Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Retail As We Know It Dying (Part 3)

This is the third instalment in this series commenting on the future of mainstream retailing.

There are many factors contributing to the current problems being experienced in retail. These include:
1) Increased saving levels of consumers
2) Continued growth of on line selling (although this is still a relatively small protion of retail sales)
3) Increased costs of doing business, particularly rent
4) Retailers sitting back and hoping things will return to normal, when potentially things have moved on
5) Lack of investment in staff training resulting in relatively poor customer service
6) Focus on buying, rather than selling - retailers need to reconnect with their customers

So what actions should you be considering:

1) Ensure team members are customer service focused, rather than production focused. How many times have you been in stores and been ignored by staff who are busily stacking shelves? Establishment and training in business values and customer service standards for your business is critical.
2) Talk to you customers and get their feedback and input into your product range. A customer focus group might be a worthwhile exercise
3) Revisit the store layout  with a view to providing the most effective promotion of products
4) Develop an on line selling strategy and implement
5) Identify areas of differentiation from your competitors in ways that they value
6) Establish a realistic purchases and sales plan linked to a cash flow plan - remember cash flow is king!
7) Identify, develop and implement a social media strategy to connect with your customers
8) Look for additional products that can add to your average $ sale
9) Review slow moving stock lines and clear, creating valuable cash flow

These are just some ideas that you can consider to boost your retail business in this difficult environment.

What are some of the strategies that you are implementing?

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