Stores’ experience through this two-month period of reopening (June and July... though late July has been a bit softer) has ranged from low traffic and disappointing sales at one end of the spectrum, to near 100% closing ratios and strong sales in a limited appointment environment at the other end.

Though these anecdotal examples vary based on how long a store has been reopened and in what region, there may be an additional factor: how we rise to this challenge and exhibit that behavior and attitude through all interactions with staff and brides.

Essentially, those we see succeeding understand that they play a critical role in easing concerns and providing reassurance, comfort and confidence, and are very aware that what they say and do can bring positivity and balance into times rattled by uncertainty and fear. 

And it’s also how they handle Change that determines their success. . . accepting the reality as it is, instead of longing for what was familiar, and having the enthusiasm and eagerness to change policies, attitudes and services even in the face of uncertainty, of not being 100% sure that those steps are the right ones.

I’ve written often in this column about the need to be open to change, about our ability to evolve to stay ahead of our brides, about change being in our DNA.

All true.

For some of you, however, this Change feels different, that it is not an evolving change in desires and style or shopping preferences but an abrupt awakening into a business world radically altered possibly for the long term.

Those of you feeling this way, overwhelmed by challenges you think are insurmountable. . . my message is simple:

Your heart for the business, for your brides and for your staff will lead you in the right direction.

Take a single step, make a single change… then take another.

The only wrong step is to not take a step at all, to remain paralyzed.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., described it this way:

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

Have faith in your abilities and your heart. We do.