Study: Strategic Mindset, Embrace Of New Technology Separate Retail ‘Thrivers’ From ‘Survivors’

The difference between floundering retailers and those that are succeeding isn’t just a matter of sales — it’s also a matter of mindset. There is a clear strategic distinction between Thrivers, who are profitable and experiencing strong growth, and Survivors, who are stable but just breaking even. Retailers can learn what type of company they are — and how to move into the Thriver category — by studying how each group approaches problems, according to the 2019 BDO Retail Rationalized Survey.

Retailers that began in the digital space are overrepresented in the Thriver category, according to the report: 84% of e-Commerce pure plays were Thrivers, while 54% of traditional retailers fell into the Survivor category. The most successful retailers are leading the way with an eye toward the future, while less successful retailers are more focused on their day-to-day operations.

“Many Survivors are risk averse, lack technology and are pretty much in a wait-and-see attitude,” said Natalie Kotlyar, Retail and Consumer Products Practice Leader at BDO in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “ In order for Survivors to become Thrivers, they need to change their way of thinking, their mindset, and perhaps find additional capital to take them above and beyond their day-to-day spending.”

Thinking Ahead Means Thinking Outside Of The Box

Part of Thrivers’ success in thinking ahead involves getting ready for likely future challenges: 51% are actively preparing for an economic downturn, and 52% expect to see increased levels of bankruptcy in 2019. To meet those challenges, Thrivers are willing to experiment with new ideas and partner with outside companies to maximize their potential.

“One of the things Thrivers do that Survivors don’t is think outside of the box,” said Kotlyar. “For example, if you understand…