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Secrets, Tips and Techniques

Retailing by Romilly Jones
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Introduction Retail selling is not brain surgery - it is twice as hard! Retailing is a tough and fickle business! A great many people, often with little or no experience, think that setting up shop is a sure way to riches. Many of the same people disappear off the scene within their first year in business, most often a little wiser but much poorer. During the preparation of this book I spoke to a great many people about their impressions of retailers and their retailing experiences. Barely a single person had a positive word for their retail experiences and when it came to supermarket shopping the complaints came thick and fast with countless horror stories being the norm. My research and feedback from many interviews suggests that the retail industry in general is beset by rude, surly, abusive, aggressive and totally uncaring retail shop assistants who delight in carrying on private conversations while ‘serving’ a customer appear to be the norm. And as for attitude! Interestingly none of these people seem to be in the job very long and they obviously have no intention of making a career of retail selling. I am sure there are exceptions but they are very hard to find. Clearly their is a major gap between retail shoppers expectations and what retailers are prepared to deliver! Conversely people in the the retail industry made similar complaints about rude and aggressive customers, often prepared to haggle over already discounted prices who think nothing of damaging or marking goods on display, opening bottles on the supermarket shelf to test for ‘freshness’ and countless other examples of behaviour guaranteed to annoy retailers who have invested large sums of money in their business. A further problem raised by most retailers is having to deal with difficult landlords as well as countless other challenges on a daily basis. In today's complex and ever-changing marketplace, retailing is both an art and a science. To succeed and thrive, retailers must develop and maintain a clear-cut management focus. To build a winning retail strategy' potential retailers should formulate a strategic business and marketing plan backed by viable, practical and easy-to-implement steps that lay the foundation for long-term profitable growth. I wrote this book with the aim of assisting retailers and anybody with an interest in the retail trade of improving their performance and making retail shopping an enjoyable experience.
Martin Books; July 2007
136 pages; ISBN 9781921360268
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Title: Retailing
Author: Romilly Jones
What is a retailer? A retailer is a business or organisation that sells primarily to ultimate consumers. Retailing, comprises activities related to the sale of products to the ultimate consumers for their non-business use, usually in small quantities. The total shopping experience It should always be remembered that nothing can replace retail entrep-reneurship and attention being paid to the total shopping experience. Creating an enjoyable shopping experience requires that categories are defined in a more interesting manner than is the case in an average store, because today's stores are often organised around the way retailers buy and manufacturers sell, but not the way consumers think. For instance, one writer proposes that food stores should be organised by complementary categories. For example, in one area of store, you might find an "Italian meal solution centre" with bread, salad, wine and maybe even appropriate desserts. There could also be "idea centres" organised by the time it takes to prepare a meal: a 5-minute special and 15-minute miracles. Category Management ignores the total shopping experience; the total shopping experience is not achieved by Category Managers; it is a blend of impressions. And of course the total shopping experience is ruined for many shoppers by sloppy service from disinterested staff. Retail strategy is based on eight planks Place - store location and design Products Value People Communication Logistics Suppliers Systems To be successful, a retailer must cover the final three points. They must focus on one, perhaps two of the first five. The Essence of Retailing When two vendors are selling the "same" product, the buyer will make a "least risk" vendor decision. The "least risk" decision explains in large measure why competitors with big names or big advertising budgets will continue to sell even at a higher price and/or lower technology.