Passion is an absolute pre-requisite for commercial retail success

Successful retail businesses are driven by passionate people, with sales & profits the commercial outcome of a passion for product and lifestyle.   It would be unfair and inaccurate to say that retail businesses have been without passion as in fact some of the most famous and successful retailers ever, from the Limited Group to the Body Shop, have been built around passionate individuals. However too many other companies, founded in less demanding and competitive times, rely too much on simply selling the same stuff to the same people in a cold commercial way. “Ordinary retailers, selling ordinary products to…

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1st Joy of a Retail Spring – Understanding customer behaviour

1st Joy of a Retail Spring – Understanding Customer Behaviour Make it your new year’s resolution to understand how your customer behaves inside your stores. In many ways having got them into your store you’ve done the hard part, and everything they do, and everything they buy now, is a bonus that cannot be ignored.   The key is understanding how your customer reacts to your store, your product display, your layout, your service and everything else that can convert a sale. Understand what is working and what is not. Adapt and evolve to ensure the customer is behaving in…

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Sales = Traffic x Conversion: The Complexities of a Simple Equation

Knowledge of traffic and conversion is essential to measure and maximise sales opportunities across stores, however the knowledge of traffic and conversion by category display within the store reveals the mysteries of the shopping experience and promises the riches of increased sales productivity for every gondola, wall and precious retail square metre.   What retail success boils down to is selling as much as possible to as many people as possible. In the context of any retail business this is very much in line with the key departments of marketing and merchandising. The role of marketing, in its widest sense,…

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Hema Global: New Blood in New Street

For a retailer with a long heritage Hema packs a powerful contemporary punch as it speeds into the newly refurbished New Street Station in Birmingham. On the fast track to becoming a global brand Hema now has 5 UK stores, with 3 of these in high traffic transport hubs including Stansted airport.   In the same vein as the comparative propositions of Tiger and Ale Hop Hema strives to cream off the lucrative impulse sales from popular consumer categories through the development of an assortment which is both fun and functional, dynamic and distinctive and appeals to that most irresistible…

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Retail Integration: store layout with the customer experience

Planning your store layout for maximum profit illustrates yet again the importance of integration within a retail business, the bringing together of the commercial and the emotional, the marriage of the beauty and the beast. On the one hand the store needs to be functional and based on sound commercial strategy and decision making whilst on the other hand it needs to be emotional to stimulate additional sales and profit.   The store layout provides “ease of shop” for the seeker and ensures that the correct product is in the correct place taking up the optimum amount of space. In…

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Sonic Selfridges: Big Noise in the World of Music

There are many magical corners of the Selfridges supersized store to admire and marvel at, to lose yourself in an exploration of a wondrous assortment from traditional classics to outrageous innovation. In the basement bowels of the lower ground floor through the avenue of travel accessories, luggage and literature is a gem of a department for anyone with an eye for imagination and an ear for entertainment. Focal point of the headphone area is an overturned mini, masquerading as a DNA display case, but the theatre only amplifies further inside this aural arena with oversized headphones fit for a giant,…

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