It was my great pleasure to be the guest of Health Stores Ireland, at their “Putting Our Best Foot Forward” gathering, in Shannon last weekend.

The health store sector is perfectly placed to grow and flourish in a world where consumers are increasingly looking to be more proactive in their health, wellbeing, fitness, and mindfulness.

It is also a sector filled with passion-driven independent retailers owned by people who embrace the ethics, sustainability, and values which customers are now demanding from all retailers and consumer brands.

I introduced the concept of the ‘Local Destination Retailer,’ a model that all independent retailers need to aspire to. A physical and digital proposition which combines the authority and processes to deliver a reliable destination, alongside the individuality, and personality to place the shop and its shopkeeper at the heart of its local community.

Easier said than done. The fact is that retailing today is so complex, at any level, in any sector, that it is beyond the skills and scope of any individual retail business to achieve this goal alone.

For independent retailers to excel, and to grow their unique independence and place in the market, they need more than ever to open-up, and collaborate in new ways with a whole variety of partners.

Retailers and services together as stronger propositions; digital marketing agencies to bring the message to new customers; food, hospitality, and leisure vendors to create footfall through experiences; new suppliers to add diversity, logistics & delivery partners to supply direct to customers; landlords and market owners to allow physical shops to be fluid and to go to wherever the customer lives, breathes, and buys.

The potential for our amazing Independent Retailers lies in becoming less Independent.

Independent Retailers as the beating heart of a dynamic and diverse community of collaborators, cooperatives, and customers, celebrating and supporting individuality and independence.

In the meantime…

Intelligent ‘Retail Intelligence’ is featured in the new book – ‘Meaning in the Retail Madness – How to be an Essential Retailer’

If you’d like to read my book for many more retailer insights and best practice. And to here my thoughts on retail’s future, then that’s an excellent idea.

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

I hope that the sections on how to flourish in the ‘The life and times of the Essential Retailer’ how to evolve ‘Agile Organisations’ and excel in ‘Astute Strategies’ may be a source of inspiration and guidance. You will also find 70 action plans and 90 retail best practice insights that may help you to assess your current weaknesses and opportunities.

Enjoy your read.