Prime Advantage Advisory

Prime Advantage Advisory

Everyone Wants Magical Solutions and No-One Believes In Magic

by | 25 Oct 2017

‘Everyone wants a magical solution but nobody wants to believe in Magic’

Last week I had the privilege of attending Richmond Events and listening to the amazing Justin King sharing his wise and experienced perspective on all things retail… his insights were energising and inspired… not because they were earth shattering but because they reinforced the simplicity that is retail… customers and colleagues have always been at the heart of everything we do and always will be… only our store teams have the opportunity to create live, magical experiences for our customers!

Wind forward 3 days and I find myself at Bluewater Shopping Centre embarking on a day of new season, fashion shopping….spurred on by Justin’s comments and my own passion I want to share the experience…

This isn’t a ‘down on retail’ article… I have worked in this wonderful industry my entire life and am forever in it’s debt for the incredible experiences I have had in some of the most amazing places, working with the most committed and dynamic teams….. and that’s why I know we have a HUGE opportunity…..

And don’t misunderstand me …my day in Bluewater wasn’t a disaster …. it was a ‘7’ and today with all of the challenges we face ‘7’ simply isn’t good enough…. we have to make it a perfect ’10’ …every minute of every day!

Let’s start with the raw materials… a fantastic shopping centre surrounded by incredible brands represented in beautiful stores that were filled with fashion-forward, seasonal merchandise supported by a wide range of offers and promotions… layer on lots of smart, bright and potentially engaging colleagues ready to sell… and you have a recipe for success!! 

So why ‘7’?

Let’s start with the operational, easy fix stuff …

Availability… overall we had a successful shop but still left minus 4 items…the missing sizes were popular and average; the styles were mainstream-eg cropped jeans…since ordered online…and made me think…4 items multiplied by a large number of customers is a lot of missed opportunity; and…how many online purchases are missed sales in stores caused by lack of availability?

Windows … enticed into a store we don’t normally shop because of a beautiful display of fabulous product… massive tick-that’s what we all want from windows-incremental footfall… but at 11am all of the small sizes had been sold… 8 hours trading to go !! Since purchased online and received 20% off because there was a promotion online!

Tills… they exist to be opened …. enough said !! The till experience should always be memorable for all the right reasons.

Fitting Rooms … doors that wouldn’t close or lock, heaps of unreturned merchandise, unmanned… not the inspired reflection of brand focused shop floors.. but a massive opportunity… customers who use fitting rooms are 71% more likely to buy!

Tasking … save all but critical tasks till ‘Monday morning’ and focus everyone on the customer.

Even with all of this we’re still at ‘7’… so the perfect 10 is still in our sight… if I asked any Retail Exec, Area or Store Manager the route to ’10’ would be the same… the colleagues and the teams… that’s how we get to ’10’….. and we all know that is the right answer!

How are we exciting… energising…enthusing….engaging and motivating our store teams so that they can translate their positive attitude into magical experiences for our customers ?

Here are my thoughts… they’re a starter for ’10’….

The Exec… how is the tone set ? what communication has come from the top… is the focus clear? More importantly, you need to personally engage in the excitement, get involved….every day… call stores who are doing great things; ask your Area and Store Managers up to prompt you with examples of extraordinary service and sales coming from colleagues… I have often called, texted, whatsapped, emailed individual colleagues and if you haven’t done it yet…you will not believe the impact it has ….. it’s …. transformational!

Area Managers... constant communication is key …. set your Managers up to share examples and pictures of their teams delivering magic moments to customers-the connected world allows us to share instantly and we should use this to our full advantage. Set achievable targets and celebrate every success-however small…. celebration and recognition builds confidence that translates into more sales and examples of brilliant service! Create relentless energy all day long from opening to close!

Store Managers..make your store operationally ready ; ‘launch’ the day with the team and make sure you greet every new colleague as they start their shift throughout trading with the same level of energy and enthusiasm …. recognise every piece of magic and success in the moment-live time …….. and most importantly lead by example …… be energetic, engaging and focused on every customer who visits your store!

If you do all of this… I guarantee that you and your team will have fun, enjoy every second of the day, be successful…smash targets and create real ‘perfect 10s’!! And this approach every trading day will translate into unbelievable and sustainable results that are simply MAGICAL!