The Future of Visual Merchandising…Creative or Operational?

The Daily Post:- 16th April The Future of Visual Merchandising…Creative or Operational?   In the midst of answering client questions, and preparing for a couple of presentations in the near future, at the VM & Display Show and Retail Design Expo (well worth putting in your diaries) I am reminded yet again that “What is the future of VM?” is without doubt the most common question I am asked, both privately and for public airing. And of course, since the advent of e-commerce and omnichannel, with a resultant increase in the rate of retail change never witnessed before…this question just gets more…

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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   VMTookit & operations efficiency benchmarking Having the correct VMToolkit ensures that ROI is focused on creating excellence and efficiency in the disciplines of…

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VM Trends: Tim Radley in Discussion – Retail Design Expo’17

VM Trends: “An End to ‘Easy’ Visual Merchandising!” Tim Radley, CEO of VM-Unleashed! will be in discussion at the Retail Design Expo 2017 Please come, listen and join in on Monday 8th May, 12pm. May 8-9, 2017, London Olympia.   Tim Radley is the founder of retail specialist consultancy VM-Unleashed! His expertise comes from 25 years of working with, and helping, a wide variety of UK and international businesses with their retail performance, store experience and all facets of what has become visual merchandising. Visual merchandising, in its widest definition, is core to delivering tangible improvements to physical stores. However , without exception, delivering successful…

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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.   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 operates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.   However it is still a…

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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   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.   The most common and appreciated function is simply knowing “what on earth is happening in…

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

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 to retail sales and profit, and where getting the detail right quickly is the added pressure…

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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.   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 content then the family are happy. If the family is happy then society is calm. If…

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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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“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     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 interested in, nor relevant to our working lives and development. The “wonder” was the day away from the everyday routine and a free…

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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.   Simply one solution will not fit all and in many modern retailers the current solution fits none, falling between the needs of individual store operational needs in an attempt to satisfy all. Bridging the gap from good HQ intentions…

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