Tough in retailing 19 Feb 2014

The pressure on retailing has never been as intense as in the past five years.The challenges have been not only the global financial crisis, which has meant people are paying off debt rather than spending, but also online retailing. People can’t be blamed for buying online when prices can be significantly cheaper. So what can retailers do?

According to one expert in the retail field, the keys are in the acronym PALOS – product, agility, lean, online and service.

Product – are you really trying to sell what people want to buy? Retailing is a dynamic business changing rapidly. No one retails horseshoes or video recorders any more. You might be passionate about your product, but is anyone else? If you don’t know, ask the visitors to your store.

People buy to satisfy wants NOT needs.

Agility – are you nimble enough to adapt to the changing environment? Can you change your product line or marketing strategy easily and quickly? Do you have flexible supply lines?

Lean – do you have too much stock or too many staff? As a store owner you might just have to do the hours yourself to stay in business. Review your costs regularly, especially at lease-review time when it might be better to move to cheaper premises.

Online – like it or not, online retailing is here to stay. Consider whether you can be part of it. Can any of your products or services be marketed and sold online, as well as in a physical store?

Service – when times are tough, you’ll get left out in the cold if your service doesn’t measure up. Great service usually costs nothing and can make you stand out in the crowd.


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