“Retail chains around the world are facing an increasing margin squeeze—from changing consumer behavior, new store formats, rising complexity, supplier consolidation, and other factors. Retailers need to take new approaches to improve operations and boost competitive advantage.”
~ATKearney, Consumer Products & Retail
In an industry as old as retail, everything old is new again.
The above true and accurate statement from ATKearney was written in 2017 but could just as well have been written years ago.
Do you remember a time when margin wasn’t being squeezed at least to some degree?
Or, when consumer behavior was highly predictable and stayed the same, year after year, for many years?
There are always new store formats, new complexities and changing supplier situations that you’ve had to deal with at one time or another.
What is new is how you deal with the challenges facing your company today. You’ve probably done things in the past that worked…and some that didn’t.
For a successful 2nd half of 2017, look at your people. They have the power to make or break you just by being who they are and by doing what they do.
No malice intended!
Here’s a big question for you…
Who is your Ideal Candidate?
You’ll be hiring seasonal people and you’ll be bringing on some permanent staff as well.
Without an updated Ideal Candidate Profile, you are just hoping you’ll get some good people and, I’m sure you already know that hope is not a strategy.
Even though the retail industry is an old one, there’s no doubt it has gone through profound changes over the past couple of decades and you do need to change some of your thinking and approach some things from a different angle.
One thing you can be sure of – no matter what changes are made to your product assortment, allocation and delivery methods; no matter what technology you have updated, or not; no matter how many of your customers are now buying vastly more on the internet than they ever did before…
One thing remains as true as it always has, and this is critically important..
If you have human employees interacting with customers in your retail stores, then those employees must meet, and exceed the expectations of those customers.
Insisting on a practice of putting poorly informed and barely trained employees on the sales floor, and behind the cash desk, will only hasten your race to the bottom.