Local business women and county leaders were encouraged to adapt to the changes in their fields in order “to discover what can be.”
“My role in my business is helping companies transform through disruption,” Andrea Weiss, CEO of Retail Consulting, Inc., said while speaking at the Women-to-Women Business Contact Breakfast on Oct. 19 at Tavares Pavilion on the Lake. She is shown in the far right of the photo, mingling with the crowd.
Andrea has expertise in developing high level business strategies and tactical execution plans for leading brands, including L’Oreal USA, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Starbucks, etc. She is a board member of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., Chico, and Nutrisystem, Inc.
She says it’s vital for businesses to become transformative in order to survive.
“This past year we have closed more retail stores in the United States than the history of the United States, and there are many, many more to come,” Andrea says, predicting there will be more bankruptcies by mid-year 2019 for brick-and-mortar retailers.
“Obsolescence,” she says is more than a buzz word. She reflected on items through the years that have become obsolete or no longer used, such as cars replacing the horse-and-buggy; the advancements of the candle to light bulb; and the constant technological changes that affect the way we shop, such as online buying rather than going to stores.
Andrea believes it’s important for businesses to know what people want in a customer experience, such as a “wow” factor to make shopping “an attraction” or provide the services they need.
“One of my favorite stores in New York is Oculus, and it sells all kinds of gourmet foods,” she says, adding on one particular night the store focused on all vegan products and attracted a massive crowd.
Andrea says the interests of baby boomers differs from young generations. Millennials don’t care about owning things: they share, she says, adding millennials are inclined to shop at stores with rentable fashions and are more drawn to living in tiny houses.
Farmer’s markets, she adds, are part of the “go local” appeal with shoppers who want to know where their food comes from and those who strive to fight the “sameness” they see in many stores.
Creating a “just for me” experience draws people, she says.
Andrea also noted increasing advances in mobile devices pushes towards more convenience, speeds up changes, and generates new shopping trends.
“If you think things are fast now with your devices, you have no idea what is coming,” she says, noting new technology will shift the way we buy goods and services.
She noted women have the ability to be transformation leaders in business, those who can inspire, challenge, engage, develop, and align. They can “walk the talk,” inspire followers, be people driven, and challenge followers to be innovative and creative.
The event was sponsored by Wayne C. Bailey, senior vice president and Andrew Haliday, financial advisor, of Wells Fargo Advisors in Eustis.