He was complaining about how tough it was out there in retail. It would appear that this attitude was being conveyed to his team on a day to day basis. Now, I have absolutely no doubt that is is tough out there. In fact, an article in the newspaper The Age (see link http://bit.ly/reBlzx) confirms the two speed economy in Australia (in fact, the eastern side of Australia is considered in recession whilst the western side is booming!)
I see no benefit in this business owner espousing doom and gloom to his team. In fact, he needs to show leadership and, through positive selling systems ensure that each selling opportunity is maximised.
I have no doubt that store numbers have dropped as people become savers rather than spenders.
However, with systems, great customer service and positive leadership from the top, I'm sure that profit improvements could be achieved (without sacrificing margins) by:
a) Increasing the conversion rate
b) Increasing the average $ sale
I'm sure that this business owner has no idea what these numbers were before the downturn nor what they are now! In fact 80% + of business owners would not know what these numbers mean, let alone how they can be of so much value in these difficult times!
Okay - so answer for me two questions:
1) What is your conversion rate?
2) What is your av. $ sale?
I help businesses every day understand and improve these ratios - do you need help?