There is no doubt Retailers face significant challenges these days. Visiting many of them across the country one hears their concerns, which are certainly diverse. When one analyses how these Retailers encounter their challenges it seemsthere is a dividing line between two camps: those shops forging forward and those that are not. So, what makes the ones going forward successful?
- Location – Yes, this is one of the ‘oldies’ in retailing and it continues to be true. Location equates to footfall and those outlets in the ‘right’ location will live through a downturn whereas those in secondary or tertiary locations will sorely feel the lower footfall
- Added Services – Offering the right products at the right price is no longer good enough. If I got one penny for the times I have heard the phrase ‘we look for something that is different’ I’d be a millionaire. The fact is there is ‘nothing new under the sun’. Unless we talk about Technology, the Gift and Jewellery industries are saturated with products which cover every single angle of the market and rather than something new it should be a new way of marketing their current products. Many of the successful retailers have been offering a service related to the products they sell as a way of differentiating themselves, and they are banking on that.
- Product Cohesion – Ideally there should be a ‘theme’ running across the retail outlet and the products should ‘build’ on this theme. To make the point it is rare to see a successful independent retailer that sells jewellery alongside kitchen utensils. For customers it is much easier to focus on a shop if subliminally know what the shop sells. This also applies to price points. There is a misguided belief that one must have ‘something for everyone’. We have not seen much evidence this route leads to success.
There are a number of other ‘learnings’ which may prove of use and we will be publishing them in this Blog overtime……keep tuned in.
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After 15 years we are closing but before we do so we specially wanted to write to all of you in Marjo and thank you for all your support over all these years. You have always been so helpful and Peter and I thank you for all your support.PD in Manchester
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