Being an independent retailer does not mean you have to be inefficient, unattractive, and uncompetitive.
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 →
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 … Continue reading →
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.
Am I displaying with the correct option density? How to have your cake and eat it!
Some of the most obvious questions are often the hardest to answer, or to be more accurate it would seem, are the ones that no one wants to answer.
The repercussions of this “small question” are very great for a number of functions within a retail business and though ultimately the answer may prove favourable to the majority, if not all, it still remains an irony … Continue reading →
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.
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:
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 … Continue reading →