Don’t Succumb to the Invisible Black Swan
Messager from Robin Lewis - The Robin Report

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\”We\’re all in this together.\” How many times have we heard and read this statement, and from how many different leaders: mayors, governors, congress men and women, heads of major corporations and the President of the United States? Indeed, we are all in this together. One for all and all for one also comes to mind as how all of us should be treating one another. And united we must stand or united we will surely fall, which is the ultimate societal and economic possibility, should we fail to set aside our selfish needs, grievances, bigotry and general tendency to run away from and hide from danger.

The Invisible Black Swan

The states of New York, Illinois and California (and more to come) have ordered the lockdown of virtually all of their community gathering places and much of commerce along with it. They are essentially dictating that we \”hide\” from the public danger of Covid-19. While this is certainly necessary, we must not mentally succumb to the invasion of this invisible \”Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable\” (a book written by Nicholas Taleb in 2007). Furthermore, we must not lose our communal will to defeat Covid-19\’s impact on wherever we reside. Think of it this way: in isolation we are in confederation.

The Robin Report Perspective

We at The Robin Report are fortunate to be able to operate remotely and will continue to provide you with our perspective and analysis on the major business dynamics occurring in the industry along with the impact of Covid-19 and how it\’s being dealt with.

[callout]We are an ingenious, solution-driven species. Some of our most creative thinking and novel innovations have come as a necessary outcome of challenging circumstances.[/callout]

On a macro level, we are painfully sensitive to the closure of the majority of retail stores and malls, and we hope from a business perspective that online revenues will mitigate those lost to the elimination of store traffic. And from an employee perspective, we urge our industry leaders to provide financial bridges for their workers to keep their lives intact until we get through this tsunami.

And of course, we salute the big box operators like Walmart, Target, Costco and all the supermarkets and pharmacies — plus the home delivery teams for Amazon, UPS and FedEx who are starring in the roles as our first responders to keep our citizens stocked with provisions and necessities to ride out the crisis. Of course, it is implicit that we salute and support our true first line of defense, our healthcare workers for their selfless work and tireless efforts.

So, during this time of physical distancing and dis-connectedness, we hope you stay connected with friends, family and business associates through online meetings — and even happy hours! Zoom and its online conferencing tech siblings are transcending the crisis with real-time meeting solutions. We know it\’s critical to reach out to those who may feel more isolated than others. Some of us work very well with little social interaction while others may need external energies to feel a sense of normalcy.

To repeat our positive long-term view, don\’t succumb. We are an ingenious, solution-driven species. Some of our most creative thinking and novel innovations have come as a necessary outcome of challenging circumstances. My bet is on the retail leaders who get ahead of the ebb of this pandemic to implement systemic changes to reinvent and reinvigorate the retail profession. Innovation is a team sport, and it\’s going to take a holistic, inventive approach to exit this crisis stronger and more sustainable than ever.



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