A summary of our consultancy services.

Every retail business, businessman, entrepreneur and shopkeeper is different.

That’s why every consultancy project we plan and deliver is different.

It is essential to understand the potential ‘Scale of Economy’ of your shop, to work to establish your shop as part of that community, create local connections and manage your ‘Personal Destination Shop’ for the community it serves and sells to.

Shop portfolios must be built on quality and not quantity, where quality is not just defined by the potential to sell, but the potential to build lasting and fruitful relationships with the location and the local customer community.

The potential for commercial viability should be gauged on whether the community and populations around the shop are significant enough and appropriate enough, for the retail brand to build the desired relationships to generate the required footfall. Is there the opportunity to convert this community of individuals into regular customers, and into a healthy revenue and profit?

This is a significant series of steps that transform a relationship from where the retailer pays the customer with price promotions in a basic relationship , through a financially neutral advanced relationship, to the ultimate retailer connection where the customer pays the retailer via a subscription model, to be part of, and receive, the retailer’s loyalty benefits.

It is the proposition and relationship combination that allows a retailer to transcend a traditional transactional model to a service benefit model.

Agile retail businesses are shifting the supply chain to support a major strategic and operational focus on new inventories. The traditional approach of producing an inventory which is then sold, as much as is possible, is being transformed into an approach where a partly, or fully, virtual inventory is showcased as much as possible, and then produced to order.

The enablers of the new processes are built around delaying final commitments to designs, styles, materials, colours and sizes until the latest possible moment.

Bespoke inventories use local suppliers and fast response times to refresh and replenish the assortment in shops with the most up-to-date sales data and analysis. Virtual inventories respond to individual requests and orders from the customer, whilst the advent of instant inventories will potentially put the production of the product directly into the hands of the customer.

The awareness and considerations about the product lifecycle must now be extended forwards to the customer purchase, their relationship with the product, and its disposal. The retail lifecycle must evolve into the product lifecycle.

The solution is to make more use, and more uses, of what the customer buys. To turn away from the throwaway, to embrace and enjoy possessions. The terminology needs to move on from possessions to investments, squeezing every hour of use, enjoyment, and value from them.

The motives are flexibility of lifestyle, the ability to change without financial commitment, convenience on every occasion, and the opportunity to use in volume, just not the same things by the same person. Our experience of variety is greater, but our possession of volume is much less.

The relationship is shifting from distinctive channels to a continuously changing number of touchpoints. These touchpoints cut across digital and physical channels. They are used by the customer as they please, often with little predictability.

The touchpoints are used by the customer in two fundamental ways. For inspiration and communication with the retailer, and to buy from the retailer. The customer flits across these touchpoints as and when they please.

With such freedom and choice, it is now time for retailers to be proactive, and to ‘take it to the customer.’

‘Traditional processes were designed only for a business to work in a linear way.’

The development of lateral process loops ensures that the inputs and outputs of processes are well-informed, correct and coordinated. We need to develop the ‘intelligence input curve’ and the ‘retail input curve.’

‘This is the age of the ‘Supercharged Shopkeeper.
They are the eyes, the ears, the face and the personality of every brand. .’

The result of ‘promotional misjudgments’ is unhappy shop managers promoted to unsuitable remote office jobs as a ‘reward,’ whilst shops are continually stripped of their most valuable and skilled assets

Career progression within the shop, or retail hub, should be meaningful and rewarding..

Meaningful in terms of having a real impact in all aspects of the retail hub from operational responsibilities, management duties, product assortment involvement, inputs into the running and the strategy of the shop, and a progression from building customer relationships into evolving and developing the community involvement of the shop.

The retail hub is built around 4 integrated areas. The ‘shopper paradise’ is still the centrepiece consisting of product displays and associated customer service. The ‘Collection Crossroads’ satisfies the needs of the omnichannel shopper and facilitates the collection, delivery, return and exchange of goods.

The third element is the local ‘Community Hub’ which uses shop space to form links with the customer and local communities, from staging events to running courses..

Shop colleague involvement and interaction are essential to the community hub. Finally, retail hubs are increasingly using excess and flexible shop space for ‘Business Centres’ allowing the cost-effective delivery of retail places.