Invisible Retailing


When people buy a product or a service, they do not only pay with money, they pay with many ‘invisible dollars’:

·        They invest their very precious time

·        They risk their reputation

·        The opportunity cost of not pursuing a different product/outcome

Forgetting these invisible payments can cost us dearly.

Similarly, the retailer pays with those same invisible dollars (i.e. indirect costs) for the products.

·        We don’t factor the opportunity cost of the working capital,

·        We don’t price risk of obsolescence and damage into our cost of sales.

Forgetting these ‘invisible costs’ can cost us dearly


Pricing: 1 principle, 2 misunderstandings and 1 very important lesson

The pricing of products plays an important role in the creating of an image of a business. The retailer can use different strategies to establish the prices of their products or services.  At a macro level, the retailer must select from one of these three generic strategies:

  • ABOVE the market
  • AT the market
  • BELOW the market

This is a ‘first principles’ decision and this decision will:

  1. Set the boundaries of your branding execution
  2. Inform your ranging and numerous supply chain decisions
  3. Frame your (visual) merchandising executions
  4. Define your target market
  5. Influence your strategic possibilities into the future

If your store/offer is positioned in the ‘value’ space and is strategically designed to compete on price. Low(est) prices in that case is consistent with the business and brand image.

There are two common misconceptions about quality.

The notion of ‘price’ is used by the customer as a heuristic (shortcut) for quality. Buyers generally see price on a sliding scale, like this:

Prices can really be ‘too good to be true’.

Pricing scale.PNG
Customers don’t buy on price, but on value.

Customers equate value and quality and perceptions are formed accordingly. Few people consistently buy the cheapest of everything; but rather want to spend the least amount of money for the acceptable level of quality.

Given the above, the lesson for all that discounting is a strategy of LAST resort, not first.

Discounting should only be used if you have failed to convince the customer of your value proposition. (Of course your competitors set the base line about value and it is not easy to sell the same thing at a higher price when it has become commoditised. The challenge is to find a differentiator customers are prepared to pay for.)


What you need to know about pricing in retail (geeks only)

I don’t often do this, but this is the entire executive summary of a serious research paper on Pricing. The fact that I am doing this now, hopefully suggests that it is important.

Executive Summary by Ametoglu et al, 201o) on a paper titled:

Pricing Practices: Their Effects On Consumer Behaviour and Welfare.”

(Clicking on the link will download the PDF of the paper.)

The pricing practices discussed in this paper are highly prevalent in today’s society. While classical economic theory suggests that people will act rationally, using cost benefit analysis to make choices, scientific research shows that this is not the case. Humans do not have the capacity to recognise and evaluate all the available information in today’s complex environment, nor the time or motivation. Instead, people use mental short-cuts, or heuristics, to deal with this complexity.

Whilst heuristics can usefully guide our behaviour and allow humans to function in the world, they are not perfect calculations and are subject to occasional and sometimes costly mistakes. Importantly, heuristics leave people exposed to external influences, including pricing cues. The literature on pricing practices suggests that pricing cues provided by retailers can affect consumer behaviour and value perceptions.

Compared to presenting a total price partitioning prices into a base price and surcharge can significantly increase consumers’ positive evaluations and purchase intentions, and can lower search intentions. This is because consumers may fail to fully adjust from the initial (lower) price of the base good and therefore underestimate the total price of the product.

Evidence suggests that people tend to stick with the default option, even when this option has major, long-term consequences.

There is a large body of evidence to show that the presence of an advertised reference price increases consumers’ valuations of a deal and purchase intentions, and can lower their search intentions. Reference prices can have a significant impact even when these are disproportionally large and when consumers are sceptical of their truthfulness. The effects of reference prices are stronger when consumers are not readily able to compare them to an industry price, such as with unbranded, or retailers ‘own brand’ goods, and with less frequently purchased and more expensive items.

The available evidence on the effect of offering a “free” product in a bundle (e.g. 'buy one get one free') is mixed. While some studies show that this practice can increase consumer valuations and demand, others show that a freebie designation does not increase consumers’ perceptions or willingness to pay for the bundle.

One large scale study suggests that the bait-and-switch practice may have a substantial (negative) impact on consumers. Moreover, consumers are drawn in to promotions and where the item is out of stock, they predominantly switch to another item within the same store, due to lowered search intentions.

Compared to a single unit price promotion, a multiple unit price promotion (volume offer) increases the quantity consumers buy, even when the discount does not differ and consumers do not receive an incremental saving. This effect can be substantial. Importantly, a bundle discount can increase quantity decisions relative to per unit discounts even when consumers may not purchase enough of the products to qualify for the bundled discount.

The effects of bundles (pure or mixed) are partially explained by confusion in that consumers generally believe that bundles involve discounts (i.e. infer savings) even when they do not and no such information is presented. Bundling can also influence choices because it decreases cognitive effort.

Evidence specifically looking at the effect of time-limited advertising is inconclusive. However, it seems that under conditions in which time-limited offers do trigger feelings of scarcity, consumers are more likely to overestimate the product quality, or the value of the deal, lower their intentions to search, and have higher intentions to buy. Shorter time limits may augment this effect (though very short time limits may have an opposite effect).

Research suggests that pricing practices may be less effective in conditions where consumers are readily able to make memory based price comparisons, or have quick and easy access to price information, such as in online environments. On the other hand, pricing cues put forward by sellers both online and offline may still influence consumer behaviour, indicating that learning and/or easy access to information does not eliminate the impact of these practices.

If it is that easy, why are you not doing it?

Don’t stand so close: the science behind serving a customer

Every day I see retailers and staff stand around retail stores. Waiting… for something to happen as they continue to shuffle merchandise around the store. And this makes me wonder about something.

I know there is something out there that is freely available. It is easy. It costs nothing to implement. It’s proven to improve performance. Yet no one is doing it. Why?

Consider this:

There are many easy to implement behaviours that can improve service and increase your ability to persuade the customer to buy.

The Triangle of Persuasion

Don’t stand opposite the customer. That is a confrontational position even though it feels natural to end there when you walk towards the customer. Walk around and stand next to the customer and turn your body 45 degrees towards the customer.

 Stay outside the customer’s personal bubble. This varies by culture, but usually about 2 feet (60cm) is acceptable to most people. Look for signals if the customer is uncomfortable.

Both parties should be able to face AND reach the merchandise or object of interest. Buyer and seller side-by-side should be able to focus their attention on the object of interest.

You should stand on the right-hand side of the customer where possible. Of course sometimes the design of the store or position of the customer makes it difficult to start there, but attempt to manoeuvre that way unobtrusively if you can.

Make sure there are no obstacles between you and the customer. This includes baskets, trolleys, equipment, prams or handbags – and especially the counter.

Ensure your customer is as comfortable as possible. Not too hot/cold. If seated, make the chair comfy. (Search Google for ‘embodied cognition’ if you don’t believe me – or read this as a primer.)

There is more. From the shape of your mouth to the colour of your shirt, there are a myriad influences that can easily be systematised to be part of how you do business – without adding any cost.

But WHAT these things are is not really the issue here.

Long-term readers may remember this blog on Inside Retailing was called Retail$mart (and so was the Ganador blog and still has that URL). That is because I have always tried to create products based on insights that are road-tested practices and scientific findings. Over the last seven years I have shared many of those here and there. I don’t believe in trade secrets and I am not using this to pitch for work – feel free to create your own training by using the tips provided above.

Over the last two years Neuroscience has entered the public sphere. (Along with it the obligatory pop-up gurus of course, but that is another story.) The popular accessibility of this knowledge raises a very important issue, and is the purpose of this post.

The real question at issue here is: if ANYONE can find these insights, and let’s face it this is not rocket science, WHY are people not using it?

It is freely available. It is easy. It costs nothing to implement. It’s proven to work.

Consider the six things I mentioned above.

How many of them are trained into and embedded in your business? If not, why not? Please share in the comments… I am really curious.

Three things to stop doing in your retail store

Sometimes the things we don’t do can make as much of a difference than the things we do.

Three counter-intuitive things to stop doing:

  1. Stop selling features. Customers don’t care about the biggest or fastest. They care about how bigger of faster might benefit them.
  2. Stop selling on price – people buy value. Do you drive the cheapest car you could find? Are all your clothes the cheapest you could find? 99% of people find the product that meets their needs and THEN don’t want to pay more than it’s worth.
  3. Stop configuring your store to prevent theft. Make it easy to shop. Most customers are not thieves and we should not punish (inconvenience) the good ones because of a few bad apples. MOST of your shrinkage can be attributed to your staff and admin errors. And the loss of sales far outweighs the benefit of not losing a few items when your focus on shrinkage instead of service.

The real art of retail is this:

Are you any good at retailing?

Ask an Orthopaedic Surgeon what ‘ortho’ means and they will know. Ask a COBOL programmer what COBOL means and they will know.

And by ‘know’ I mean know the actual definition and the roots of the word and exactly how that relates to their job.

Ask most retailers what the word retail means, and you get a blank stare or at best they might mumble something generic about ‘buying and selling’ or ‘selling to customers’ or the like.

The word retail is derived from the Old French ‘tailler’ (pronounced tai –yeah) and means ‘to cut’. It is the same origins of the word ‘tailor’.

It refers to what we today call ‘bulk-breaking’ – which means that a retailer is a ‘breaker of bulk’: we buy a pallet or crate full, break the bulk, and sell individual (tailored) units to the customer.

The theory lesson is over. What does that mean in practice?

If you want to know if you are any good as a retailer, you need to understand how well you do at breaking bulk. That stands to reason, right?

My question to you is then how do you measure this? What is the key metric of a ‘breaker of bulk’?

It is widespread practice to use the word stockturn to refer to the turnover rate of merchandise.  That it is, how many times (per year) a store turns over its stock.

There are two ways of doing this calculation.  The distinction is between using retail prices or cost prices. The norm is to use annual data, as monthly data would result in fractions, which are hard to work with and benchmarks have been recorded based on annual numbers anyway.

Either of the following two formulae can be used:

                                                                             Total Sales             

                                                            Average Inventory at Retail Prices

                                                                      Total Cost of Sales        

                                                            Average Inventory at Cost Prices

If you want to know if you are a good retailer, you should know how good your stockturn is. But there is a twist in the tale: faster is not always better.

A good retailer is not the one with the fastest turn, but the one with the optimum turn. Too high stockturns are usually indicative of being under-capitalised and results in high distribution costs, double handling and administrative inefficiencies and loss of buying buyer which all ultimately means that excessive stockturn is less profitable.

Stockturns that are too low are more commonly experienced – usually as a result of buying poorly or marketing poorly.

The good retailer is the one that can achieve the Goldilocks standard – getting it ‘just right’.

I understand that some people reading this may think that metrics are theoretical - even possibly unnecessary except of Sales and Profits. Not everyone appreciates why a consultant would want do that analysis in the first place.

Hopefully now you can appreciate that (using and understanding) metrics can go to the essence of the craft of retail – and will reveal how good we are at being a ree –tai-yeah.

Or at the very least, now you know what you really are…

More training is RARELY the solution

It is often said that training is the key to running a successful business. Let's take franchising as an example:

On the surface it seems logical: franchisor knows how to do X and the franchisee does not know how to do X and what they buy is the ‘know-how’. And know-how is transferred through training. Right?

At least you think this way if you are a training company. If you are a marketing company you will say it is marketing and if you are a technology company you will claim the key to success is a new system.

It is the old: ‘if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail’ principle at play. So as someone who does training for a living, let me be perfectly clear about this: training is not the solution to anything.

More training is the ‘go to’ strategy for every intractable problem and even our Governments fall back on training whenever they encounter a social issue. Domestic violence? Solve with more training. Speeding drivers? More driver education. And in business, if the customer service is poor, roll out some customer service training.

Every time the going gets tough, the tough go training. What a phenomenal waste of money.

Let us consider resolving the speeding issue in society. Do you honestly believe that more driver education will fix that?

The answer is that it will help fix the problem. There are other issues to be addressed too, so let’s name a few:

  •   Authorities have to understand that motoring technology has improved and what once was a safe speeding limit is now just ridiculously slow and must be changed.
  • The quality of road surfaces and the infrastructure like lights, barriers and signage may need to be changed or adapted.
  • The incentive/punishments for driver errors (in speeding) play a role in bringing speeding down.
  • Opportunities to drive fast can be created in appropriate places that are not public roads.

I could go on but it should be clear that there is a whole eco-system of inter-connected things that must be considered if you want to address the problem of speeding.

In a past life I was a Shopping Centre Manager – and the first thing I did when I moved into a centre was to fix the Administration system. Some may consider that weird since it would surely be a higher priority to get more customers to the centre?

I did this because (a) I had to talk to many retailers and be credible, and (b) a very important metric was rental arrears (as you can imagine) and if the Administration system is dysfunctional, the monthly statement/invoice is incorrect. This gives the retailer the opportunity – indeed, the right – to query the invoice and whilst we are trawling through the rent roll, they withhold payment. And if I as a Centre Manager can not even get the rent roll right, they can rightly question how I could talk credibly about what they should be doing in their business?

However, having a solid Admin system is not the answer either. It merely illustrates the point that there are many moving parts to having an entire organisation tuned to perform well.

The same goes for the quality and viability of your franchise system.

This is even more difficult to achieve in a franchising system where relationships are influenced by competing objectives and/or constrained by legal frameworks of what can and can’t be done; not to mention the history and baggage that comes with any relationship.

Just because it is complex, does not mean that it cannot be done. The following diagram is also known as the 7-S Framework or the McKinsey Framework. It was developed in the early 80s by someone who many readers will know – Tom Peters (and Bob Waterman).

The model was used at the time to summarise their findings for the best selling book ‘In Search of Excellence’ – I have used it very effectively to think in an organised manner about all the key elements that must be in place for ANY organisation (including the not-so-excellent ones) to function.

I am happy to give away the ‘secret sauce’ of our approach to solving problems because if there is anything that I have learned in the last 30 years, it is that knowing what to do and actually doing are worlds apart.

This is not the place to get all academic on the reader, but suffice to say that the underlying research is reasonably robust and that having used it for over two decades, it goes down as a classic that cannot be improved upon. Much like the 4Ps of Marketing introduced by Kotler in the 60s, some ideas simply stand the test of time and this is one of them.

Readers can think about ANY challenge they currently face, and I guarantee that the solution (and the problem) will be a combination of one (or more) of those 7 S’s.

Just because an idea is new, does not mean it is important and just because the idea has been around for awhile, does not mean that it does not work any more.

Of course the simplicity of the framework belies the challenges of synchronising all those moving parts. And each of those elements represent an ever-changing domain.

One area I am very familiar with, is cloud-based platforms. This technology (system) can be used for something as simple as taking the Operations Manual online at low cost or to something more challenging like creating collaborative communities of practice.

Let us consider those examples briefly.

Example 1: Having a ‘living’ operations manual in the cloud has several benefits. It is relatively easy, is dynamic, track-able, and instantaneous - and at a few dollars per month per person it is more cost-effective than sending one letter/brochure a month. Yet few people are doing it, which begs the question why everyone is not doing it.

The answer is that it is because most Franchisors are smart enough to know (intuitively) that it is NOT simply about uploading a few PDFs onto some online directory or even just on Google Drive. If you do it right, you will think about who needs to use it, how they use it and how best to disaggregate the information and how it will be monitored. Then it becomes clear that all the moving parts must be in good working order to tackle a project like this.

Example 2: Having an active, collaborative franchisee community-of-practice is (in my humble opinion) the holy grail of franchisor-franchisee relationships. This is a state where the franchisees truly own the objectives, are committed to the culture and have created an environment where they freely share the wins and solve the problems collaboratively.

We can roll out the platform/technology easily, make it look pretty according to your brand but the initiative is doomed to failure. This is not a sales pitch: I am telling you NOT to do it. Unless you have all the other elements in play and properly aligned, the take-up will be at best limited and soon you have a white elephant on your hands that requires someone to allocate time and resources to ‘creating content’, when what you really need is a form of social learning that is driven from the bottom up to happen.

In order to make it work your culture must be robust, your internal communications must be honest and transparent, your people must have certain skills and your policies must be fair and so forth. Not to mention that your business model and strategy must be solid.

I could go on, but you get the idea – I am simply referencing the 7-S framework.

All of these things are doable. The benefits are amazing – from clear financial ROIs to substantial ROR (return on relationships) – but they can and should only be tackled by taking a holistic perspective of the whole franchise system.

The answer is not to roll out more training. Especially not training that has some sort of a buzzword associated with it. (Total Quality Management anyone?)

As part of the whole management mix, training has a role to play, and the right training at the right time is vital to success. But it must be part of the big picture of the total business. That is why training must be part of that big picture, driven by the founder/CEO, for delegating to an over-worked employee will turn training into a series of time-wasting events that have zero impact.


The (not so) secret elements of retail success

Regular readers will remember my recent post on the non-existing silver bullet, addressing society’s blind faith in simplistic solutions. (And in the charlatan purveyors of those misconceptions.)

Regular readers will also know I am constantly exploring the notion of success, and what it takes to be successful.

Those posts above link to the challenges of success and focuses on what it is not. I have been searching for an analogy to explain in a simple way what success IS; AND how complicated it is to achieve success that is true and relevant to all types of retailers.

And I realised the traditional periodic table is a good starting point.

Most of us will have been exposed the periodic table of chemical elements in school. The accompanying image will remind you of what it looked like.

All things known to man is contained on the periodic table. In fact YOU and I are not much more than buckets of chemical soup. The latte you had this morning is just chemicals, the computer screen you are looking at right now is comprised of the elements reflected in that periodic table.

Let’s say you want to make a milkshake, it would be (hypothetically) comprised of elements 1, 2 and 3. The same ingredients can be turned into a thick shake, and of course it can be offered in dozens of sizes and dozens of containers. And with the addition of element 4 (a flavour element) you can now create another dozen varieties of the same thing.

With just a few elements, you can literally create hundreds of variations of the same thing.

Achieving success in your retail business is very similar to the mad scientist mixing together elements to create that new milkshake.

The ingredients are known to all, but we all know that not all milkshakes are created equal. And the same goes for you and your business: There are NO SECRETS.

But this is what you should know:

There are a number of different elements to consider. In fact, on this table you must consider ALL of them.

It is the same for everybody in retail, whether you sell shoes or kebabs. What you have to do is to mix those same elements (that everyone has access to) in such a way that you create a milkshake that everyone wants.

It helps to know how people like their milkshakes, what they are prepared to pay for one and then to deliver that consistently. And that is no secret.

Have fun


Ganador: Trainers to the Stars

25 retail basics that builds the foundation of success


Good retailers execute these fundamentals well. There is of course always an exception to each ‘rule’, but they are not as common as you think. It is tempting to dismiss something as theory because one disagrees with it, but for every person who denies the validity of these fundamentals there are hundreds of successful retailers who simply just get on with doing it.


1.      Staff are critical to your success:

o   Teach them to serve well

o   Use them to sell actively

o   Reward them effectively

o   Control your expenses with good rosters and productive staff, not stingy pay scales

2.      Use your own time to add value and manage – not only to serve behind the counter. (Take regular mini-breaks if you can’t take proper leave. Your customers will love you for it.)


3.      Focus your core product range so that you:

o   Become an expert

}o   Develop bargaining power with suppliers

o   Become known as the ‘go to place’ for… something

4.      Stocktake annually at least (even a rolling stocktake) – no exception

5.      Buy your stock to a Budget (OTB)


6.      Consolidate price points (avoid price point proliferation) for each sub-category: Best, Value, Average, Good, Premium

7.      Never discount unless a product falls below the benchmark stockturn rate

8.      There are over 20 different types of price reductions you can negotiate with your suppliers – fight hard for your business


9.      Doing the same old will get the same old results – be brave, be different

10.   If it works, don’t change because you are tired of it

11.   Use your suppliers and work with their calendars and resources for marketing activities

12.   Community engagement should be at the core of your activities – and the sales will follow


13.   Good displays sell silently: visual merchandising matters

14.   Be smart with product/category locations

o   Be consistent for customer convenience – but don’t be afraid to experiment

o   Convenience products in convenient locations

o   Destination products in destination locations

o   Promotional and high-margin products for the dance-floor

15.   Even the dirtiest, poorest, most ignorant customer does not love a dirty store – they will leave as soon as there is an alternative

16.   Your fitout should be SUBSTANTIALLY be refreshed every SEVEN years. And NOTHING should be allowed to be older than TEN years.


17.   Allocate product space proportional to their Gross Margin contribution as far as practicable.

18.   Reduce non-selling space to <15% of GLA (sub-let if you can or innovate a new use)

19.   Target a benchmark floor space productivity (in shopping centres, for example aim for more than $8000/sqm based on annual sales)


20.   Systematise everything to minimise errors and risk. From opening and closing hours though to how you cash up.

21.   Pay your bills on time then you can demand the same respect.

22.   Communicate when you have issues – ask for assistance from anybody and everybody and NEVER stop learning. (There is a big difference between TWENTY years’ experience and ONE years’ experience twenty times over.)

23.   Don’t worry about the competition – do your own thing and do it well

24.   Make sure your system (POS/Database) is 100% current and that you can make accurate, meaningful decisions about your agency.

25.   Measure all the metrics that matter and make decisions accordingly

Of course there are a few more and we look forward to hearing from readers what they may want to add to the list. But in summary, there is a final, over-arching rule that applies.


But for reasons that escape me entirely, too few actually do it.

Dennis can be reached on with any questions on any of these topics.

Ganador Blog is about #thinkdifferent. We cover topic of business- and personal development aimed at entrepreneurial marketers. (c)Applies. Posts authored by Dr Dennis Price.

15 Things retailers can learn from market operators

I am not a huge fan of markets – not any more than the average Joe at least. I don’t pretend to have more knowledge about markets than the next bloke. But I do understand retail and I really understand consumer behaviour. But more importantly, I have enough common sense judge good and bad business practices when I see it.

This post is not a critique on market stall operators because many of them are hobbyists ands should probably not be judged against professional standards. (Although having said that, even an amateur photographer will try to take the best photo they can and not hide behind their amateur status.)

Observation # 1

A customer is looking at the shoes that (for some reason) were laid out flat on the grass. The operator made a sales pitch, but the customer did not engage, but did not walk away either. After a moment the operator says: “I am going step away and I will be at the back if you need me.” He then proceeds to step away – all of 2 meters (it is a stall after all).

The insight

Very smart. People like to buy, but don’t like feeling ‘sold to’. By SAYING what they were going to do and THEN doing it, they do more than simply give the customer space. They actually communicate a level of psychological consistency – the sub text being that I am as good as my word.

Observation # 2

Some operators do and some don’t wear your own product.

The insight

You are your own best advertisement. A big, fat dude can’t credibly sell diet products. If you sell art then you must look the part. Wear your own product.

Observation # 3

There was an operator that built some jewellery that contained plants – sort of a ‘garden in a necklace’ – like a ship in a bottle, but on a miniature scale.

The insight

In a sea of junk, something different and innovative always stands out.

Observation # 4

One clothing stall had a sign that communicated: “Fashion at market prices.”

The insight

It may seem redundant because both the fashion and the market aspects were obvious. But telling a customer what to expect when that is exactly what they expect is never redundant.

Observation # 5

The candle retailer had a nifty tactic to help customers smell more candles. She offered them coffee beans to chew – which apparently clears the nose sufficiently to allow customers to keep smelling when the variety of aromas could become overwhelming.

The insight

Knowing your product and understanding what the customer is actually buying (not just the look of the candle) is important and finding practical things to make that easier for the customer is hugely valuable.

Observation # 6

One stall had a price point sign that read: “Price’s as marked”

The insight

I know you are not a professional, but really? You can’t spell ‘prices’? I googled the phrase "price's as marked" in quotation marks. Can you guess how many results I found? Exactly 4. I did not realise it was possible to search for something that gave so few results. If the billion people on the internet can get it right, sure you can.

Observation # 7

One stall holder was selling (handmade) dog leashes. But no dog in sight anywhere.

The insight

In an open air market like that dogs are permitted and there are a few around. Most dogs that are taken into these environments are relatively trained not to attack other dogs on sight, but even so that would be a relatively minor hassle.

The alternative is I walk past your stall and I see a table with colourful ropes on it.

Observation # 8

Some stallholders have EFTPOS tap-and-go while others still rely on theold-fashioned bumbag.

The insight

Do you really need to give a customer a reason not to buy?

Observation # 9

No sample jerky at the jerky stand.

The insight

Good luck with selling that.

Observation # 10

I observed the quietest stalls were the ones where the owners were sitting down on a char at the back of the gazebo.

The insight

Is this the cause or effect? I would hazard a guess that customers are thinking if you are not very interested in your product there is no reason for them to be.

Observation # 11

Customer approaches the table and touches product (a plush toy). The owner announces from the behind the laden table “That one is $15 “

The insight

The first thing surely isn’t what it is going to cost but what you are going to get? If the operator said “they smell really good too” the customer would probably have lifted the product towards their face to smell. Picking up the product is already one step closer than simply touching it.

Observation # 12

While selling some organic bathroom/beauty product – owner announces that he is really 167 years old. The customer laughed.

The insight

Rule #1 of getting a customer to buy is to get them to relax. Humour is an effective tool in doing so – if you can pull it off.

Observation # 13

The pickle stand showed their certificates form the Sydney show

The insight

The credibility that comes from an ‘official endorsement’ should not be underestimated.

Observation # 14

I observed one owner juggling sticks to entertain himself while waiting for customers to his herbs and spices stand.

The insight

It wasn’t entertainment aimed at the customers. It had no relevance to his product. He clearly showed his disengagement in a way that is possibly worse than the operator sitting down at the back of the stand because customers would not want to interrupt someone who is ‘doing something’.

Observation # 15

AT the stand selling clocks, not a single one had the correct time, neither have they been set to 10 past 10 as is the custom to display the ‘happy face’.

The insight

If not showing your product in a positive light (by wearing it or demonstrating it) is a crime, then showing it to prospective customers in a ’broken’ state is even worse.

The most important point about all of the above is that NONE OF THESE would cost money and can easily be applied by any operator. These little things can often make the difference between a good and great business.


None of the stall holders actively and prominently directed customers and/or passerby to their website and not one tried to collect a name for a subscription list. There were a few websites listed on labels but nothing significant. I would consider that to be a major missed opportunity.



Nobody likes needy people, so...

...think before you sign up for ‘Buy Local’

Buy local or shop local campaigns abound. The NSW state government even has a special page on their site to tell you how to do it. (If that is not a sign that that you should be concerned, then I don’t know what is.)

Last week I wrote that customer service won’t sugar-coat a poor, inappropriate or unwanted offer.

By the same reasoning, a ‘buy local’ campaign cannot save a decrepit retail precinct by a misguided appeal to the community to ‘shop local’.

Every struggling town and every decrepit retail strip has such a campaign, or has tried one or wants one. These campaigns are often instigated by a number of stakeholders who rarely recognise their flawed motives which make for poor execution.

How does one reconcile ‘begging’ customers to ‘do the right thing’ with sound marketing? Is there even an example where begging has been a successful way of growing a business? (It may help you survive, but hardly prosper.)

The mind boggles at the condition of the local high street generally and the trader’s stores specifically. The lack of investment in infrastructure and (more often than not) crappy service and over-priced merchandise is obvious to all but the campaigners.

Often a local council sees fit to waste taxpayers’ money in a misguided attempt to save the economy and to protect their rate base. If the Reserve Bank (or even a Government) can’t save an economy, why do the local councillors think they have special powers? It probably happens because it makes them FEEL better and gives them something to TALK about come election time; but neither talk nor feelings will change anything.

Whatever the motivation and however deep the pockets, it is almost always a bad idea to launch such a ‘buy local’ campaign - at least the way these programs normally get launched.

Consider this campaign in Gladstone. All the ingredients are there: Awareness. Advertising. Customer Service. Etc. In addition, they may even throw in the shopping bags and a funky street map. (I am looking YOU St Kilda Village.) What do you think are the chances of making it being a success?



I am guessing slim to none, because the most important ingredient is missing: What are the local traders doing to make it worth THE CUSTOMER’S while?

Of course raising awareness of the offer is important. I even promote an APP that will do that for you. (And good onya for trying Gladstone.)

But that alone is not sufficient. In fact, the more successful the campaign to attract people to a poor offer, the quicker the demise.

People don’t buy elsewhere because it is more expensive to buy locally. Whilst no one wants to be ripped off, you don’t have to be the cheapest. Only ONE product in every single category will classify as the cheapest. Few of the things in the world that you or I buy will be classified the cheapest.

I don’t buy because it is local, I buy local because you have what I want.

Making things worthwhile for me – the local shopper – is about making me feel special. I am the customer; it IS all about me, so make it about me.

  • Love me… (Yip, serve me as if you actually love me; because whilst there will always some commercial prostitution, most customers want the real thing.) Love is the killer app, as Tim writes in his book.
  • Make yourself interesting and different – which makes me feel special for interacting with you…
  • Make your shop a nice place to spend some time – which makes feel special…
  • Make me feel part of the community – because that is special…
  • I think you get the idea… It is not (only) about service and it is not about ‘guilting’ me into buying from you. Don’t beg for my patronage. No-one likes needy people.

‘Buy Local’ campaigns can be done and should be done, but the fundamentals have to be there first. And these fundamentals are really just a collective commitment and concerted effort to practise great retail. Now, about that APP….


Ganador helps organisations systematise success.

Don't do the December Discount Dance

Many retailers use discounting as a substitute for marketing. Discounting is a race to the bottom – and inevitable unprofitability.

Discounting is only appropriate for in the following two scenarios:

  •   strategic retail promotions (e.g. introducing new products)
  •  too fix buying mistakes (bought too much or wrong products) and it is not moving

Q: How do you know when a product is not moving?

A: When the stockturn (or sell-through rate) is below the benchmark for that category – and only then. (Never rely on instinct, use your POS.)

Beware the tipping point. Frequent discounting will lead you to a point where customers perceive you to be a discount store. Unless this is your strategy, make sure you manage discounts prudently.

First impressions count in your retail store

Your store entrance is important in achieving two main objectives:

  1. Should be inviting (attract customers)
  2. Must not present a barrier to a prospective customer

This is achieved by:

Making it convenient:

  • Ensuring no steps are placed at the entrance
  • Sufficient width for easy passage– especially in high-traffic areas
  • Easy access for pregnant/handicapped persons or those with trolleys where appropriate (no merchandise/fixtures to clutter entrance)

Making it attractive:

  • Good lighting (bright/ visible signage and or shopfront)
  • Changing entry statements at least monthly to remain interesting and noticeable
  • Use attractive and attention-getting colours in windows, displays and signage

Ask your staff/family/friends to pretend to be customers and to make notes of anything that may inconvenience the customers. They should also use trolleys and prams to test the flow and remedy any issues accordingly.


Is your business a Canary, a Duck, a Horse or a Human?

What is the most important metric in retail? And the answer is NOT that ‘it depends’.

Whilst I like GMROI as being most useful and revealing, it has one drawback in that there aren’t many benchmarks available to be used. Its ugly sister metric, stockturn, is simpler but still extremely useful – AND importantly it goes to the heart of retailing. (Breaking bulk to tailor product/quantity to the needs of the consumer.)

Understanding the stockturn of a product/category is extremely useful, yet so few small retailers actually do the homework necessary to have access to this metric. (Services and hospitality would have equivalent metrics that go by different labels, but the same principle applies.)

Your stockturn will reveal that:

(1) Your inventory levels are wrong, or that

(2) Your sales rate is wrong.

But there is one feature or principle of stockturn that even very experienced retailers don’t know and don’t appreciate. The ideal/optimum stockturn for a category is (for practical purposes and in most cases) fixed. That is the optimum stockturn for any given category is a given.

With metrics like sales or profit, there is never a case of ‘having too much’. But with stockturn there is an optimum range. Consider these examples.

The stockturn for a daily newspaper is 365 times per annum. Any more than that would indicate inefficient double handling and any less would mean you probably overstock.

Fashion has a stockturn of 4 times per year – for the obvious reason that the purchase cycle is driven by the seasons. The Christmas Tree Farm sells its stock once a year.

The same applies for every category or product. This rate is determined by (a) the retailers’ business models and (b) by how consumers purchase certain products.

Good planning and good systems will allow efficient retailers to make mid-season corrections on their stock and instead of turning their stock once per season, they may be able to do a mid-season clearance of the duds and stock up on the best sellers. They may turn their stock 1.5 x per season, resulting in a turn of 6x per annum. Inefficient retailers (like Department Stores) who also sell fashion traditionally achieve stockturns of less than 4x per season in their fashion category.

The vast majority of (specialty) fashion retailers will sit in that 3.5 – 6.5 range. But there are ‘fast fashion’ retailers who have a different business model. For instance, Zara is vertically integrated and goes from runway to store in a few weeks. They achieve stockturns of 17x per annum (my estimate.) But then, they are not really in the Fashion business, they are in the disposable clothing business.

What people don’t appreciate is that there is an optimum level for this metric. Just like your heartbeat can’t be in the 1-25 bpm range, nor can it sustain 200+bpm. To work best it needs to be in the 65-75 range.

That is just for a human being. Canaries’ hearts flutter at 1000 bpm, a duck at 190 and a horse at 38. (Yes, there is an apparent mass/ rate inversion – just like the boutique and the department store.)

Heartbeats and Mass - Like stockturn.PNG


Which brings us to the title of this post: Do you sell canaries, ducks or horses? And of course, whether your canary’s heart beats like a canary or is acting like a duck or a horse?

You should know the rate of turn and you must compare it to the benchmark:

Again, since the relationship between your sales and your inventory is (relatively) fixed, the amount of stock determines the level of sales you can achieve. (READ THAT AGAIN.)

How to interpret and use stockturn metric:

If the canary is a canary = just right

Assume you sell a product that has an optimum stockturn of 8 – and your average inventory is valued at $200K at retail. The BEST you can hope for is $$1.6m in sales. No matter how much marketing you do, or how much you improve your service, your sales destiny is determined by the amount of stock you carry.

The worst thing you can do if you are turning your stock in the optimum range, is to discount your stock. Your rate of turn will spike slightly but won’t go up over an extended period (the whole year) because discounting will bring tomorrow’s sales forward to today – and on average the turn will stay the same. In fact the net effect is you will make less GP over the term because your discount is the margin you give away.

You should evaluate whether $1.6m is sufficient turnover for your business. None of the traditional, retail tactics like sales/service/display etc is going to change the business fundamentally. The only way to grow a business that is already tuned for an optimal stockturn, is to make strategic structural changes that will increase your market share. E.g. buying out a competitor or implementing strategies that are directly aimed at taking business from someone else

If the canary acts like a horse = too slow

If you are over-stocked, with a sub-optimum stockturn, you should discount the product to recycle the cash into new product that will sell. That is, if people aren’t buying canaries, then you should sell ducks. Or horses. But remember that different products/categories are different yet again.

A low stockturn indicates that you have made a mistake: you bought too much or you bought stuff that doesn’t sell. Discounting is only an appropriate tactic to rectify these mistakes – and should not be used in any other way.

If your horse is a canary = too fast

You are probably under-capitalised and paying the price of ordering small quantities (with no volume discounts) and double handling. The only way to slow down your turn is to increase your stock levels.

Keep increasing it UNTIL you hit benchmark and you will see your sales rise.

In summary:

If you don’t know your stockturn, you are not practising retail. This number reveals whether you should buy more or less or different stock. It reveals when you should discount and when not. Knowing your stockturn eliminates certain strategies and opens up others as the logical options. Buying stock accounts for 70%-40% of your total expenses of running the business – it is vital to get that right.

Do you really know the stockturn of every major category in your store?


GOOD NEWS: You don’t have to sell in retail

In a fast moving retail environment like (say) a newsagency, you don’t have to sell. At least not the way most text books and some gurus tell you.

There are two conditions:

1. Make sure the store is laid out to optimise the opportunities to buy.

2. Make sure your visual merchandising tells the right story.

Then you can help the customer buy:

3. Simply have a conversation with the customer; a conversation that shows you are generally interested in what they want and help them get what they want.

Of course this means that you can’t stand behind the counter if you really, authentically and effectively want to engage with the customer.

Once you are in this position (you have achieved 1-3 above) then you may able to focus on learning some of the techniques that will help you have more productive conversations with customers. It takes skill to lower barriers and appeal to their emotions, and this skill can be learned.

One thing is for sure: it is NEVER about hard sell.

If you do this right, you may not get the sale today. But if you do it right you will get sales more often than most, more often than before; and worst case, you will get it next time.


Alley coffee.jpg

Retailers who chase this, will drift nowhere

The curse of retail drift, and how to avoid it

A common mistake seen in all sizes and in all categories of retail from fashion to shoe stores, from fast food to pharmacy is ‘drift’.

You see it in many products and brands, not only in retail. When Hyundai launched here, they were positioned as low-cost entry level motor car. Over time they add features and the price creeps up. This is called ‘image drift’; as the brand seeks to become more prestigious.

The executives always find a (rational) reason why that must be so.

But of course another executive suite argues (perfectly rationally) that this gap presents a good business opportunity and very soon there is a new entry-level, low cost brand. (Hello Kia.)

The process repeats itself again and again. (Hello Ssangyong and then Great Wall ad infinitum.)

Image drift is the love child of feature creep, and the step child of ‘retail (proposition) drift’.


Repositioning a Strategic Context.PNG
  • The Fish & Chips shop adds chicken burgers and then hamburgers and then coffee.
  • The Pharmacy adds beauty products, then shoes, then home wares and finally pet food.
  • The Ladies Shoe Store adds Men’s shoes, then kids’ shoes and then athletic shoes and then school shoes and then bags and then belts.

These are all examples of the BLUE ARROW options in the diagram above. They chase the volume; seduced by the marginal sale. They convince themselves they are chasing an increase in basket size with no clear understanding of what it does to their offer and to their brand and to customer perceptions of their proposition.

Do you go to the Fish & Chips shop to buy hamburgers? Of course not. When the Fish & Chips shop does start selling hamburgers, it is Corner Café – an entirely different proposition.

Does a woman looking for those really special shoes (insert favourite band here) really want to wrestle through the aisles cluttered with kids and trolleys?

Too few retailers go for the RED ARROW option – because they would be going uphill. Only a rare few even hold their position.

The reason why great retailers are great is that they achieve consistency. Lowes is a great retailer for that very reason. And no wonder they are more than a 110 years old. Good brands like Sportsgirl, Reject Shop (please get rid of that annoying auto play video) and Country Road have owned their proposition for as long as I have known them. (The Reject Shop resisting the temptation to go online shows to me that they understand their business model and proposition well.)

This does not mean you cannot re-position or adapt, but changes and additions ONLY work when they fit the original proposition.

McDonalds introduced fresh options to their menu and added (real) coffee. McDonalds is about fast family food and the menu is modernised to reflect the tastes of their market, so that works.

Similarly there are newsagents who added gifts. If you are selling cards, the same customer is happy to buy a gift for the same person on the same occasion at the same place.

But if Dominos starts selling hamburgers, you can be sure to start selling your shares, because savvy consumers will perceive that as a cynical attempt to capture an additional sale.

In the long run, chasing that shiny, seductive incremental dollar at a lower margin is a counter-productive chimera that will destroy your business. It kills your brand; the goose that lays the golden eggs. (E.g. Toyota could not become Lexus, they had to create a new brand instead.)

Two strategies that you could consider instead are:

  1. A service company should ‘productise’, and product companies should create services. For instance, BMW did it with BMW on demand. Patagonia’s Common Threads Partnership is an example of how Patagonia facilitates (offers the service) the recycling of their own clothes. This is completely counter-intuitive, but it is exactly the right thing to do.
  2. Strengthen your proposition by purifying it and focussing it. If you sell Fish & Chips, sell fish and chips that would make Jamie Oliver proud. That is, add some organic fish cake or gluten free batter or whatever. Become a Fish & Chips shop worth visiting because the service and the offer together provide a unique and special experience. (I am not suggesting the shop becomes ‘swanky’ – just different and interesting and worth visiting.)
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
(From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) 

Adding lollies on every counter is lazy retailing and a sure sign of a retailer drifting down the road to nowhere.

Have fun


Read this: warts and all about Fifty Shades of Failure: A Personal Confession.

Ganador: Learning & Development for the 21st century retailer dealing with the 21st century consumer.


How to build a successful retail system

What does footy, meat pies and the Dick Smith story teach us about retail success?

An increase in sales revenue hides a multitude of sins. If profits increase, executive bonuses increase. In our American-influenced business culture we obsess about results and outputs. (Every proposal I write list the key deliverables.)

There is a mucho overtone to our gleeful acclamation: ‘Look at the score board!’

INPUT >> PROCESS >> OUTPUT is the archetypal structure of a system and holds true for the system of retail. (See diagram for a Retail System in this post.)

The most common OUTPUTS businesses seek are revenues and the distant cousin, profit. This is the Holy Grail that is pursued by executives and that is hardwired into the culture of most organisations. We live by the mantra of ‘garbage in is garbage out’. It is commonly said and commonly believed. But it is not even close to being a truth – and in fact is a counter-productive approach.

Most struggling retailers that I have worked with directly has in poor access to data. Their technology does not provide information that allows you to run an effective business. They don’t have a scoreboard and I am a great believer in getting the metrics right and measuring the right things. This is crucial to successful business, but focussing on the profits/sales etc will not fix your business.

Metrics are almost invariably historic. They reflect outputs achieved. You can no more alter your sales by focusing on sales than you can improve the taste of a meat pie by focussing on the meat pie. What is done is done.

Strategically astute managers understand that the system is NOT a matter of Garbage In Garbage Out. Instead, you should be changing the Inputs or changing the Processes. This is the ONLY WAY to alter the outputs. (Focus on SELLING not on REVENUE.)

Garbage in, garbage out assumes there is no ‘transformation process’. There is. At least there is an opportunity to transform the input:

Sewerage in, drinking water out.

Discarded clothes in, charitable revenues out.

Starting off with the right INPUTS will make things easier, but if you inherited a ‘difficult’ suite of resources, it is always possible to turn it around. The middle (process) stage is when all the WORK happens. Maybe that is what scares people?

If you identify the critical inputs (see diagram) and the core processes and focus your attention on fixing those, the results will happen.

Consider the Dick Smith turnaround story: a business bought (effectively) for less than $100m is turned around within a year to be re-floated at $600m.

I have no inside knowledge and cannot judge the people. Maybe the retail team at Anchorage Capital really are geniuses and the Woolworths executives failed miserably. But the comment by an ex-employee indicates that the in the short time available to them, the turnaround was not focussed on the core processes, but rather on addressing the symptoms (outputs). If this is true, then it is exactly what I am advocating against.

Play the game, not the scoreboard. If the scoreboard reflects a poor result, dig deep to determine how you can play the game differently. If you are playing your scoreboard (and protecting your lead) the opponents invariably run away with the game.


Ganador: Coaching Winning Retail Teams all the way to the Finals.


Social Media risks to bite your arse

Social Media is now pervasive – it is safe to say. But how prepared are you for the inevitable shit that will happen when things go wrong? To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning: How could it happen? Let me count the ways…

  1. If customer tweets about the poor service, and they say LMFAO, should it be addressed? Removed?
  2. Is the abovementioned any different if they spell it out as Laughing My F*cking Ass Off?
  3. Is WFT offensive if it is offered instead of WTF?
  4. Can you fire an employee who checked in at a venue via Foursquare, when they were meant to be somewhere else?
  5. If a manager happens to see someone’s Linked In profile (but they were not invited as a connection) and there is an inconsistency with their resume, can you do anything about that?
  6. If someone insults a colleague via their personal FB profile, does that constitute harassment?
  7. If customer ‘friends’ an employee (are they allowed?) and during subsequent communications the employee infects the customers computer system with a virus, are you covered?
  8. Email signatures can have disclaimers, but tweets and updates and check-ins don’t, so how do you ‘disclaim’ something in such a way that it will hold up in court?
  9. If an employee owns a twitter account and is followed by customers and that person resigns; who owns the list of followers? (The database?)
  10. How long are you meant to keep a list of tweets in archive? Can you archive it?
  11. An employee sends a link via a tweet that connects to pornographic content via direct message as opposed to a public tweet. Is that different?
  12. Are there certain twitter followers who are not allowed to be followed?
  13. Given the prevalence of ‘bots’ on twitter (fake, robot accounts) – should you and can you verify all your followers of an official account?
  14. If one employee posts a picture of another – or even a selfie – is there a potential breach of privacy? Or if someone or something ‘confidential’ happens to be in the background of said selfie, can you be sued?
  15. Is there a difference between a tweet that is scheduled for after hours release but written in business hours?
  16. If a customer (ratepayer) lodges a complaint via Facebook, is that a considered a formal complaint even if it was not directed at someone specifically?
  17. If a customer lodges an offensive picture or comment and other customers are offended by it, are you liable?
  18. Are you allowed to delete a post just because you find the language offensive?
  19. Is having a policy sufficient defence in releasing the employers’ obligations?
  20. How much training is enough given that there are new networks all the time?
  21. Are employees obligated to declare their activity on all social networks?

There is more where that came from, but I am sure you get the idea.

What are you going to do next?

BYO - Solutions for struggling retailers

Times are tough and I thought it might be useful to share with readers here at Inside Retailing the conceptual framework Ganador uses to assess and advise struggling retailers. If you have the requisite knowledge, creativity, objectivity, time and other resources, there is no reason why you can’t self-diagnose and fix your own business.


Systems Thinking -RetailNumbers.PNG

This is not a checklist; it is structured approach to solving the retail puzzle. I personally have limited use for checklists and tend to work each case as if it is my first. If there is a specific topic or area you are interested in, just ask and if I have one, I will give it to you, or give you the pointers to assist. Alternatively search on the website and you may find a more insights on specific topics that could be useful. (No charge and you don’t have to subscribe to anything.)

I would, however, advise you that there will be more benefit for you if you work through the process and build your own checklist, rather than be given something that becomes a tick-the-box exercise.

I provide a conceptual framework because retail management requires a whole-of-business approach. It is not a matter of being good at one thing and not so good at another. Like a chain, your business is only as strong as the weakest link.


Q: Where do you start?

A: At the END.

You must assess and evaluate what the OUTCOMES should be. The only way to do this is to collect objective evidence to analyse, identify problems and prioritise actions. So the logical starting point is to get FEEDBACK.

I have written extensively about retail metrics. Understanding stock turns, GMROI, margins etc. are the symptoms that tell you what is sick and what is healthy in your business. The remedy after all must be targeted at the right problem. Figure out what is right for your business and find a way to measure that. Every business has different metrics, but the most common ones are:

  • Stockturn (or equivalent)
  • GM% (by category)
  • Average Sale (or equivalent)
  • Trading Density (Sales /sqm)
  • Sales/employee

(You may notice that total sales are mentioned specifically, and that is because total sales in and of itself is actually meaningless. If I told you I had a shop that turned over $1m, then you would have no idea whether that was good, bad or indifferent.)


The next step is the strategic context assessment where you consider the environment and evaluate the trends and the forces of change in your businesses and your category:

  • What is the competition doing?
  • What is possible and what is fatal?
  • Where are the opportunities?
  • And most importantly, what do customers want?

The better your questions, the better your answers. (And contrary to popular opinion, there are stu0id questions.)


Now that you have had (a) a critical evaluation and (b) a reality check you must decide what business you are in. (What is the vision for your store?) This is not an academic exercise. Regular readers will know that I consider most business planning a waste of time, but there are elements of a business plan that you must do as a business owner and formulating a clear and compelling vision is the first thing that is committed to the blank canvas of your future success. You MUST have a clear vision of what success looks like in order to be excited about it and in also to engage your stakeholders in that vision.


Your vision is now refined. It is time to formulate your retail proposition.

  • What is your story?
  • What is your offer?
  • What experience do you want your customer to have? (Evaluate exactly each and every touch point and a desired outcome and describe the ideal state.)

This may seem either unnecessary to do formally or it may seem obvious. But the vast majority of people start with the status quo and attempt to figure out a way forward. Instead, start at the end and figure out a way backward.

In essence, you are now describing your business model.


Only now are you ready to conduct a thorough resource assessment. The key resources are:

  • People
  • Capital
  • Stock
  • Space

Stock and space combine to tell the story; that is it articulates the retail vision or communicates the proposition.

Your vision dictates what products you must carry, and your key metrics determine how much you must carry.

Your proposition will dictate the best configuration of your store and your analysis determines how much space must proportionately be allocated to each category.


This step focuses on how customers find their way to the store and the in-store experience. These processes TRANSFORM your inputs into the outputs you identified earlier. This is how we capture customers and convert passers-by into browsers.

The processes to be reviewed comprise the ‘funnel’ of retail. How do you attract, interact and convert passersby into browsers and browsers into buyers?

  • Buying
  • Marketing
  • Selling & Service
  • Housekeeping – etc…


The final step – which is NOT on the framework - is what you must do as an owner/manager to systematise the decisions you have taken and ensure that (a) they are implemented, and (b) are constantly monitored.

You will know it is being done (or not) if you have the feedback systems in place (see Step 1) to monitor how the outputs are tracking. Literally and figuratively you go back to square one.


1.      Managing a successful retail business is an iterative process. It never stops. When you stop tweaking, you start failing.

2.      The elements I described above constitute the key issues you must resolve in your retail business. This post is long, but it is rich in content so it may worth printing or bookmarking to refer back to it. Space constraints mean that, for example, I can only refer superficially to ‘buying’ or ‘marketing’ as a critical process to be addressed (step 6) when either of those may represent huge challenges with many issues.

3.      It is no coincidence that in the last seven years ALL (but one) struggling retailers I have worked with lacked the basic systems to monitor their business. That is no coincidence! Having a good system is the beginning and the end, and having no system is the beginning of the end. (POS vendors can use that in their advertising J)

4.      Every retailer that I worked with but failed anyway, failed because they waited too long before they started to fix the business. More often than not they had run out of money, ideas and out of motivation to make any changes. And when you don’t change, nothing changes. NO surprise there. Start TODAY.

Hope that helps. Have fun…


Ganador: Solutions for the retail supply chain (landlords, brands, franchisors etc) to engage their stakeholders (retailers, communities, consumers etc) effectively.

PS: For the retail nerds: If you look carefully you will see elements of systems thinking, chaos theory and the traditional retail mix framework contained in the approach outlined above.


© 2014 Ganador Management Solutions (Pty) Ltd PO Box 243 Kiama, NSW, 2533 Australia Tel: (+61)2-4237 7168