On the Seventh Day of Christmas…International Assortments

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

On the seventh day of Christmas VM-Unleashed gave to me…
No.7 “How we should change our assortment when we go to new countries?”



Correct benchmarking and analysis of different international market trends in product taste, shopping behaviour and store delivery practices can successfully blend a strong brand with essential local initiatives.

Failure to recognise differences in shopping behaviour across international markets will leave any brand’s stores inappropriate, inefficient and under-performing .

  • how should I edit my assortment to appeal to national and local taste?
  • should I be displaying my stores with different densities and capacities?
  • what differences in local customer behaviour should effect how I lay out my stores, how I group my product and display it?
  • what differences in pricing and sales promotions do I need to consider?
  • will my approach to customer service, and the training I need to give be different?


 How we can help…
International store delivery customisation


“What should I consider and implement differently when I open stores in other countries – assortment editing & grouping, space location & density, pricing & promotions, display, store layout, customer service…?”



Assessment of current store delivery parameters in the retailer’s native country, benchmarked against same parameters of best practice competitors in the target country.

  • Assessment of current sales performance KPIs across store areas, depts. and categories
  • Prioritisation of store delivery elements that contribute to maximum sales & ROI
  • Identification of essential delivery elements for brand proposition
  • Benchmarking of destination country best practice competitors
  • Analysis of other native retailers now operating in destination countries


  • Identify differences in product “taste” and reflect that in the edited assortment
  • Identify seasonal differences and modify assortment waves and clusters through time
  • Identify the balance in different product grouping, coordination and categories
  • Identify the correct display techniques related to local buying behaviour
  • Identify local trends in store layouts and adjacencies
  • Identify local opportunities and dangers in levels of store implementation and maintenance
  • Identify needs and opportunities for VM tools, guidance and training
  • Identify local store operations needs
  • Identify local expectations of self-service and customer service


  • Analyse client store sales performance and key deliverables in existing market
  • Identify important store delivery mechanisms related to sales and brand image
  • Identify opportunities for delivery in existing market into new market
  • Benchmark best practice competitor store delivery trends
  • Benchmark native retailers in new markets
  • Identify essential trends to be adopted into stores in the new market
  • Identify new delivery mechanisms with maximum ROI
  • Identify essential “pitfalls” to avoid
  • Identify support required in new country via social media, web and loyalty programmes
  • Devise action plan for store delivery in new country

Aggressive actions:

  • Edit the assortment according to local tastes
  • Calculate correct display densities and store capacities
  • Develop in “mock-shops” new display techniques appropriate for new market
  • Develop training and implement before store opening
  • Revise windows, marketing and social media for new customer



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