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Retail Greatness Blog

Your Customers EXPECT You To Train Your Associates, and Value Trained Associates as Part of a Great Experience

So, you’ve invested in prime retail real estate, marketing, computer systems, and ____ (anything having to do with setting up your brand). Is that investment paying off?

Could a lack of good training be the reason your sales numbers aren’t higher?

Topics: retail sales training retail greatness

Want Happy Shoppers? Create Happy Associates!

A retail news op-ed article caught my attention recently. It talked about the plight of the retail worker, claiming that associates are treated like “yo-yos” with their schedules.

Retailers have operated with an on-demand approach forever. It’s doubtful that will change anytime soon, especially as technology allows us to understand shopping behavior better than ever before. But the pain that retail store associates feel with regard to their schedules IS REAL. And that pain could lead to lower store performance.

Topics: retail greatness

Managing Retail Inventory Is a Whole New Ballgame


Inventory ties up cash. It’s an age-old reality that is becoming more of an issue as the omnichannel retail experience heats up. It’s tough to rely on the old periodic inventory count and keep up with consumer demands such as BOPIS (“buy online, pick up in store”) and BORIS (“buy online, return in store”).

Topics: retail greatness

Retailers: The Sky is NOT Falling for Every Brick-and-Mortar


Stop the presses! The so-called “retail apocalypse” may not ALWAYS be the result of Amazon and other e-commerce brands wrestling traffic away from brick-and-mortar stores.

Topics: retail greatness

Here’s One Reason You Should Manage...And Support...Your Retail Associates Effectively

It’s no secret. Retail stores are transforming or closing at an unprecedented pace. The entire shopping experience has been forever altered.

One of the major changes has been the adoption of technology, both ecommerce and in the store. Retailers recognize the importance of using technology to improve shopping experiences, provide greater convenience, streamline supply chains, simplify distribution, and execute merchandising tasks.

The other day I read a story about Walmart adding “inventory replenishment robots” to 50 locations. Moves like that will make a real impact on both the company and the people it employs. While they’re expected to improve productivity but not affect headcount, the truth is that at some point, robots and/or other automated technology will replace positions typically held by human beings.

Just look at the rise in self-checkout lanes these days.

Want Your Customers to Have Perfect Shopping Experiences? Try it. Test it. Tweak it. And Start All Over Again.

"Eat your own dog food." It's a term that I learned years ago that transformed our business; and it's something you need to do too. And I'm going to teach it to you now.

It means that unless you use your own products and services you have NO IDEA what your customer experience is like. And years ago when I started forcing our team to use our own tools to train and manage our own people, it was a real eye opener -- and caused us to completely redesign everything to make it something that I would take pleasure in using.

So as a retail executive, do you even know what your shoppers experience? In every store? In slow times and during the holiday rush? Have you tried it?


Topics: 100% Retail Execution customer experience

The Brick & Mortar Survival Guide Now Available in the Kindle Store

I've always wanted to write a book, and started hundreds; but I never thought the first one I'd finish would be all about saving brick & mortar retail.

It came about because I'd been doing a lot of home improvement over the summer -- and visiting ALL KINDS of retail stores for the many projects that I'd taken on.

And a weird thing began to happen. I, who never ordered more than a few things from Amazon.com found myself gradually ordering more and more from Amazon as each trip to all of these various retail stores made it clear that the retail shopping expeirence is HORRIBLE.

They are out of stock on a HUGE number of products. MANY in-store associates are untrained, often rude, apathetic, and more often than not I found myself making MANY trips to the same store (because the associate who helped me didn't understand my problem and sold me a partial solution), or different stores (because it took several stores to find enough things in stock to complete one project.)

Gradually, I was being PUSHED to Amazon -- and if Amazon didn't have it -- searching out other online vendors.

And then it hit me.

Traditional Retail is dying.

Topics: 100% Retail Execution retail sales customer experience

2017 Holiday Hiring is More Expensive...So How Do You Optimize Temporary Store Associates?

The holidays are coming! How will this year’s forecast of higher spending affect your stores? A recent article in Chain Store Age revealed that retailers will be paying more for temporary help. But that isn’t stopping Target from hiring an anticipated 100K seasonal employees or keeping Macy’s from bringing 80K on board.

Topics: retail sales training perfect retail execution shopper experience

Training Regularly Will Help You Achieve Retail Sales Greatness!

As I've said, there are 7 steps to the retail sale. Can you list them by memory yet?

Unless you have a photographic memory – whether you can or cannot, there was a time when you’d been exposed to them and could not recite them.

Should you be able to recite them? Of course.

Why is that important? Because if you retrace the steps of billions of successful sales at retail (in other words, the 7 steps) you’re much more likely to be successful at retail sales!

Topics: retail sales retail sales greatness

If You're in Retail Your Primary Job is to Sell

We talk a lot about how selling is helping, and how we don’t shove products on people who don’t want or need them – and that’s true.

But, and this is a big but, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a responsibility to sell. If a retail sales company doesn’t make sales, it doesn’t remain in business very long – and as a retail sales associate you have been hired to ensure that those sales happen.

Topics: retail sales