On the Ninth Day of Christmas…VMToolkit to Control Stores

“The 12 Gifts of Retail Christmas” for a Happy New Year

On the ninth day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.9 “The tools we need to control our stores.”



VMTookit & operations efficiency benchmarking

Having the correct VMToolkit ensures that ROI is focused on creating excellence and efficiency in the disciplines of store VM operations and support functions that make a difference to your business, your stores and your customer..

the lack of the correct guidelines, processes and skills will result in inconsistent, unattractive and under-performing stores where staff become disengaged and unresponsive.

  • what tools should I have to improve my VM operations and store sales performance?
  • how can I improve the collaboration between head office buying and store selling teams?
  • what structure, skills and responsibilities should I have for my VM operations team?
  • how do I identify and improve issues that hold back store delivery and sales such as space planning, assortment structure, allocation & replenishment?
  • which VMToolkit offers me the best ROI?


This is how we help…
VMToolkit & Operations efficiencies

“How can I improve store operations efficiency, processes and performance through the adoption of an appropriate store VMToolkit delivered in the most practical and cost-effective way?”


Assessment of the current processes, procedures, timings and tools in delivering efficient, attractive and commercially successful stores

  • assessment of the organisational structure, roles and responsibilities
  • assessment in the chain of processes from product design to store display
  • individual analysis of product design, buying & merchandising, space planning, store grading and allocation, logistics and delivery to stores, visual merchandising operations, store operations, sales & service, staff training
  • action plan priorities for adopting best practice Store VMToolkit – VMmanuals, dynamic guidelines, formal training academies, store plans, retail calendar, dynamic communication, informal store training, Event “war-chest,” store props and fixtures “war-chest,” daily, weekly rules & regimes
  • action plan priorities for organisational structures
  • assessment of assortment structure and product collection


  • Identify weaknesses and quick improvements in the organisational processes, structure timings and tools
  • Identify decisive actions to improve store sales and efficiencies
  • Identify better ways to integrate buying & merchandising with store display and vm
  • Energise VMoperations to link HQ to stores
  • Employ and improve priority elements of the VMToolkit that will return maximum ROI
  • Effect customer facing elements most important to your proposition and customer USP
  • Identify opportunities to improve your assortment through the store delivery


  • Detailed interviews with head office department heads including buying & merchandising, supply chain & logistics, space planning, marketing, store operations, vm operations and HR training
  • Analysis of operational processes, schedules and documentation
  • Detailed interviews of regional & store managers and sales personnel
  • Store visits with delivery of assortment and customer experience assessment
  • Analysis of available market research and customer focus groups
  • Analysis of store performance KPIs related to store delivery

Aggressive actions (from a potentially long list):

  • re-schedule hourly and daily tasks to generate quick-win sales
  • initiate re-merchandising process to invigorate stores
  • activate dynamic store communication and training
  • collect and corroborate store capacity data
  • identify store VM champions
  • fast-track training both remotely and by store cluster
  • re-cluster stores by issue and not be geography
  • re-assess allocation and replenishment strategy



Check out more of our series of “audits, analysis, answers & aggressive actions”

tim radley - CEO, VM-unleashed.ltd


Please get in touch. We’ll be happy to help & advise…
+44 (0)7967 609849