The holiday season is here, which means malls are jam-packed with consumers scrambling to finish their Christmas lists and get those last gifts they need.

The only problem? There are fewer malls now than ever.

As consumers flock to Amazon, malls have shrunk like crazy. As the all-important fourth quarter begins, a recent report suggested a quarter of all malls in America will close in the next five years. Right now, we have about 1,100 malls, which means that by 2022, we could have as few as 800. The mall’s big box stores like Sears are closing at a rapid rate. Sears had 3,800 stores in malls as recently as 10 years ago, and now it’s dipped to around 1,000. And it’s still falling.

Why is this happening? The practical reason is because internet shopping is chipping away at malls every day. We’re an online culture, and we just prefer to shop online for the deals and the convenience. But philosophically? At FPG, we’d diagnose it as a problem of strategy.

The beginning of a new quarter at FPG is always an exciting time that I take very seriously. We spend a day as a company at an in-house seminar reviewing what’s worked and what hasn’t. We celebrate and we brainstorm. We lay everything on the table, because my goal is that I want our entire team to be mentors. What that means is that they can teach and coach others on the concepts they’ve been taught and that we need to be successful as a company. That way, we can continue our Inc. 5000-list growth and keep providing the best value for our clients in the industry.

One of the big concepts we’re focusing on this quarter as we roll into 2018 is our strategy. Here’s what that looks like.

  1. To be competitive because of our value and operational excellence

  2. To be preferred because of our relevance and intimacy

  3. To be sought after because of our process

I believe in our strategy so much that I think you can measure all successful companies by it. Run any company on the Fortune 500 list through our three-pronged strategy and they’ll be on point in all three. Vice versa, take a company or business model that’s struggling, and they’ll be deficient in at least one, depending on how poorly they’re doing.

To us, number one is all about the value we provide our clients and the excellence in methodology we have in carrying it out on an operational level every day. Number two is about our lightning-fast agility to adapt to our clients’ needs. We’re constantly updating our lessons, re-filming our content and refreshing our lesson plans to meet their exact specifications. Nothing at FPG is ever allowed to get stale. And number three is what really pulls us ahead of every other training company – at our core, we’re a how-based training company. Other training companies focus in on what you need to do and why you need to do it, but they don’t give you the steps to achieve your goals. That’s where FPG shines.

So let’s go back to our mall example. Why are malls faltering all across the country as compared to online retail? They don’t provide above-and-beyond value, their impersonal approach doesn’t provide relevance or intimacy, and their process is faltering. In light of this, of course you want to shop online. The mall strategy doesn’t work anymore.

As we push into quarter four and round the bend to 2018, I encourage you to come up with a strategy you want to take into the new year. Feel free to borrow ours and try it on to see if it works for you. Our strategy has led us to huge growth in 2017, and my hope for you is that yours will help you unleash your performance in 2018.

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