9th Joy of Retail Spring: VMToolkit to Control Stores

Every retailer is different, and in most cases every store is different, from the obvious variations of culture and taste in an international  portfolio, the clear operational issues between directly owned stores and wholesale partners, to the more subtle challenges of different store manager personalities and store personnel attitudes.

All this requires retailers to create and apply a wide-range of guidelines, tools and processes to get the very best from every store situation – the VMToolkit

 

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VMTookit & operations efficiency benchmarking

Having the … Continue reading

2nd Joy of a Retail Spring – What do my store staff really do?

As retail stores become more remote from the head office of the business, through more diverse and dispersed portfolios, it becomes more and more difficult to know what operations the store teams are performing, how frequently they are performing them, and to what standards.

 

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This understanding is ironically more important than ever as stores serve and survive in a wider variety of contexts, graded and segmented in a growing number of ways, delivering more focused assortments to more different people in a retail world that … Continue reading

When will head office let me get on with my job?

Store Managers headache no.03

When will head office let me get on with my job?

Instant messaging, store operations and the blessing and curse of constant communication

 

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For many retailers with multiple outlets, and any retailer with a wide store geography, international portfolio and a combination of direct and franchise operations, direct communication tools accessible via in-store tablets and mobile phones are a blessing of the highest order.

These software communication tools are being rapidly deployed and have many operational and social functions.

Continue reading

“10 ways to make more money from stores! No.1 Rules….”

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It was Les Wexner founder of the Limited group, a man responsible for the success of some of the most iconic of fashion retailers from Victoria’s Secret to Express, from Abercrombie & Fitch to Bath & Body Works and quite possibly the first retail guru, who said that “retail is detail”

He was right and anyone in retail doesn’t need to be a modern day guru to know that.

That detail begins with the buying and merchandising chain where getting detail right is essential … Continue reading

Why can’t head office communicate to stores in a coordinated way?

“Headaches of a Store Manager…No2″

Why can’t head office communicate to stores in one coordinated way?

 

An inbox audit of any store manager’s email system will reveal instantly how well, or not, communication to stores is organised, channelled, filtered and prioritised.

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Common headaches apart from sheer volume of messages are repeated messages from different head office functions, or even the same function and person, to direct contradictions in instructions and apparently competing priorities for time and attention.

Time is precious and definitely finite … Continue reading

“What on earth is happening in my stores?!”

“How can I actually know for certain what is happening in my stores and what my customers are doing, and so ultimately know what to do to improve their experience and my commerciality?”

 

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It is still a widespread scenario that head office retail functions do not know what is happening hour after hour, day after day, inside their stores.

The situation is symptomatic of the gap that still exists in many retailers between head office and stores, and the lack of communication and integration … Continue reading

What Confucius could teach retailing!?

Inspiration often comes from the strangest sources at the most unexpected times as I recently experienced when listening to a quote from possible the world’s most quoted source of eternal wisdom, although definitely not one usually associated with retail even if it is the world’s second oldest profession.

 

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The quote was from Confucius, and was the following, although I apologise in advance for any minor deviations from the original:

“If the heart contains love, then the man is content. If the man is … Continue reading

“The Wonder of Workshops!”

For maximum benefit ensure the retail workshops you receive are…

1.       Personalised through pre-visits and discussions

2.       Relevant through individual research by experts

3.       Interactive between presenter and audience and within the audience itself

4.       Concluded with feedback, recommendations and priority action plans

 

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Many of us will remember the “wonder of workshops” in our corporate adolescence. In days gone by we were summoned to presentation rooms and talked at on subjects we were not generally … Continue reading

Visual Merchandising Operations: The dangers of “spread-sheet retailing”

Many a good and potentially commercial idea and initiative has never made it from the boardroom to the operational teams, never mind the stores themselves.

The complexity of the modern store portfolio has added to this problem, as stores develop a mixture of owned and franchise stores, international coverage and increased store grading and clustering by customer demographic and catchment.

 

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Simply one solution will not fit all and in many modern retailers the current solution fits none, falling between the needs of individual … Continue reading

Welcome to VM-Unleashed!

…the formal, but mercifully brief, introduction.
I’m Tim Radley and I started VM-unleashed! in 2007.

For 20 years I’ve been working with a variety of international retailers, identifying opportunities to increase sales through better integration of space planning & management, visual merchandising & store operations and ultimately creating a better store experience.

Catch my profile on LinkedIn…always happy to connect!

View Tim Radley's profile on LinkedIn

My experience is that there isn’t a retail business that doesn’t have opportunities to improve its cross-functional integration and the way that … Continue reading