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The end of lockdown is looming – but will retail be booming?

LIFE is definitely edging in the direction of that most celebrated word of late: NORMAL.

I suspect few of us can actually remember what normal is or was, and I’m fairly certain we didn’t all live our lives in identical ways anyway, so it’s a confusing phrase at very least.

But – shops are now reopening and with pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues set to follow soon, it seems lockdown is on the cusp of being a thing of the past.

I’ve actually just come off a Zoom call (most said phrase of 2020 so far right there) where I was telling someone how nervous I am about it all at the moment – I’m certainly taking a cautious approach to getting back ‘out there’.

By the sounds of it, I’m not the only one. But I can see a path where confidence starts to grow in the coming weeks and retail starts to boom again by the middle of summer – especially with so many people having extra money to spend after some enforced saving during lockdown.

Suddenly, marketing for retail becomes incredibly important. Understandably, loads of businesses will have put that to one side for the time being, but now is definitely the time to revisit it.

I did an interesting episode of Steel City Business with a couple of guys who specialise in video marketing a few weeks ago. It was still during lockdown, and so some of the content may not seem quite as current now, but it’s an interesting listen nonetheless: https://www.steelcitybusiness.com/episode/openhousepictures

You already know that podcasting is my bag. So for retail, can podcasting help the recovery post-lockdown? Sure, it can help any brand or business, ultimately. But I’m not daft, I get that not all retailers can invest time and money in making a podcast series.

Months ago I was working on an idea which suddenly seems a lot more relevant. It’s where basically a community of shops or businesses all in one area develop a podcast series between them. That way, costs are shared and so quite slim, and it’s helping drive footfall to that ‘high street’ and so beneficial across the board.

It was something I added to my portfolio to offer out, calling it a ‘retail booster’ package – probably not the greatest name in the world, but it does the trick. Let’s say six shops all around the Chesterfield Road area, for example, club together – I record an episode with each one individually, edit and mix them, and release as a podcast series. Each shop would be able to publicise their own episode on social media, while also helping promote the wider area, and attract more people to come and spend some money – while the costs say fair and low for each business.

Maybe now is the perfect time for some shops in particularly close knit communities to consider this idea.

To discuss it further, just drop me a line to james@jae.media or book a taster session at here

About the author, James

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