“All Things Being Equal…” (But They Shouldn’t Be)

We knew when we published Eddy Kay’s Thriving in the Shadow of Giants: How to Find Success as an Independent Retailer back in 2000 that his message for independent business owners was one with long legs. Twelve years later, Kay’s words are echoed in an article last week by Carmine Gallo at Forbes.com.

Gallo starts off by saying, “Independent retailers and small businesses are missing a golden opportunity to outsmart their larger competitors.” He highlights how too many independents forget to offer “something truly unique – a great experience everyday of the year.”

In Chapter Four of Thriving in the Shadow of Giants, Eddy Kay talks extensively about service, including for many retailers, the lack thereof: “Independent retailers have the greatest opportunity of all time these days because most of them have forgotten how to act like the specialists they by definition are.” But Kay isn’t slinging mud in Giants; he actually provides concrete suggestions and solutions for the small business owner to compete on a daily basis. He’s a champion for the local Mom-and-Pop shop.

Although the Forbes.com piece focuses on Small Business Saturday (an addition to the world of shopping nomenclatures started in 2010 by American Express as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday), it is clear that Gallo, too, wants the local brick-and-mortar businesses to reach out year-round. In fact, like Kay, he tries to encourage independent retailers to stand apart from the crowded arena of big box and chain stores.

“Give me a memorable experience,” Gallo writes, “and you’ll win my loyalty the rest of the year.” In Giants, Kay is even stronger with his support. He wraps up the chapter titled “All Things Being Equal” with definitive words of action: Give me a smile, a clean store, good knowledgeable advice, and genuine interest in my needs as a consumer – and I’ll be back forever.

Take that, superstore!

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