Retail organisations, structures & processes

Building retail organisations for the future

‘The journey to being a modern retailer’ takes us on a path through 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 must 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.

The retail organisational funnel

Build organisations for your customers

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.

Stability, flexibility & agility

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.

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.

The balanced retail organisation exhibits the three key attributes for success – stability, flexibility & agility. 

Prepare for disruption

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 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.

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

Your ‘retail organisational structure’ project…

If you want to start the ‘retail organisational structure strategy’ ball rolling, please get in touch. I would be happy to share with you some typical project templates, schedules, costs, and case studies.

Please get in touch to discuss further your particular needs.

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