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Tag: Work In Retail

Will Your Store Be Around in Ten Years?

With market shares getting smaller and greater concentration on ecommerce, what are the chances of your store’s survival in these turbulent retail times? First of all, the most successful stores have established such a strong brand identity and niche, and have attracted such a loyal customer base, that competitors might find it difficult to duplicate. Wal-Mart, L.L. Bean, Costco, Whole Foods, Apple, Amazon, IKEA and Subway are but a few of the retail stalwarts who so far...

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Empowering Your Staff

Brick-and-mortar stores may as well throw in the towel if they’re not going to take advantage of one of their most valuable resources: their staff. Your sales associates can tip the scales. They are the key differentiating factor that websites don’t have. And while internet shopping sites offer pop-up chat sessions with “live” people, interacting while typing on a keypad is just not the same as speaking with someone in person. People go to...

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Private Label vs. National Brands: the Key to Co-existence

Private label products generally offer substantial savings to customers versus their national brand counterparts — about 28% on average. In 19% of product categories, the savings when consumers purchase private label items increases to 50%, as cited by an IRI Trends Report. And in 25% of categories, there is less than a 10% differential. Since most consumers know that many “generic” store brands are made by the same companies that produce name-brand products with similar ingredients and characteristics, they also believe that private...

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Delivering the Best Customer Experience

You can’t say it enough. Offering personalized customer experience is key in delivering retail sales and satisfaction. The world of brick-and-mortar is aware of this, but often the ability to improve on interaction and the will to do it are two different things. The benefits of online shopping have been publicized before: Variety and depth of assortment, offering millions of SKUs In-stock availability vs. physical stores Lower prices online The ability to shop anywhere, anytime 24/7 Pre-printed return forms...

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Wal-Mart Follows the Lead of Some Notable Retailers

Wal-Mart recently made headlines as it announced plans to spend over $1 billion to offer higher wages for workers and a better path of promotion through the company and even higher pay. About 500,000 employees (40% of Wal-Mart’s workforce) will get a pay raise over the next six months. Entry-level wages at Wal-Mart will increase to $9.00 an hour by April, the company says, increasing to $10 an hour by February 2016. Managers will get a pay raise to a $13 and then $15 hourly...

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Cultivating the Well-Trained Staff

The first step in acquiring an accomplished staff is their hire, in the first place. Retail Staffing Firms are already equipped with the necessary knowledge of store operations. These firms can integrate with your company so they can quickly find the right people. They also have the experience and expertise to help stores think strategically about their hiring, as far as the type of people being sought, where to source them, and how to hire the best people for the...

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Solving the Retail Store Staffing Puzzle

Figuring out store traffic and resulting retail store staffing has become a bit of a conundrum for retailers across the globe. Some retailers still haven’t figured the correlation between appropriate staffing and optimizing sales. An article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) argues that while labor is often an expense that retailers have the most control over, and can account for 10% of revenues, they still consider labor to be a cost driver rather than a sales driver,...

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Why Lousy Customer Service Costs Millions Every Year

Technological advances in retailing—the systems, software, data collection—are changing at such an exponential rate and peoples’ senses are forced to adapt to so much at once, that the only one thing that remains constant is customer service. In a 2011 report done by Right Now Technologies, 89% (or nine out of every 10 customers) stopped doing business with companies with which they had bad experiences, and sought out the competition. The cost of losing customers is pretty staggering....

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Being a Thief!

I admit it. I am a thief. You should be, too! No, we shouldn’t steal money or merchandise, or copyrighted material. That’s against the law. However, processes (what to do and how to do it) are fair game. I learned this many years ago from a gentleman named Sam Walton. Yes, the same one we all think about if we’re seriously contemplating Walmart or Sam’s Club. He was in a meeting with...

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Christmas Present/Holiday Recap

Both pure online retailers and brick-and-mortar websites guaranteeing receipt of gifts in time for Christmas had to eat crow, when thousands of packages were delayed at UPS and FedEx because of the crush of last-minute orders. While online sales account for only around 6% of total sales, the last shopping weekend before Christmas illustrated the power of the web, when internet sales jumped 37% from the year before, according to IBM Digital Analytics. Market research firm Forrester Research expects online sales to...

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Signal to Retailers: “Made in USA” Products Are Gaining Momentum

Some retailers are catching on to the increasing demand of American consumers to stock American-made goods. According to a Consumer Reports survey, 78% of Americans would rather buy American-made products than those made overseas. Over 80% of those questioned said retaining manufacturing jobs and keeping American manufacturing strong in the global economy were very important reasons for buying American. About 60% cited higher quality of American-made items or concern over child labor and other cheap labor abroad. People are also willing to pay...

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Peer Training & Partner Training

There are a number of ways we can try to train our people. Some are more effective than others, and some are more appropriate for one group than for another group. For example, some companies do a great job with on-line training courses. Others don’t. If your company offers on-line training courses and all of your people in all of your teams aren’t up to date with the courses that are appropriate to them, shame on...

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MUM’s the Word!

So you’re a MUM (Multi Unit Manager). In various companies you could be referred to as: District Manager (DM) Regional Manager (RM) District or Regional Sales Manager (DSM or RSM) District or Regional Operations Manager (DOM or ROM) Multi Unit Manager (MUM) In many cases where the MUM terminology is used, it’s because we’re actually the Manager of one store, and also oversee two or more other stores. In most such cases, the company...

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Electrifying Retail

Sales of electronics are expected to be up for the first time in 3 years, according to NPD Group, which provides market research analysis for the consumer and retail industries. But even though real wages and personal income is up, consumers remain cautious, and the fight to win shopper traffic and sales has intensified in a market that in recent years has seen Circuit City go belly up and Radio Shack fairly decimated. Most retail CMO’s expect consumer electronics...

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People Skills – The Rest of the Story

So we’ve got the “Processes” thing down. We’re working on and maybe even doing a good job with “Customer Experience”, “Customer Satisfaction”, and “Customers For Life”. We’re all done and can expect things to be good – right? Maybe not. Here’s the rest of the story, and it concerns the people that work with us, but also report to us. Our “Store Teams...

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3 Tenets of Customer Exposure

When I’m working with my teams (District Managers, Store Managers, Associates), I try to break the “working with customers” issue into three separate parts. For the sake of this article, we’ll call them the “3 Tenets of Customer Exposure”. A “tenet” is a creed, doctrine, or code of belief (according to MicroSoft’s thesaurus). In other words, these are the three things we must always have in mind when we...

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Sales Manager: Leading the Team and Driving Sales

Sales managers are the charismatic, analytical experts who know that selling products  is simple. But bringing the necessary elements together to make it happen can be complex. So, they use their managerial skills and insider know-how to motivate their team and deliver consistent customer satisfaction.    Job Description Sales managers typically have 1 to 5 years’ sales experience. Their responsibilities are varied. Sales and customer service - Negotiate discounted sales prices for major accounts and forecast monthly, quarterly and...

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Assistant Store Managers: Climbing the Ladder to Retail Success

Assistant store managers act as an intermediary between team members, management and customers. Their customer-focused vision and managerial training ensure a positive shopping experience. As the “right hand” of the store manager, these dedicated professionals are a combination of technical wizardry and relationship-building mastery.     Job Description Assistant store managers typically have 1 to 3 years’ sales experience. Responsibilities include creating marketing deliverables to increase sales, assisting with in-store merchandising and maintaining inventory. Customer-service skills entail helping customers...

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Sales Associate Careers: Promoting the Company’s Brand and Generating Profits

Sales associates are the first people we see when we enter a retail establishment. This entry-level position plays a pivotal role in the business’s success. As they assist customers, they represent the company’s brand, establish long-term relationships and directly contribute to the store’s revenue. Job Description Sales associates are found in the retail industry, a sector of the marketplace that encompasses a wide range of operations. In general, retail is associated with online shopping...

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