Dear Retailers, you have to come back to basics!

At the age of “Digital is everything”, “Physical stores are over”, “click and collect is the new fancy way to generate revenues” let me tell you that this is not our immediate future. 💥Look what is happening after recent lockdowns 👉 physical stores are booming right after each reopening. So let us come back to basics!

 

 Please see my Basics short list:

 

  • A product assortments mirroring the type of costumers of each store
  • Inventory depth on continuative & core products
  • A strong store concept
  • An amazing store team

 

 I would like to highlight some inventory issues

During my last 6 months shopping experiences. I have been visiting major retailers from Luxury to mass market products. I went to Decathlon, Cultura, Footlocker, Sephora, Gucci to buy core products (I am not talking about sales or seasonal products).

Guess what? No stock in many, many cases😡. When I say: “No stock”, it means no stock after several visits in weeks time. This is crazy to me from a retail professional eye and a customer point of view!

 

 Please see below the risks of this strategy  

  1. Above all: Consumer is the Channel so decides where, when to shop
  2. We do not convert into sales so the company pays a rent for nothing
  3. We miss sales because some customers might go to the competition
  4. We encourage consumer to shop online so less interaction with brand
  5. The consumer adapts to company’s short in stock which is unreal

 

Back to my stories to highlight how holding the correct inventory is mandatory

You will for sure recognize yourself in these situations – Bare with me, I like to shop in these doors but I just think we must address the issue asap  👍

😬 Story 1 : I went to Decathlon to buy a black pant for running. Size grid inventory looked terrible for 3 weeks in a row: 3 S, 10 XL and this is it 😨. Staff nicely offered me to order from warehouse delivered in 3 days or to go online. No thank you! I came to the store to exit with my products …

😬 Story 2 : Same story at Cultura (Leisure and Culture stores) to shop acrylic oil painting. Shelves are always half empty and some key products are always out of stock such as silicone oil. Staff explained me that they do not have any information regarding future deliveries. Worse! The Cultura Ecom is out of stock for weeks too 😨.

😬 Story 3: Pure Players such as Amazon can deliver this product the day after. … I am a pure retail guy so I shop in store to protect jobs and also because I like to have the experience. But I am a consumer who needs his products at some point … So I bought my acrylic painting online at Amazon. Shame on me?

 

✅ In the era of Digital, physical stores must hold inventory!

The old rule “20% of my products makes 80% of my revenues” is still a reality. In these 2 stories, the staff followed the brand selling ceremony and utilized the digital tools to retain customers.

Of course, new technology to never miss a sale such as Ipad in store or connection with Ecom store to seal the deal is a great support if customer wants a color or a style that is not part of the store assortment. For the Core items, it is not working at all.

Let us be direct (I = consumer):

⚡ If I go to a store, I want to exit the store with my products

⚡ If I buy online, I decided to or I am an online shopper

⚡ If physical stores are not delivering results, Ecom sales will decline

 

New Retail era will be a solid bridge between Digital and Physical stores

It is one and the other, never one against the other. A physical store still represents 75% of the total revenues. They both need the same attention, the same level of investment.

 Digital has so much to learn from “Physical” retail such as customer experience, think outfit rather that one unique item, increase units per customer, feel the brand! A consumer is not just a click 😉

 Physical stores need to generate revenues using Digital tools and traditionnal basics. They also need technology solutions to improve stock management.

 

😎 What is the future to look like?

Nobody knows if one day Physical stores will become show rooms. Rent and Payroll is such a massive investment that I doubt this can be true.

If we keep on disinvesting in physical stores, P&L will look horrible and Retailers will close stores one by one. Consumer wants to interact with the brand and its ambassadors. 🔥 Another crazy sign is this thirst for shopping in an uncertain period where a virus spreads like hell …

Digital business will keep on growing naturally. Physical business has a future too. Look at my triple play of results below:

✅ Physical + ✅ Digital + ✅ Customer experience = Sales and Profits

Dear CEO, Dear Exec team, we need to make the organizational chart evolve. Digital cannot be driven separately from the other channels. The ideal structure is Ecom reporting into Retail or Ecom + Retail under the same umbrella-the same Head. Consumer is one and proved to shop multiple channels. Keep it simple and strong!

 

 Want to optimize your business performance?

Want to develop a unique Omni Costumer Centric approach? Need an external support to bring a different vision? Please find more on my LinkedIn https://lnkd.in/dk37zhH, email me 📧 sylvain.nigra@retailperformance360.com or call me directly on +33 640 547 794 👍

#RetailPerformance360 #Nevermissasaleinstore #Back to basics