as Third Party Sellers.  Not available on Amazon (or anywhere else).  Take The Leadership Position In Your Industry.
This is an astoundingly lucrative new Third Party Seller profit source enabling you to dramatically increase your in-store sales from LOCAL cross-marketing
·         In-Line Retail Participants – no cost to join

·         Anchor Retail Participants – no cost to join – lower operating costs

·         Charter Retail Participant – SCC is branded in your name – you are front and center everywhere – you earn powerful EVERGREEN Free Cash Flow “War Chest” new profits on all Third Party Seller Store ROOF sales. Limited Charter positions are available in any area.
These locally-focused Neighborhood initiatives are a strategy that Amazon, without local stores, simply cannot EVER match.  Our patents will cause Walmart to try the “back-door” into a unique Hybrid business they know nothing about.
2.       ROOF (Rapid Online Order Fulfillment©): a HYBRID FedEx/UPS for your local stores AND your SCC Third Party Seller Stores.   The Logical Customer Convenience Choice.  People want things right NOW, not next day or next week !  Amazon, Walmart & Google are already bringing on smaller versions of this new powerful service against you (click their links to see how). Are you ready to compete effectively ?
A Hybrid because we add our 100% Turnkey LOCAL In-Store Shopping + Rapid Delivery both usually within 30 to 60 Minutes 24 / 7 / 365 using our proprietary and excellent Shared Workforce.  No single retailer, no matter how large, can do this without local area Third Party Seller Stores co-operating in sharing a “much” larger driver pool to cover your volatile Peak & Valley periods; it takes an entire neighborhood in scope and our years of experience doing it (similar to Amazon’s 10 year lead online and Walmart’s 30 year lead in-store).
Another Consideration: Delivered prices of your products via ROOF can be the same or less than in-store prices and are more profitable than if delivered by UPS / FedEx since your store staff do not assemble, package or deliver ROOF orders PLUS we pay before we leave the storeROOF is 100% turnkey.  And you have control of the order every step of the way.
This enables you to earn substantial income from your increased in-store sales & profits reclaimed from Amazon & Walmart (and other local competitors) due to our Rapid Shopping & Delivery (30 to 60 minutes – 24 / 7 / 365) instead of same-day, next-day, or up to 10 day more expensive in-house fulfillment with FedEx/UPS delivery. 
THEN ADD your new Charter Member EVERGREEN Free Cash Flow “War Chest” from all ROOF rapid fulfillment orders through your Third Party Seller storesAgain, nobody else can match this, it’s “The Last Mile Of The Internet®literally.
Hidden Windfall:
·         You also save your current significant cost of the usual 20% to 30% returned online orders shipped by USPS, UPS or FedEx.

·         Our online store-branded discount coupons redeemable in-store are FAR less expensive, easier to use and faster to update than regular online daily deal sites like Groupon, which you can add to or change at any time without someone else’s approval – a huge ADDITIONAL selling point for your Third Party Seller Stores.

·         We sponsor Free Delivery (unlike FedEx and UPS). 

There are 600± neighboring Third Party Seller Stores around each of your stores = cross-marketing and use of our shared rapid in-store shopping & delivery workforce which destroys Amazon’s, Google’s and Walmart’s basic online marketing tool of same-day, next-day to 10 day home delivery.
Getting Started Is As Simple As Plugging In A Toaster !
As the only major game-changing / industry-changing solution in sight, we enable you to significantly boost your sales, profits and share value with a proven HYBRID online LOCAL marketplace with EVERYTHING: Delivered In A Flash®  24 / 7 / 365 that nobody else can even closely match – including FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Walmart or your local competitors.
The Ultimate Shopping Convenience®   Delivered In A Flash®
Email us at gnichols (at)  And remember, there is limited room for SCCs in any area.  First movers will attract the best Third Party Sellers and the most customers.
We will demonstrate every step of the program including how we logically increase your Net After Tax profit by as much as 58% or more (see Gold Standard chart below) depending on the plan you choose.
Please email me to schedule a time when you have a few minutes to discuss this Bold and Decisive Strategy and we will give you your Rapid Online Order Fulfillment (ROOF) service FREE for your first 3 months during any of our initial benchmarking cities (Buffalo, NY;  Pittsburgh, PA then Atlanta, GA.)
Thank you,
Gail Nichols - Vice Chair

Email: gnichols (at)