A Complex ‘House of Cards’

‘The journey to being a modern retail organisation’ will take us on a path through brand propositions, organisational structures, process flows, functional teams, support teams, innovations teams, and external collaborators, all bound together within a dynamic business model which is digital-first.

We need to bring together the stability of the organisation, with the dynamics of retail markets and customer behaviour patterns.

It is always important to build every step of the retail business strategically and proactively rather than to make uncoordinated changes and additions as you go along. It is not possible to know what the future holds, but we can assume it will be different. Retail business planning needs to allow for change even if we do not know precisely what those changes will be.

Stability, Flexibility & Agility

Build from solid foundations, which are balanced and stable, yet still allow for movement in the future. Construct retail function resources and processes that work efficiently, with the flexibility to change and evolve in response to commercial opportunities. Ensure that dynamic actions can be taken to improve, enrich and expand the business in new directions.

Most importantly, define your vision and proposition around the customer. Through every change you make, both strategic and enforced, remain loyal, with a passion, to those core values. Construct a balanced but flexible business model. Always begin with the customer and end with the customer.

They will thank you for it. In turn you will thank them.

Whether a physical shop only retailer, pureplay or omni-channel, the need to plan for change, within the parameters of your proposition, will be a pre-requisite for survival and success.

The balanced business funnel will give you the three key attributes for success – stability, flexibility & agility. 

It is a dilemma that established retailers born in a different age, created without flexibility and balance, need to face head on. Too often, we see organisations required to sacrifice their stability to be flexible, because the processes themselves are inflexible and static.

This is the reality of the disruptive markets we now operate in. It is the same for all retailers, old and new. Some will be able to adapt better than others, some will be built specifically to thrive in such conditions, others will disappear beneath the surface.

We live and operate in a world surviving on retail quicksand.

We hear a lot of talk about being digital-first, the importance to embrace the mind-set, principles and processes of the pureplays. Whilst this is true, of course, it is important to understand why.

This is not a channel battle with digital good and physical bad. It is not a clash of terminology as pureplay takes on ‘bricks ‘n’ mortar.’ It is simply a reflection of the ‘new’ doing things better and more appropriately for today’s markets and customers than the ‘old.’

It is just an industry getting better. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that type of industry. No matter how long you have been a part of it.

‘The Retail Business Funnel’ is an extract from the book ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness: How to be an Essential Retailer.’ by Tim Radley.

If you would like to read more about the new ways that retailers are re-organising their structures, re-aligning their processes and empowering their workforces, then you can find all of this and more in ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness.’

Available worldwide across all amazon platforms and popular online booksellers from Waterstones, Blackwell’s & Foyles to Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository.

For more information, click here.

'Meaning in the Retail Madness: How to be an Essential Retailer' Out now. Available worldwide across amazon and popular online booksellers