Re-starting: calm after the storm …

XT RETAIL NEWS - Re-starting: la quiete dopo la tempesta

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It is immediate. It is natural. It is unavoidable.

by Paolo Zanardi XT srl

This is the Leopardi’s sentiment for the situation in which we run up against in the retail sector also.

With a little awe, not wanting to fall into the profane, it is clear that the experience we tested in the last two years brings us back to one of the most famous poems of the culture of our nation.

The common sense, in the current mid-May, is exactly those described by the poet who tells of returning to normal life after the storm has passed, where people start looking out the door again with the joy and fear to resume the activities interrupted by the severe storm. This is the experience for the retail.

We waited the course of the storm and slowly we begin to look out with the hope that everything will be back … to normal.

But which normality? Maybe to a new normal.

Certainly, among the numerous negative aspects this pandemic, instilled some reflection in all areas and also in the sector in which we operate.

We believe in a necessary, balanced and ethical consumption, a production that is more attentive to the environment, a proportion between smart working and work in the presence, a fair price/quality ratio and, last but not least, the wish that companies are the first to give an example of a new course and way of doing business.

Our planet does not have infinite resources and retail must do its part.

There is no doubt that the Leopardi’s poem although influenced by his cosmic pessimism, has a foundation of truth, that is: man is destined to suffer for appreciate and learn from mistakes.

The gradual reopening of the sales points and the shopping centers and the pleasure of returning  at a restaurant are only the first signs of a country that is trying to get back up by disentangling a series of confused and sometimes illogical norms, rules, and laws.

But what has changed in the consumer?

Our opinion, or perhaps hope, is hoping to return to the Ho.Re.Ca. sector and to a nightlife with greater awareness without laugh out-of-control.

That is to resize the “you only live once” concept or “Always  aim high”.

We created the new generations, the so-called Z GENERATION, with an indiscriminate use of social media, offering winning models often combined with easy benefit.

As well as the concept of a leading role where the important thing is to amaze at any cost. On matter, some social networks, on my viewpoint, in particular TIK TOK, have serious responsibilities.

Freedom is not always doing what you want and in whatever way.

At this time, a little more substance and less frivolity would be good.

And about this, remaining in the retail sector, I recently heard for the companies the will to go back to the necessary.

Of course we live in a sector where image matters a lot, but we always try to make our interlocutors understand not to stop at the cover and to analyze the contents.

Choose not only on photos or clichés:


What should be done? We have no solution, but we only have the desire:

• That purchases are more thoughtful in accordance  to a concept of a product that lasts over time.

• That many deserved products could be recycled.

• That the shops offer quality and assistance and not merely price and fast fashion.

As we are eternal optimists, what we have learned from this pandemic has been the will, not to mention the need, to renew ourselves and explore new paths.

Therefore, our direct experience has seen us engaged in various projects, from green shop windows fitting to online training courses, moving then to consulting activities in digital format.

The window campaign we have just finished for the Mason’s brand found us in front of enthusiastic customers, perhaps thanks to the creativity and optimism of the message of the window itself (see pict.).

XT RETAIL NEWS  - Re-starting: calm after the storm

The window set a cart of flowers: a classic spring setting and therefore impactful on customer. We have created, as XT Team, some fittings dedicated to the wholesale channel and the retailers were thrilled.

The “core” product of Mason’s are the trousers: the product sold together with the flowers in the window, is a sign of hope, but above all of rebirth after this dark time for our sector.

As for the other activities of our company, we continued on training by alternating traditional classrooms with virtual classrooms through different types of platforms.

For instance the experience with the Bep’s Group has taught us that the future is to have fewer classrooms, a maximum of 5 participants, where the goal is to get to know the participants in depth and work on their room for improvement.

XT RETAIL NEWS  - Re-starting: calm after the storm

Then, make people and their needs feel important.

The most requested topics are the motivation of the staff and the working methodology in order to tell a direct experience that gives more tools to those who occupy a strategic role as the store manager.

Even sales techniques always have a strong demand, especially if they are linked to new ways of engaging the final consumer as well as to an original way of creating a relationship with the customer.

As already described in previous articles, both for budgetary reasons but also for a contingent situation, the request to digitize some activities has definitely increased.

If previously they were managed in presence, now, through the creation of software tools, it is possible to do it remotely.

Just think about the work of visual merchandising manager or area manager; now it is possible through the App to manage and monitor all the activities of the sales points. Both as strategic indications, but also as a follow up.

The digital request therefore involved visual merchandising manuals, POP and in-store communication campaigns and obviously also many HR activities.

All applications for devices that have the purpose of monitoring and managing some activities for the sales point in the best possible way, reducing costs.

XT RETAIL NEWS  - Re-starting: calm after the storm

In this innovation there are those who, fortunately, still believed in the “vis à vis” consultancy assistance, this is the case of Triumph Motorcycles which, despite the not easy historic moment in the automotive market, entrusted us with the task of a brand management training in their Italian dealers.

Our professionals have played a fundamental role in the education and support, sometimes even emotional, of all the dealerships by providing them with the tools and tricks to maintain an orderly, well-kept and attractive exhibition space.

Many situations that we have told you are confirmed by some interviews with operators in the sector that you’ll find on our website ( and that we strongly recommend you to listen and broader the view of the market.

And now what will be the next story?

Have a balance and a right proportion between physical and digital activities.

by AN shopfitting magazine no.163 ©