Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Building While Flying

Jan 21, 2021

This pandemic has hit businesses across all sectors in different ways. But something we can all agree on is that brick and mortar retail stores have taken some of the biggest blows of all. Of course, resilience comes into play. But are there ways to adapt in such trying times? Can you come back from a setback of this size?

Welcome to Building While Flying!

This weekly podcast is brought to you by Sasha Group. We’re the consultancy meets agency arm of the VaynerX family of companies. We help ambitious companies build strong brands that flex with the times through strategy, branding media and marketing.

In ever-changing times, businesses and brands have to shift and adapt. And across all sectors, there is an air of experimentation. Business owners are trying new things out in the wild; building the plane while flying.

Our pilots, Katie Hankinson and Mickey Cloud, will be talking to a diverse range of business leaders and founders. They’ll explore how these guests tackle various challenges while staying resilient and committed to growth. Through these real-life examples of strategies put into practice, we hope to inspire you to experiment and develop your own strategies as we all navigate these uncertain times together. 

Ken Giddon wants shopping at Rothmans to be efficient and rewarding for his customers.

Rothmans Men Clothing is one of those archetypal New York landmarks that we all recognize when we’re in the city. As the owner of this cherished retail spot, Ken Giddon has seen his fair share of catastrophes. His store survived 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and the financial crash of 2008, so a pandemic is no big deal, right? Well, actually, according to Ken, nothing has compared to what he’s seen this last year. But that doesn’t mean the end for Rothmans. It’s quite the opposite.

In this episode, Ken gives us the incredible backstory of how Rothmans came to be. His grandfather’s advice, “We’re just selling pants,” is always at the forefront of Ken’s mind. This is entirely evident in his cool, calm, laid back approach to pretty much everything. He gives us the lowdown on the incredible ways he’s adapted the business during the pandemic. And he gives us some hints about the funky ideas he has for the future. Don’t let Ken’s zen persona fool you. His company had to close its doors and sit on millions of dollars worth of inventory when Covid hit. And, of course, there was that million-dollar NYC rent price tag to worry about. What he’s been able to do is no easy feat. This was such an uplifting conversation and Ken had some amazing insights. If you find yourself at a crossroads with your small business right now, you’re going to want to listen up.

Other in-flight topics:

Rothmans backstory

What it’s like to mix family and business

What’s so gritty about NYC

Weaving and bobbing

What makes the buying experience different at Rothmans

Negotiation during a pandemic

A Roth Truck?

Some hilarious advice our James Orsini gave Ken

Ken’s pre-flight checklist



Ken on LinkedIn

Rothman’s -