from owner to retailer


People come to run retail businesses from the most accidental and the most strategic of origins. On the one hand, retail management is certainly a very widespread and popular career with many routes laterally, diagonally and directly to the top in all size of retail businesses. On the other hand, retail greatness is sometimes thrust upon us through family inheritance, organic business growth or unexpectedly discovering a rich consumer vein to be tapped.


However, for every type of retail owner retailing is now a serious business.

A business in a highly competitive market place where customer traffic, loyalty and revenue have to be fought for every step of the customer journey.

With choice in abundance, the customer needs not only the reassurance that you have what they need, but also an emotional brand reaction to your store and your business. In short, customers need to “like” you, as well as need you!

Getting customers to like you, and then also not letting them down is not that easy, and requires strategy and best practice skills across a range of different functions from the commercial to the creative…and it requires management and ownership of those skills.


To get ahead and stay ahead, retail owners need to be professional, customer focused, visually aware, commercially astute and data literate in their dealings with employees, teams, partners and their customers…they need to be retailers!

Running any retail business is not easy, however the closer the owner is to the customer, the more the owner understands the product, the more familiar the owner is with the roles and responsibilities of his retail teams then almost without exception the retail business is focused, efficient and successful.


An hour understanding your product sales performance could be worth a month’s business!

An hour understanding your team’s operational issues could be worth a season’s business!

An hour understanding your customer needs could be worth a lifetime of business!

How do you spend your retail hours at the moment?



What’s involved in the evolution of a business owner into a retailer?

assortment structure…commercially constructed ranges with category balance and profitable size, colour and price architectures.

product stories…grouping of product conceived as ready-made visual blocks including powerful categories, inspirational themes and coordinated collections.

space planning…calculating and delivering the most commercial option & unit capacities into stores, with correct conversion of square metres into fixtures and linear metres.

retail calendars…strategically and commercially planned seasonal dynamics with prepared product phasing, promotional messages, events and activities for omni-channel delivery

in-season management…predicting selling patterns, rates of sale, product sell-throughs with contingency plans for replenishment, refreshment, renewal and actions to sell.

promotions and events…defining a strategic and brand position on the use of promotions to add product value to add margin, and stimulate rates of sale to protect margin

visual merchandising…developing appropriate display principles and techniques supported by visual guidelines and planograms for display delivery and to facilitate “buying for space!”

store operations…introducing processes, activities , roles and responsibilities into stores from first delivery to cashing-up to increase efficiency, customer experience and reduce costs.

store compliance…traditional and technological communication with store personnel to instruct, monitor & correct guidelines and for dynamic training and information delivery.

store disciplines…daily, weekly and monthly rules, regimes and tools to assist retailers in housekeeping and the display and commercial maintenance of store displays.

store selling…remote training and dynamic communication to educate and inspire retail associates in product and service to deliver higher conversion through display and sales.

store layouts…operational and shop-floor allocation of space delivering physical customer journeys for “ease-of-shop” navigation and sightlines for product inspiration.

store environment…cost-effective store designs combining brand-box furniture, lighting and materials with dynamic displays, product interaction and lifestyle events

location planning…expansion & consolidation of store portfolios bringing together locations with target customer demographics, high traffic and low competitor densities.

brand proposition…a clear, consistent and attractive proposition delivered through product, store experience, communication and service to transform a retail business from “just-another name” into a “must-have brand!”

VM-unleashed helps business owners evolve into retailers…

We identify opportunities to introduce professionalism and retail-thinking into your way of working and collaborating and communicating with the world

We evolve the retailer mind-set through workshops & exercises

We work to add commercial best practice into the assortment structure of your business

We directly introduce new processes and retail principles into your business

We help to deliver new store elements, visuals, displays & brand materials

We develop training and communication tools from “boardroom to stockroom”

We evolve the “brand proposition” to build value and loyalty with both retail employees, partners, suppliers and the final customer


So now, what about you?

Are you on a journey from being a retail business owner to a retailer?

Are you, and your business, in need of some retail evolution?






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