HONOLULU – Since April 23, ProService Hawaii has been hosting virtual CEO Roundtables with Hawaii business leaders for live, exclusive thought leadership discussions about business survival during COVID-19. Each episode has brought in hundreds of attendees, many of whom are Hawaii small business owners, highlighting the demand for transparent and in-depth business dialogue not seen elsewhere in Hawaii. The third episode took place Friday May 8 with a panel of respected leaders in retail:
- Carol Ai May, President, Simply Organized; Vice President, City Mill Company, Ltd.
- Tanna Dang, Co-owner, Eden in Love
- Tina Yamaki, President, Retail Merchants of Hawaii
Episode 3 focused on overcoming the challenges and taking advantage of opportunities retailers are facing as they plan to re-open on May 15th, a date designated by Governor Ige as Hawaii enters the first phase of business recovery. The discussion centered on having a re-opening strategy with each panelist offering their own perspectives and experiences on how and when they will reopen.
Some key takeaways:
- With retailers making up 25% of the Hawaii labor force and a total of 18,439 registered retail establishments in the state, there isn’t a one size fits all to how reopening looks like. It’s important to have a strategy and plan in place to maximize the opportunity. Don’t just open because you can.
- Keep in mind that consumerism has shifted and the way you do business should shift too. Tanna Dang, owner of Eden in Love, ramped up e-commerce and put all their inventory into their online store. Brick and mortar stores should keep balancing online and in-store operations after reopening. Consumers will not venture out immediately and will have more of a “need” than “want” mindset.
- People engagement is key. Carol Ai May of City Mill Company shared that the company has given bonuses to people on the front line of her stores and often provides lunches. Taking care of your staff will translate to them taking care of your customers.
- Seize every opportunity to tell your brand story and differentiate your business. Tanna Dang from Eden in Love also shared how the boutique retailer is turning social distancing requirements into branded touchpoints that delight customers and surround them in a differentiated brand. Integrating these brand touches and moments of connectivity in the “new customer experience” may be the advantage you need to achieve sales.
Read our expanded takeaways here.
Past episodes of ProService’s CEO Roundtable have featured business leaders in restaurants and nonprofits. To view past CEO roundtables click the following links:
About ProService Hawaii
ProService is the state’s leader in HR management. The company provides a comprehensive suite of HR solutions including strategic HR, payroll, human resource services, health benefits management, workers’ compensation and 401(k) management, as well as risk management and regulatory compliance, for over 2,000 local businesses representing 35,000 employees statewide. It is accredited by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC).
ProService is headquartered on Oahu at 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy., Ste. 200, Honolulu HI 96825. Additional offices are located in Kona, Kahului and Kapaa. Telephone: (808) 466-1296. On the web at www.proservice.com.