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The Effects of Covid-19 on Retail

The Effects of Covid-19 on Retail

It has been almost one full year of struggles for us at Majer Hockey. The word "pivot" has been mentioned several times when the conversation turns to how small businesses will survive this pandemic. We foresee another 6 months of continuous struggles and the constant question mark of how this worldwide situation will all pan out. So the word "pivot" can be taken into several contexts based off of the individual business being affected by this crisis. And when I say crisis, we are not just talking about the health crisis that has affected millions of people worldwide. I am speaking of the emotional and psychological damage this has caused and the constant wondering if we will see the light at the end of the runnel any time soon. Add to the thousands of small to medium sized businesses that may not come out of this in tact and the thousands upon thousands of people out of work or with drastically reduced hours and pay.

We will eventually see the other side of this, but when will that day come?

So going back to pivoting, Majer Hockey has tried (at times in vain) to pivot our business to ready ourselves for the future of retail. And who knows how that will look. There have been recent studies indicating that about 80% of shoppers surveyed would still like to attend stores to purchase their items. People still want to see, touch, feel, try on and experience their purchases in person, we are guessing for several reasons including but not limited to:

1) self appeasing. People want to have visual confidence in what they are purchasing;
2) proper fit. For us, hockey skates are the key as, at times, people tend not to know what skates they should purchase, what size they are and the overall comfort factor;
3) professional advice and service. At Majer Hockey, our staff are trained and have decades of experience with hockey equipment. We do not sell you any gear that we want. It is left up to you and, with our advice, we will provide you with the right product at the right price.
4) the experience of shopping. Although some do not like to shop, the experience that one gets from attending a store like Majer Hockey is the camaraderie, friendly people, the chance you will see someone that you know, the selection, the aura of being in a hockey shop, the ability to walk around and browse instead of trying to make your selection online. All factor in to the overall shopping experience at a physical location.

But what about that other 20% that may not attend physical stores in the future and wish to conduct all of their shopping online? You see, we are a unique store as we are considered a specialty retailer. There was an article published by the Retail Council of Canada a while back indicating the demise of the "mushy middle" stores. Those are the stores that are not a big box retailer nor are they specializing in one specific area. They try and cater to too many things and their products get lost in the shuffle. They predicted that the mushy middle stores would be the first to close if such a crisis exists. And are we seeing that occur now?

So Majer Hockey has pivoted to a degree. Case in point is why you are now reading this blog post. We are online and are taking the future of online retail seriously. Hundreds and possibly thousands of hours have been and will be invested into this future of retail business in Canada. There are growing pains to contend with, huge amounts of competition to overcome and thousands of dollars to invest in making this a viable endeavor. And what would be the situation that we are in if we were not online as of this minute? Would our doors be open to curbside pickup or would we have to shut our doors, wait and hope that the end to this pandemic is near? Luckily those are questions that we do not have to ask ourselves just yet. But as this drags on, are we going to have to answer those questions? For the sake of the ownership and staff at Majer Hockey plus the millions of people and small businesses that this has affected, let's hope those questions never get asked.

A quote attributed to Winston Churchill (but not verified) states, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

In this case, we all have no choice, do we?

Stay safe everyone. Shop local. Shop family.
The Majer Hockey Team

It has been almost one full year of struggles for us at Majer Hockey. The word "pivot" has been mentioned several times when the conversation turns to how small businesses will survive this pandemic. We foresee another 6 months of continuous struggles and the constant question mark of how this worldwide situation will all pan out. So the word "pivot" can be taken into several contexts based off of the individual business being affected by this crisis. And when I say crisis, we are not just talking about the health crisis that has affected millions of people worldwide. I am speaking of the emotional and psychological damage this has caused and the constant wondering if we will see the light at the end of the runnel any time soon. Add to the thousands of small to medium sized businesses that may not come out of this in tact and the thousands upon thousands of people out of work or with drastically reduced hours and pay.

We will eventually see the other side of this, but when will that day come?

So going back to pivoting, Majer Hockey has tried (at times in vain) to pivot our business to ready ourselves for the future of retail. And who knows how that will look. There have been recent studies indicating that about 80% of shoppers surveyed would still like to attend stores to purchase their items. People still want to see, touch, feel, try on and experience their purchases in person, we are guessing for several reasons including but not limited to:

1) self appeasing. People want to have visual confidence in what they are purchasing;
2) proper fit. For us, hockey skates are the key as, at times, people tend not to know what skates they should purchase, what size they are and the overall comfort factor;
3) professional advice and service. At Majer Hockey, our staff are trained and have decades of experience with hockey equipment. We do not sell you any gear that we want. It is left up to you and, with our advice, we will provide you with the right product at the right price.
4) the experience of shopping. Although some do not like to shop, the experience that one gets from attending a store like Majer Hockey is the camaraderie, friendly people, the chance you will see someone that you know, the selection, the aura of being in a hockey shop, the ability to walk around and browse instead of trying to make your selection online. All factor in to the overall shopping experience at a physical location.

But what about that other 20% that may not attend physical stores in the future and wish to conduct all of their shopping online? You see, we are a unique store as we are considered a specialty retailer. There was an article published by the Retail Council of Canada a while back indicating the demise of the "mushy middle" stores. Those are the stores that are not a big box retailer nor are they specializing in one specific area. They try and cater to too many things and their products get lost in the shuffle. They predicted that the mushy middle stores would be the first to close if such a crisis exists. And are we seeing that occur now?

So Majer Hockey has pivoted to a degree. Case in point is why you are now reading this blog post. We are online and are taking the future of online retail seriously. Hundreds and possibly thousands of hours have been and will be invested into this future of retail business in Canada. There are growing pains to contend with, huge amounts of competition to overcome and thousands of dollars to invest in making this a viable endeavor. And what would be the situation that we are in if we were not online as of this minute? Would our doors be open to curbside pickup or would we have to shut our doors, wait and hope that the end to this pandemic is near? Luckily those are questions that we do not have to ask ourselves just yet. But as this drags on, are we going to have to answer those questions? For the sake of the ownership and staff at Majer Hockey plus the millions of people and small businesses that this has affected, let's hope those questions never get asked.

A quote attributed to Winston Churchill (but not verified) states, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

In this case, we all have no choice, do we?

Stay safe everyone. Shop local. Shop family.
The Majer Hockey Team

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