The Daily Post:- 20th March
“The Story of the Old Shop, the New Shop & the Other Shop!”
Now the story I’m about to tell is a true story, and its a story about one of the UK’s biggest retailing businesses. They shall remain nameless as their identity is not the issue but to illustrate that improvements are always there even amongst the most seasoned operators.
The retail business had in place a store refreshment programme and had allocated a dedicated team to work through its store portfolio applying a refreshment programme to each store.
The process took 2 days per store and required the store to be closed over those days whilst the refreshment team got to work. The store team would return to work on the 3rd day to admire their refreshed store.
On the 1st day the refresh team would replace any damaged fixtures and fittings, ensure that all the lightbulbs were correct and working, and then clean the store in preparation for day 2.
Day 2 consisted of some re-painting of focal walls in new corporate colours, the application of new graphic mechanics, light boxes etc and then some new furniture elements would also be introduced.
The process had been tested on several stores and had proven to be effective in increasing store performance and justifying the ROI in each store.
And so, one day the refresh team arrived in a certain town and the store team were banished to their homes and families for the next 2 days. On the morning of the 3rd day they returned to the store.
All was quiet, without a soul, but the team were amazed at the difference and the change in their new bright, gleaming store. And as soon as the doors opened to the public the same reaction was expressed by the regular clientele. Everyone was over the store refreshment moon.
It wasn’t until the afternoon that the leader of the refreshment team made, a rather sheepish, appearance. Approaching the store manager he apologised and explained why. The 1st day had gone according to plan and the team decided to visit a local restaurant in the evening to relax. Unfortunately the whole team went down with food poisoning during the night and were unable to leave their beds so the store had remained untouched since then.
The store manager then explained the overwhelming response to the changes, and opened a bulging till draw to show the takings considerably in excess of usual.
They looked together at the clean, tidy store with new lightbulbs! Ohh!!
Of course, the moral is that simply getting the fundamental elements of the store experience correct can have a significant impact on morale and sales.
We would all like to indulge in exciting design and display but never underestimate or undermine the value of basic store disciplines.
Don’t let stores become dirty and untidy – you wouldn’t do that at home!
The Daily Post consists of my ‘everyday’ responses to the ups-and-downs of the unfolding retail day…offering some shared experiences & advice on how to mould your retail world into a more cooperative and pleasant place.
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