By Josh Strutt
Associate Director – Performance, Retail Doctor Group

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get” – Warren Buffet

If you think your retail stores exist simply to “sell stuff”, you’re hanging on to a central mission that’s fast becoming old fashioned. As consumers change their shopping habits and seek experiences and solutions, it’s time to let go of this dominant selling mission in your physical store space and start thinking about what value you can create for your consumers.

Ron Johnson, the ex-CEO of J.C Penney, spoke of the physical store space in a Harvard Business Review article, “If the store fulfils a specific product need, it’s not creating new types of value for the consumer. It’s transacting.  It must exist to enrich people’s lives”.

Business ‘fitness’ in the physical store space does indeed require you to have a value-creation mind-set and this will most likely mean re-imagining your entire thinking towards your store space.  Like a majority of retailers have done in the past, you have most likely started with the products you sell rather than your customer.  Now, to be a ‘fitter’ retailer, you need to look at how you can holistically create value throughout your customers’ entire shopping mission in your retail environment.

Store staff must join your mission to create value

As a retail consultant, I often come across retailer confusion between “selling” and “customer service”.  The greatest asset that a sales person can have is to be a strong active listener, confident with the right degree of humility and possess a genuine interest in the customer by being completely solution-focussed thus adding value to the shopping experience.

Operationally ‘fit’ retailers have a clear vision of the team they need to bring their “value creation proposition” to life.  They then engage them with this proposition before inducting, training and motivating them to carry this through in-store and our research tells us that engaged and motivated staff deliver on average 20 per cent higher sales and margin improvement to the ‘fitness’ of a retail business.

Happy fit retailing.

Our Performance team can give you more tips to be the best of the best in your industry. For more on Retail Doctor Group’s retail consultant services driven by our ‘Fit for Business Fitness™” programs, email or phone 02 9460 2882.