The proposition is the ‘complete package’ that the customer experiences with a retailer. It is a combination of products and services, and is delivered as a physical retail shop, a pureplay digital site or any combination of channels, touchpoints and media. It is more emotional that just a product. But more functional than just a brand image.

The proposition is important for everyone involved in a retail business. It helps them to understand the fundamental parameters that they can work within. It clearly defines the boundaries of what they can produce. Best practice businesses keep their shape, they keep their balance and their proportions. They keep the beauty of a simple proposition, no matter how large they become.

‘Channel’ is already becoming an obsolete word. Customers and retailers are connecting via an array of ‘Shopping touchpoints.’ These ‘shopping touchpoints’ will continue to be a fusion of traditional and new shop formats and customer ‘lifestyle locations,’ across digital and physical worlds.

Retailers themselves will not be the ones to decide which channels to offer the customer. It will be the customer who dictates where and when, and how, they wish to connect with their ‘essential retailers.’

‘Retail location planning’ a standard discipline of physical retailers to define the best places to locate physical shops will be supplemented and overtaken by the new discipline of ‘Customer location planning.’

‘Customer Location planning’ will be the study of the distribution of retail touchpoints to maximise the transient movements and location patterns of the customer.

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?

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