How These 50-Year-Old Retailers Dominate the Youngsters: Great D
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fifty years ago, the U.S. was introduced to what would soon become icons of the retail sector: Target(TGT) , Wal-Mart(WMT) and ailing Kmart -- owned by also struggling Sears(SHLD) all established their first stores in 1962. They represent 50 years of ups, downs and sideways struggles and triumphs. Of course they all pale in age to JCPenney(JCP) , which turns 110 this year and is re-inventing itself.
There are commonalities for today's 50-year-olds, let alone 110-year-wannabes. Here are the Four Ds of Retail:
|JCPenney, which turns 110 this year, is re-inventing itself and stands as a model for other retailers and entrepreneurs.|
Dreams: Despite the growing angst against "greedy" titans of industry, every entrepreneurial venture in America starts with one man and one dream and one big gamble against the odds. Risking the comfort of being on a payroll, these men risk making a payroll for others. These businessmen tried to make a living by delivering something of value to the public.
Determination: There used to be an old adage that once a start-up hit seven years, it was established and through the worst. This was of course the result of so many failures within the first few years of operations. As a business owner and an adviser to many business sectors, I say, "Every year is a struggle and with no guarantees for surviving into the next."
Distinction: While retail is retail is retail, each brand tries to establish itself as different from the others. Either by products, service, style, feel, guarantees, location or other traits, all entrepreneurs must define themselves and their firms with a special something that creates enough distinct value to garner investment and yield profits.
Direction: The ups and downs of economic swings, political change, consumer tastes, competition and the other "usual suspects" of business challenge demands re-thinking, re-affirming and re-adjusting as situations change. Strategic planning, risk and leadership responsibilities remain critical to grow and sustain a company through its lifecycle.