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

VMTrends: “The Dawn of the ‘Sensual Merchandiser!’”

Visual merchandising has always been difficult to define and as stores develop into multi-media and sensory experiences then the realm of visual merchandising will evolve further.

It will embrace the sensual worlds of music, imagery, video, digital technology, smell, product interaction and lifestyle & promotional events. All this, which is traditionally the responsibility of marketing, store design, merchandising and other retail functions must be integrated with one strategy and one creative concept.

 

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In an ideal world the vision and the delivery of the dynamic … Continue reading

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.

 

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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 … Continue reading

3rd Joy of a Retail Spring – How much product in my stores?

Space planning & visual merchandising are the two cornerstones on which an attractive and commercial store are built

At the heart of this is the eternal question – “How much product should I put in my store?”

 

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Get space planning wrong, allocate product incorrectly or deliver visual merchandising operations inefficiently and a store will never attain its potential sales productivity.

Marrying the “beauty and the beast” of the assortment comes down to an absolute certainty and consistency within a business on a few key questions:

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Accessible Expertise: The Independent Retailer Support Kit

Being an independent retailer does not mean you have to be inefficient, unattractive,
and uncompetitive.

 

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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

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.

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Am I displaying with the correct option density?

Am I displaying with the correct option density?
How to have your cake and eat it!

 

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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 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