Taking Arms against a Sea of Troubles
'Nightmare on the high street'. 'Brand misery'. These imprecations of doom are everywhere. Suddenly, it seems, all the lights go out. Is it really so bad – everywhere?
No – it's serious, but overstated. Sectors are threatened. Food and banks are too. Elsewhere – oils, minerals – markets thrive. But these movements are cyclical – we've all lived through several equivalents. Good companies know to set realistic targets and they also know it's not economic cycles that matter most – long-term performance, sticking with winning strategy, nurturing key brands and keeping high-calibre teams matter more – much more. They remain alert – they see these cycles coming and plan ahead. The result: 'good, well-run [retailers] don't have bad years'; so said David Livingston (DJL research/Retail Wire, January 2008) – he might have said companies or brands instead of retailers.