Saturday, March 29, 2008

Retail is for Idiots

Retail is for idiots. Specialty retail is for the idiots other idiots consider idiots. So why are supposedly powerful and important people getting so wound up over it?

I can't begin to explain the layers of intrigue, insult and manipulation being laid down right now to decide who gets to sell products people barely want and certainly want cheaply to the few people who actually show up for them.

I suppose we distract ourselves from the distressingly large and incurable problems of the world by making such an unholy stench about the trivial ones. Also, the specialty in this case includes equipment for a competitive individual sport, so we get all those competitive egos involved. Since some of the players are titans of finance and industry in their other lives, they like to play to win. Since most of them lack the physical capability to compete at the actual sport, they must browbeat the other participants in the commercial side.

I might be intimidated, alarmed and defensive if I gave the faintest shit. But our team has the advantage of being told we're already doomed. This is not a negotiation. This is much cooler than a negotiation. In all probability, the resolution will make us competitors with a former client, yet the style of our severance stands to give us an image boost. Our opponents can't come out of this looking good unless we really screw up.

Ultimately, of course, it's about what you take to the bank, not how many people like you for various reasons. You could become very popular by putting yourself out of business giving unsupportable discounts.

Because any outcome is fine with us, we can play the game with utter coolness. I believe that's more than can be said for the other side. What the other side loses, they won't really lose to us. We are small. They are large. But they could be devoured by the very thing they hope to gain. It could take them over and consume their identity. They considered that we were too small, and beneath them. But anything grand enough to match their World Class stature will have its own goals and powerful forces to back them up.

This is going to be nothing but fun, except for any heavy lifting we wind up having to do.

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