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 … Continue reading
An effective and efficient queuing strategy has many benefits from minimising abandonment, increasing loss prevention, stimulating incremental impulse sales, loyalty building and customer service engagement.
Failure to control and maximise the queuing opportunities means a retailer will never find that “sweet spot” of happy customers willing to queue and engage whilst delivering additional impulse sales
- what is the “sweat spot” for queue waiting time linked to impulse sales?
- how do I minimise abandonment yet expose impulse product?
- what should the relationship be between service time … Continue reading
Being an independent retailer does not mean you have to be inefficient, unattractive,
In fact in the fight for retail traffic between competing town centres the role of independents is more critical than ever in creating distinct flavour and personality. When independent retailers escape the cloak of consumer invisibility and exchange it for the colourful and attractive garb of local destination retailers then shopping venues truly begin to attract attention, command respect and pull in the customer pounds that they so … Continue reading
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.
… Continue reading
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
“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.
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
“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?”
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
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 … Continue reading
Whether your retail involvement comes from a field based visual perspective or from a head office commercial perspective stores can often disappoint, both in terms of the visual perception and the financial reality. Whilst there will be opportunities for improvement in both store and head office processes, it is often the integration of the two where the problems lay and in particular the relationship between space planning on the ground and assortment planning in the merchandising processes.
The biggest problem quite often … Continue reading