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Retail is Detail

Posted On - 27/11/2015 10:49:16


Retail IS Detail

Back in 2012, Tesco's then new boss Phil Clarke stated ‘retail is detail'. He was referring to what it would take to turn the ailing business around.

And while Lidl and Aldi may have stymied his ambitions, what he said is true.

Successful retailing isn't something conceptual or highfalutin. It's practical, hands-on and gritty.

But why are we talking Tesco's? Because Steve Hopkins of PC Friend would say the same thing: 'retail IS detail'...

"Here for you and your computer..."

Straplines are about the absolute essence of your brand. And Steve's is right across his retail facia.

So it creates a clear impression of who they are and what they stand for. Words like ‘reliable' and ‘dependable' spring to mind. But words like ‘human', ‘personal' and ‘caring' are there too. These are friendly words: the offer isn't just about the computer it's about the owner too.

Subtle yet powerful, this sets the tone for Steve's store and really underpins his approach to retailing. Sure, he's selling products and services, but he's selling them to people.

Windows must grab passers by

It's not enough to just put things in your windows: they're a preview of what you're like. As Steve puts it: "Windows have to reach out and grab passers-by". This means you have to think how you can make yours almost tap people on the shoulder and say ‘Oi, YOU!'

How? Colour, movement, interest. Windows are not a distraction from fixing computers; they're an essential part of winning the work in the first place. For more on shop windows and how to make them see our series ‘Retail Window Displays and Visual Merchandising'.

Merchandise to ‘be easy'

When a customer comes in – especially a new one – they've no idea how your shop is laid out. For a few critical moments, they're coming to terms with your arrangements and working out where to look.

Don't make it hard for them to work out where stuff is – that just puts them off – make it easy.

Arrange stock in ways that are as obvious as possible for customers. So don't layout inks by part number - that's how you think about them - sort them by how people will browse them. Think brand, colour and price. And put related products together too. Because it makes sense – it's logical - to have paper and printers with ink.

Create a flow

If you can – if you've got the space – have a central display in your shop. It makes for something to walk around.

So what? It creates focus. It's a point of interest. A showcase for the things you want to sell. It's also a break for customers to re-orient themselves away from your glare. That makes it inviting.

And, when all's said-and-done, it's what other retailers do. And that means it'll be part of how you're judged.

To make such displays really work well think about how they'll be seen. Position what you display so it presents itself to customers as they approach. That could well mean placing things at an angle rather than straight on. It's a simple touch that's professional and considered. And a reminder to customers why their choice in visiting you is right.

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