Retail: Much ado about nothing

BlahWith the social media proliferation and its assumed relevance in our online personas, be it private or business related, we are inundated with information. Not least of all the vociferous bombardment of experts be they self-proclaimed, agenda inspired or mutually respected authorities.

The retail sector is no different. The truth is, a healthy spectrum of commentators, gurus and soothsayers prevail. Responsible for a deluge of advice, misinformation and wishful thinking on sage insights, silver bullet cures and damnation. All critical to the livelihood of the sector through checks and counterbalances in establishing self-regulation and acceptable practice.

However, the burgeoning habitude from media correspondents of late is the unleashing of nondescript articles with indeterminate messages (preachings by all accounts) on mystic subject matters. Regular submissions of impressive verbiage but with little relevance to the punter nonplussed by the intended message or teachings. Such diatribe dilutes the impact of the writings and reduces the author’s ability to influence thus damaging the reputation and the irrevocable mistrust of future communications.

Any fool can point out the obvious, the errors and deviances in judgement. Just as leadership’s role is to offer the tools delivering mutual goals it is the up to the ‘support’ industry to recommend, discuss and invite debate towards the positive reinforcement of an amazing sector.

Retail is, and always has been, an open and honest industry with an inherent devotion to excellence, a sacrosanct conviction to detail with a sense of urgency. Intolerant of insincerity, falsehoods and frivolous exertions or the loftiness of the outsider. Impervious to pompous self-elevation and the vested interests of the lone-wolf or indoctrination of the witless. A resilience misconstrued by those with a limited cognisance of the industry and scant appreciation for the multifarious mix of hard work and ingenuity.

Say it like it is. Don’t dress it up or hold back on the truth. Write with sincerity, speak with passion and above all commit to improving the status quo. Cease the self-indulgent ‘I told you so’ smugness and the ulterior motives of hidden agenda through open and honest interaction, transparency and above all integrity.

Drop the waffle and empty correspondence for publicity sake. Avoid the temptation to click bait and the sensationalised headline. Always remembering not to dish it out if we can’t take it and that retail is about people for people by people.

Dave Farrell is a retailer and writer with three decades of experience on three continents. He can be reached at Freelance Alliance NZ on

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