The peak seasonal trading period is upon us. But while the golden quarter is arguably the most lucrative time of the year for the majority of retailers, the end of 2020 is going to look very different to other years.
A likely reduction in footfall, ongoing store closures, and reduced headcount will all make it increasingly challenging for many retailers on the UK high street, desperately seeking to end the year on a much-needed positive note.
Not all retailers are born equal. While there are certainly a large number of retailers who are struggling right now, others are actually trading well. During this busy period, however, there will be pressure on all retailers to maximise profitability like never before.
Profitability, however, doesn’t come without productivity, and retailers will do well to identify and, more importantly, address the core elements that can help them optimise performance—not just in the short-term, but also in ways that will set up stores for success well into the year ahead.
Productivity and efficiency is the new currency
Ultimately, in the current climate where budgets are tight and resources are stretched, working to identify in-store priorities, simplifying in-store visual operations, maximising the sales potential of in-store space, and equipping store teams with vital skills to do their best work, is key. Productivity and efficiency is the new currency and the ability to be focused, agile and effective is the killer advantage retailers can implement to optimise in-store performance and drive sales.
Recognising if and where visual policy and VM principles need updating to ensure they are fit for purpose and putting essential information and learning at the fingertips of store teams that will ensure routine store activities are efficiently, competently and accurately performed is increasingly important.
Overly complex in-store policy, poor store layouts, ineffective policy communication and a lack of specialist know how can lead to confusion, missteps and valuable time and resources being wasted.
Do more, with less
Deploying easy-to-use digital tools that signpost key policy detail, daily tasks and essential hints and tips guidance, will help both retailers and store teams to achieve ‘right first time’ implementation. That way you can not only maximise your resources but also increase your chances of providing a retail experience that is relevant, engaging and easy-to-shop, which will add sales as well as efficiency savings, to your bottom-line.
This is where Visual Thinking comes into its own. For more than 25 years, we have been helping stores to optimise in-store performance. And the work we do has arguably never been more important to retailers.
It’s why this month we’re launching our “Do more, with less” campaign across our social media channels (shoptactics). Search #ProgressDoMore online with your favourite social media. In addition, as you can see, our website has received a fresh new look, as part of our own commitment to focus on what matter most right now—telling the stories of how we have helped big brand retailers like Waitrose, O2, Wilko, Tu Clothing, Big W and Harley-Davidson to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and sales in-store through the work we do.
Constant change can be confusing
With the ongoing pandemic crisis and resulting economic pressures on retailers to perform, optimising in-store performance will be the difference between success and failure. In just a few short months, focusing on retail design and ‘experiential’ have become nice-to-haves. Being able to extract more store performance with less, is the new commercial imperative.
Retailers must use all the tools and solutions available to them to allow store teams and senior management to do their best work. This will ensure retailers are communicating a clear message to store teams and have absolute visibility of store performance, at a time when constant change can be confusing. At the same time, they also need a great deal of agility to change and adapt their ways of working. Lean, optimised in-store processes and highly capable store teams will help retailers to not only survive, but thrive in the months to come, and overcome the immense challenges ahead with confidence.
Eager to know more? We’re ready to answer any and all questions you may have. Contact our team of retail specialists and let’s discuss how we can achieve the best results, together.