Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Top Performance from Store Managers

Certainly avoid useless store visits…like the ‘Giddy Up’ visit!  

Hi,

The Store Visit deserves way more attention than it gets from some Regional and District Managers….indeed, from some companies entire management team and executive.

One Regional Manager we know, constantly used the phrase ‘Giddy Up’.

It was annoying and it made it difficult to take her seriously.

She would show up, fly around the store and the mall with the Store Manager in tow…firing questions at everyone…barking out instructions on what to change and what to leave alone, speaking very fast all the while.

Whether she ever heard or registered a response, we don’t know.  
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Learn about the 7 Stage Process.  See the details of the ‘MAX ROI Store Visits’ course here.  
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At every change of subject …’Giddy Up’ she’d say.

Then, after a couple of hours and no accomplishments, ‘Giddy Up’ she’d say…time to go.

If you were a Store Manager who was flying below the radar, you would love this approach.

You’d be happily waving and saying “bye, bye, thanks for coming, great to see you”.

But, if you were serious about your position and trying to learn something or just get information from your superior, you would be very disappointed.

If you needed her to remove some obstacles for you or talk about your career path, sorry…you were out of luck.

We know retail is a fast-moving business and you have to be able to think, move and act fast if you want to be a success.

But there are times when calm, rational professionalism is called for and when you’re conducting a store visit, it’s one of those times.

‘Giddy Up’ just wasn’t appropriate.

If the business is to be sustained and improved, store visits should be conducted in a professional manner…not like you’re grabbing a bite at a fast food place!  

Retailers can’t lose sight of the fact that everyone needs to be on board and ready to sell more merchandise to more people, more often.

Anything that takes attention away from that goal needs to change.

Useless store visits do absolutely nothing to move the business forward and will likely be more detrimental than anything.

Store management and staff need professional guidance.

Now is the time to be creative and thoughtful, to be serious and focused, to be confident and ready to take risks.

There’s lots that you can do. There are plenty of options to choose from so go ahead and get started.   Airplane and words about Retail District Mgmt.  
LIVE & INTERACTIVE   Registered participants get the presentation deck and recording –  attend or not.   Click Here to Register for the DM Workshop Online  

Well, the very first thing you need to do is find out where you stand right now.

Store visits – serious, full visits, professional business meetings – need to take place in every store.

Managers and staff members must be on hand to provide feedback during meaningful discussions about anything and everything.

The District Management Workshop ONLINE is one great option for you. 
Another is the MAX ROI Store Visits Course.

Either way, we can help you go in with a plan and inspire your management and their teams. Make the future bright for them.

Start with a new store visit process and make it the standard.

Start with learning more about all aspects of your business and become a tremendous source of information, knowledge and motivation for your teams.  

Learn about the 7 Stage Process.  See the details of the ‘MAX ROI Store Visits’ course here.  

Place your order for the course:   Digital – Delivered to your inbox immediately!   Physical – Shipped at no extra charge!  

If you still have questions or require more information about courses, books, workshops or webinars, or any other product or offering, please don’t hesitate to send an email to Josephine Hill:
 
jhill @ retailmanagementworkshop.com  

When all things are equal, people make the big difference

When all things are equal, people make the big difference.
A brand new season is upon us and, naturally, most retailers want to lift their performance up a notch – probably a very big notch – compared to last year.

How big a jump that’s going to be depends on the overall goals and objectives of the business.

Whatever the number is, reviewing the fundamentals of your retail operation is in order.

At DMSRetail, when it comes to performance, we place the highest degree of importance on people.   It’s worth repeating: When all things are equal, people make the big difference.
We have seen stores out performing other stores that are located in much larger market areas with higher average income levels within the same retail chain.

Therefore our first recommendation is to take a close look at the people oriented aspects of your operation.

Here are some of them:  Click to continue reading…



Requesting your feedback:

We’re curious to know if you believe that brick and mortar retail business will get back to the way we all knew it. In focus group discussions we found that consumers are skeptical.

Many say that retail staff – not necessarily through any fault of their own – became complacent and confused.

During the pandemic, even when you could go into stores very little active selling was going on for fear of being too close or any one of a dozen other reasons. Times were tough, for sure.

We wonder about about what is ahead and if retail will ever return to normal…or to the way it was pre-pandemic and we’d love to hear what you think about that.


Please send us an email to solutions at dmsretail.com and let us know what you think. We’ll publish the results. Thanks!   ⌚Reminder…Down to 36 Hours!    DMSRetail still has 2 new spots available for  consulting clients.

We can accept 2 more until  midnight on Saturday, March 26, 2022.  50% OFF for 6 Months  Limited Time Offer 

We  have only 2 spots left and only until Saturday, March 26, 2022, so contact us with questions (jhill@retailmanagementworkshop.com) or just go ahead and sign up to make sure you get one of the spots for 6 months. (Cancel anytime.)
 
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Only 2 Spots Left – Learn More   For a low monthly fee, you can have confidential access to our Sr. Consultants in the most convenient way. 
The most successful people get ideas, guidance and yes…even instructions from mentors, coaches and experts. 
Now you can too!

Regardless of what kind of problem you are encountering, all of these things have one glaring thing in common…

You could use some help! 

Learn all about the program here Still have questions? Send an email to Josephine Hill – jhill@retailmanagementworkshop.com
 
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How are your stores performing? Have you eliminated unproductive store visits yet?
 
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Read more about the MAXimum Return on Investment Store Visits Course. Click here.   Don’t miss the Retail Math & Analytics Workshop ONLINE...it’s coming up next week:   Tuesday,  March 22 &  Thursday, March 24, 2022
9:00AM-12:00PM EDT (New York) 1 PM London, 5 PM Dubai  3 Hours Each Day ​(Total of 6 Hours) ​LIVE & INTERACTIVE   sign 50% off   Remember…

There are only 2 days left to get the Retail Consulting and Coaching Program for 50% off for 6 months. Offer expires Saturday, March 12, 2022 at midnight. You can cancel anytime.

Retail Product Management Workshop  

Monday, March 21-Wednesday, March 23-Friday, March 25, 2022 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM  (EDT-New York)  1 PM London, 5 PM Dubai
3 Hours Each Day  (Total of 9 Hours) LIVE & INTERACTIVE
BONUS – REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP – RECEIVE THE 20 MODULE PROGRAM AT NO EXTRA CHARGE.VALUE of BONUS ALONE IS $400.  
DMSRetail logo   If you still have questions or require more information about workshops or webinars, or any other product or offering, please don’t hesitate to send an email to Josephine Hill:
 
jhill @ retailmanagementworkshop.com

Other Quick Links for You:   Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Study Course Store Manager’s Organizer/ Planner

Store Management for Maximum Success Study Course Retail District Manager’s Study Course
Retail Product Management Program Retail Brand & Category Management Study Course Retail Operations Management Study Course   Ultimate Retail Success Collection DMSRetail Partner Business and Affiliate Program Join the Retail Business Academy

Follow Up or Foul Up


It takes a lot of effort and energy to follow up on all of the tasks and directives that we, as leaders, assign to our subordinates on a daily basis.

If we fail to follow up, then much of what we expected to be taken care of will not be. We may insist this should not be the case…but it is.

And, there are reasons for this. We can’t just call it human nature and forget about it, or accept it.

Perhaps our subordinates……….Don’t agree with what is being asked of them.

Don’t think it’s very important and will have no impact one way or the other.

Don’t think their boss really cares whether it gets done or not.

See that there are no consequences for not getting it done.

Are too busy completing other, seemingly more important, tasks.

Don’t take directions from the boss seriously.

As a leader, you should give this a few moments thought. 

Here are some questions to guide you.

1) Are most of my instructions actually followed?

2) If my instructions are not being followed, why?

3) Do my people take me seriously? Or do they think I’ll change my mind anyway so why bother?

4) Am I often frustrated and angry when I discover that something has not been done?

5) Am I often embarrassed because something important has not been done?

6) Are my instructions being ignored due to lack of respect for me?

7) How much more effective and successful would I be if my subordinates were to do what I ask with little or no follow up?

In our experience, we find that leaders who fail to follow up don’t usually excel in their position. At least, it’s incredibly difficult.

We’ve told you about a study by Bain & Co., which pointed out that while 80% of CEO’s involved in the study declared that their companies provided a superb level of service, only 8% of their customers felt the same. 

This is very likely because the CEO’s gave, or approved, directives that were never properly carried out. 

And, of course, there was no follow up to ensure the directives had been properly executed. 

Too many assumptions were made.

In retail organizations, where you have several levels of individuals issuing directives and assigning tasks which have to filter down through the ranks and into the field to get to the customer facing personnel, you have to have top notch follow up mechanisms in place.

Follow up does not, and should not, equal micro management.

Of course, at times it does become micro management, but that’s only due to the leader’s inability to communicate clearly and put a strong follow up program in place.

It should be noted that follow up will be much more successful if the leader has communicated clearly in the first place. 

This means defining the task/directive, conveying the importance of getting it done and, usually, explaining the benefits (or the ‘why’) of completing the task. 

Issuing directives that are difficult to understand, or appear to have no benefit to the store or company, will undoubtedly make any follow up process more difficult.

Making sure your directives are executed properly:

First of all, the leader must have made it known that there will, indeed, be follow up in some form or another, and that there will be consequences for lack of execution. It’s called accountability.

This is not something that should have to be verbalized – like some sort of threat – it should be something that is understood; something that has become apparent through the leaders actions in the past.

When a leader finds that there are subordinates who consistently fail to execute properly, then that becomes a performance concern and should be dealt with as such.

And, when a leader finds that there are subordinates who consistently execute properly and do not require follow up because they always get the job done, they should take note and let those people know how their performance is being noticed.

No employee, regardless of performance in other areas, is above following the instructions of his/her superior. 

A superstar sales person does not get to ignore directives.

Of course, there should be open communication which allows subordinates to be heard; to present ideas; to push back for certain reasons; to provide the leader with information that he may not have been aware of, but, in general the chain of command exists for good reason.

As seen in many organizations where everyone does whatever they see fit – following some instructions and ignoring others – chaos ensues. 

In cases like these, there can be no uniformity, no standard image and, very likely, no serious brand recognition.

Don’t leave anything to chance…follow up.

Until Next Time…All the Success!DMSRetail
PS: Remember to add @dmsretail.com to your Safe Senders list.
PPS: Reply and tell us what you think. We love to get your feedback.
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Press Release

In-Person Professional Retail Management Training Resumes in Dubai, UAE

In December 2021, following a 21 month hiatus caused by the Covid pandemic, DMSRetail is set to re-introduce four of its revised and updated professional retail management workshops in Dubai, UAE.

DMSRetail Inc. was founded in 1991 and has supplied professional retail management training programs to the retail sector in the Middle East since 2008.

Many prominent Middle Eastern retailers sent management team members to DMSRetail workshops between 2008 and early 2020, when safety precautions and travel restrictions presented barriers to in-person training.

Now, with Expo 2021 Dubai underway, we’ve seen a lot of interest in our workshops.

Our programs – The Retail Operations Management Workshop – Brand, Category Management & Inventory Control – Loss Prevention & Profit Protection and others – continue to be offered online but do not replace the in-person learning experience.

Matt Parmaks, MSc., EVP said “The online version of the workshops are excellent, and we’ve had a lot of success with them. Of course, the need for training remained and we met that need. We’ve had participants join online from all over the world since mid-2020 when it became clear that face-to-face meetings were not ideal.”

We have chosen to limit class size to 20 people to meet the strictest, safest social distancing guidelines. The venues, also, are following Covid protocols to ensure the safety of their guests.

DMSRetail Inc. has scheduled the following workshops in Dubai, UAE after UAE National Day:

The Retail Operations Management Workshop – December 5-6-7, 2021

Retail Loss Prevention & Profit Protection Workshop – December 8 & 9, 2021

Brand, Category Management & Inventory Control Workshop – December 12-13-14, 2021

Multi-Unit Management & Store Visits for Maximum ROI – December 15 & 16, 2021

For an interview with Mr. Parmaks, or to inquire about anything in this press release, please contact Gwen Mitchell, Client Services: gmitchell@dmsretail.org or Josephine Hill, Events Manager: jhill@retailmanagementworkshop.com

Inventory Management Workshop

In this new Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE, you’ll get the benefit of a comprehensive program which covers all aspects of the Buying, Inventory Control and Category Management functions as well as Online and Digital Marketing, and much more.

We explain all of the steps and processes involved in Inventory Management from A to Z. Practice exercises and quizzes reinforce the content.

(Learn more about your Expert Instructor for the Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE, below.)

Here are the specific areas covered in the workshop:

Sourcing

Sourcing is an important and very time sensitive task in buying management. This module looks at the steps and the process of sourcing as well as the vendor analysis aspect of this work. (Retail Sourcing Primer, Vendor Analysis, Sourcing Challenges, Best Practices)

Negotiation

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Once the sourcing is done, the next step is negotiation. In this module, important aspects of building negotiation skills are discussed. Introduction to Negotiation, Negotiation Process, Planning, Targets & Aspirations, Common Mistakes in Negotiations)

Category Design

The crux of category management is category design or, as sometimes called, the category plan. This module covers the steps involved in creating a successful category design. (What is a Category?, Category Definition, Category Roles, Category Assessment)

Pricing

Correct pricing directly improves profitability. Different pricing models and strategies are revealed to improve understanding of this crucial activity. (Factors to Consider, Price Elasticity, General Pricing Approaches, Pricing Strategies)

Assortment Planning

Assortment planning carries a lot of weight in successful inventory management. This module discusses the important aspects and requirements of successful assortment planning. (What is Assortment Planning?, Key Deliverables, Impact on Company Operations, Assortment Planning and Customer Perspective, Key Factors and Assortment Process, Item Selection Considerations, Assortment Decision Making Considerations, Summary)

Allocation Planning

The other side of the coin to assortment planning is allocation planning, making it equally important. This module covers the techniques and considerations required to effectively plan allocation. (Good & Bad Ideas, Rules for Success, Allocation Principles, Key Allocation Capabilities)

Save time and save $46 per person when you register your inventory teams

 to attend this workshop together ONLINE.

Register Individuals and Teams Below.

Space Planning

In this module we demonstrate the difference in approaching space planning at Macro and Micro levels to facilitate optimum store layouts. (What is Space Planning?, Rationale and Constraints, Types of Merchandise, Space Planning Considerations, Macro Space Planning, Micro Space Planning)

Implementation Management

Merchandise and Category plans come to life when implemented at store level. The steps and approval process are discussed in detail. (Overview, Approval, Scheduling, Best Practices)

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Analytics & Reporting

This module deals with Key Performance Indicators in retail business, discussed within the framework of the “Pillars of Retail”. Other key formulas are also detailed. (Why Measure & 6 Pillars, Product KPI’s, GMROII & GMROF, KPI’s for Reporting/Merchandising, Online KPI’s)

Inventory Control

This module addresses the functions and processes involved in acquiring and controlling inventory. A very important tool used in inventory management is Open-to-Buy, and it is discussed and illustrated in detail. (Inventory Turns, Applied: Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment, Buyer’s Goals, Merchandise Hierarchy, Merchandise Planning, Forecasting, Open-to-Buy or OTB)

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Distribution Strategies

To make assortments and allocations work properly, one must have a clear understanding of how distribution and logistics work. This module explains it all. (Distribution Channels, Function & Role of Distribution Channels, Logistics, Warehousing, Distribution Strategies)

Vendor Management

The crux of category management is category design or, as sometimes called, category plan. This module covers the steps involved in creating a successful category design. (What is Vendor Management?, Benefits, Challenges, Vendor Management Process, Best Practices, Vendor Management vs Vendor Relationship Management)


Internal Communications & Relationships

This module explains internal communications and focuses on the importance of internal communications with colleagues and other interested parties outside the company. (Internal Communications, Common Types of Internal Communications Pieces (aka “Comms”), Business Relationships, Building Quality Relationships)

Cost Management

Before we can manage costs involved in buying, we must understand what kind of costs and expenses we are dealing with. There is plenty of information on those subjects covered in this module. (Components of the Income Statement, Operating Expenses, Operating Statement, Inventory Systems, Purchasing Transactions, Cost of Holding Inventory)

Competitive Strategies

The buying organization has to be perfectly in-line with the company’s go-to-market strategy. This module discusses go-to-market, or competitive strategies, in detail. (Overview, Cost Leadership, Niche or Focus, Differentiation)

Promotions

In addition to promotional choices and sales promotion types, tactics at the category strategic level are also discussed in this module. (Tactical Choices, Sales Promotions, Tactics Examples, Considerations)

Category Marketing Strategies

A critical part of any marketing effort is to be able to define the characteristics of the target market. This module goes into detail on customer profiling. (Who Are My Customers?, Marketing Channels, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Product Type vs Strategy)

Online Marketing Fundamentals

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Because there is increasing momentum in online retail, in this module we discuss how to position the company properly online, by utilizing social media effectively. (Why Engage in Online Marketing?, Goal Setting, Who is Your Audience?, Where is Your Audience? Part 1 and Part 2)

Digital Marketing

In this module, the concepts and tools required to do effective Digital Marketing are discussed in detail. The step by step process is also illustrated. (Return on Investment or ROI, Maximizing Your Exposure, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Automation Tools, Putting it All Together)

Operational Policies & Procedures

Provides understanding as to why we need and use policies and procedures in general, and as they relate to the buying function. (General Policies & Procedures, Inventory Management & Procurement – Internal Controls, Physical and Document Controls)

Make room on your calendar….new sessions just scheduled:

Monday, October 18

Wednesday, October 20 

 Friday, October 22, 2021

Total of 9 Hours – Conveniently separated into 3 sessions.

3 Hours each Day – From 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon Eastern 

Registration fee covers all 3  sessions.

Presentation and Recordings will be sent to Registrants – attend or not.

Only $495/Person

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Save time and save $46/person when you have your 

inventory teams attend this workshop together ONLINE.

Team Rate: Only $449/Person

(Edit Qty on Order Page)

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Email: solutions @ dmsretail . com

Your Expert Instructor for the Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE

Matt Parmaks, MSc.

Matt Parmaks has extensive knowledge about the retail industry, gained through formal education, executive level retail work experience and a keen interest in business and world affairs. He has worked at the executive level in Merchandise Management for prominent North American retailers.

Matt received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Engineering from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Until next time,

All the Success!

DMSRetail.com

PS: If you have questions about the workshop or if you’d like to inquire about exclusive sessions, other time zones and/or larger group rates, please send an email to: solutions @ dmsretail . com . Thank you.

Monday, Monday…Standards, Execution & Benchmarks

Monday’s always test us, but it’s much worse when multi-unit Managers miss target due to subpar execution at store level!

Retail Standards, Benchmarks & Execution…Critical!  

Don’t you just hate it when you don’t make target?   Honestly, no one wants to be the biggest loser of the week.   

Sure, we know there are reasons and we search for all of the possible explanations and declare we will do better and make it next week!  

And, that’s what is expected because, as multi-unit Managers we are on a never ending quest to achieve target in every store…day after day, week after week, and so on and so on.   

So, give it the old Rah! Rah! and go at it again.

Ok, maybe we’re having a little bit of fun…making light of the situation.  

But that’s because we know the life of an Operations, Regional, District Manager and all of the other retail management positions that are getting their numbers together, their phone calls made and their charts printed so they can go into their meetings – Zoom or otherwise – and sound like they know what they’re talking about; they’ve identified the issues.  

We don’t doubt that the vast majority do, indeed, know what they’re talking about.  

On Mondays, they absorb all kinds of new information…plans and challenges for the week ahead are discussed and strategies formulated and off they go.   

Mondays are usually very long days.   

Most multi-unit Managers – Ops, RMs & DM’s – are happy when Monday is over.  

Win or lose last week, another week in retail is already underway and they’re ready for it.   

Every single hour of every day we are pushing to make our stores and our people successful.  

We try to give them everything they need.  

We call and text and visit and generally do whatever we can to motivate and encourage…to coach and guide.  

But, at the end of the day, it’s all in the hands of store personnel.  

Most significantly, the Store Manager…because the DM cannot be in every store all day every day, nor should there be reason to.

That’s not the job.   The idea is to manage through others.   

We’re supposed to build strong teams and develop great people and communicate well and generally do everything possible to ensure they execute as expected.

Many RM’s and DM’s can’t be in every store once a week or even once a month.   

Imagine the opportunity for negative things to take root when visits are few and far between.   

Of course, you might say things like “oh, Store Manager’s don’t need that much attention...they can be trusted…they know what they’re doing…” and, of course, you may very well be right.   

But you have to be sure and you have to know the capabilities of each person before treating them like ‘seasoned treasures’ who don’t need you so much anymore.  

We know that most Store Managers are great, hard working dedicated professionals but that doesn’t mean they don’t need proper management.  

Running a business unit in a far flung geographic location that is seldom visited is tough.

Right from the start, those managers need even more help than managers closer to home.   

You can’t just swoop in, give someone the keys and leave for an extended period…hoping for the best.  

If you do that, that’s all that will happen – you will continually hope for the best and not necessarily achieve it.

Perhaps, the biggest challenge for multi-unit managers  is managing remotely. We address the challenge.  

If you want to have better sales results and better Mondays…    

You have to put a success formula in place that keeps working even when you’re not there.

Now accepting registrations for the mid-September.   Retail Standards, Benchmarks & Execution  Seminar ONLINE

Total of 6 Hours conveniently separated into two sessions.

Wednesday, Sept. 15 & Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern each day  

Case Study, Exercises, Follow-up Program   LIVE & INTERACTIVE – Registration covers both sessions. Full presentation sent to email of every registrant  whether you attend or not.
Until Next Time…

PS: For inquiries, contact:

jhill at retailmanagementworkshop . com

PPS: BONUS added for Early Bird Registration: Study Course – 7 Step Process to get Maximum ROI on Store Visits ($147 Value)

Planning on Staying in Business? Stop Cutting!

  This company saved a buck but left customers angry and disappointed.
Yesterday we talked about the perils of cutting expenses and shrinking the business without giving thought to the consequences. 

We said that cost cutting measures usually interfere with the job of selling and will, therefore, reduce revenues over time.

This story illustrates the point.
The retailer in this story is a well known ice cream and chocolate company that was once owned by a huge international company who sold ice cream and confections, and more, to wholesalers and distributors.  

When they decided to sell off the relatively small retail chain of ice cream and chocolate stores, they did something that was almost unthinkable!  

Well, to the employees and loyal customers it was unthinkable.

They got rid of a little perk customers had come to love…and expect.  

Customers had been forced to endure quite a few changes over a relatively short period of time.

Every change was a cost cutting exercise for the company.  

For one thing, the free gift wrapping they had come to expect was no longer available.

Too expensive…even with the advertising benefit taken into account.  

Then some of their all time favorite products – staples of the business for years – were no longer available as they were, apparently, not profitable enough.   

Finally, the small, oval chocolate that had always been placed on the top of every ice cream cone sold, was discontinued.  

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. 
It was almost hysterical!  

For years, at the front of every shop, stood a huge cutout of a picture of an ice cream cone with a small, oval chocolate on top.  

The chocolate was inserted into the top of every ice cream cone served…as advertised.  

The cutout/stand was made of very durable material – hard, thick, plasticized corrugated material.   

The cutout was moved into position every morning when opening the doors.

Customers loved that chocolate…adults and kids alike.  

I would go so far as to say it often made the difference when choosing which ice cream shop to buy their cones from.  

District Managers were issued heavy duty scissors and told to go out to the stores and cut off the oval chocolate as they would no longer be putting the chocolate on ice cream cones and didn’t want to represent that they would.
The reason I say it was almost hysterical is because of the scene.

Try to imagine a professionally dressed individual kneeling on the floor, wresting with a toppled 5 foot tall cardboard cutout of a huge ice cream cone, at the entrance of a store, using a giant pair of scissors to cut around the shape of a chocolate that was at the top of it. 

It was extremely difficult to cut the chocolate out and the appearance, after the surgery, was terrible.
  It was ridiculous.   

Customers were very unhappy and made  their views known to store employees.    

Store employees, in turn, made their views  known to their District Managers but to no avail.

The chocolate was gone. End of story.   The change was not going over well at all. But that didn’t matter. 

You know why?   Unbeknownst to field personnel, the chain was being sold.

It was deemed important for the chain to show as much profit as possible so prospective buyers would see it more favorably.   

For the current owner, who had no intention of growing the chain and planned to sell it within the year, it made sense.

Cut, cut, cut and future business be damned.   For customers it was a loss.  

For the buyer who was not likely aware at the time, it meant nothing until after they made the investment and soon came to find out that the chain had recently lost a lot of loyal customers – the worst kind to lose!   

Eventually, the small oval chocolate returned.

The buyer of the chain realized it was an important part of the customer experience.   

The moral of the story is this:    If you’re selling your company then you will do whatever you feel you need to do.   

If you plan to stay in business and prosper, don’t cut indiscriminately.   Reduce waste, of course.   

Cut unnecessary expenses, absolutely.  

Find new sources for things and make sure you’re getting the best you can for your money.   

But be certain that your cuts won’t negatively affect customers, profit and future business.  

It can be difficult and we can help you.
Register for  The Retail Operations Management Workshop ONLINE: Next Available Session – Tuesday, August 31 & Thursday, September 2, 2021 9 AM – 12 PM Eastern (New York) (3 Hours Each Day) Registration covers both sessions.

Live & Interactive

The full presentation and recording is sent to all registrants, whether you attend or not, so scheduling is never an issue.
Or, get personal attention from our Operations experts. Check out the program here.
We love to hear from you! Let us know how your business is doing.

Until next time,
All the Success!

Know How to Interview, Hire and Train

The Highly Successful Retail Manager (HSRM) knows the ‘cause’** is maximizing revenue and profit and that he must hire people who will further that cause.

The HSRM interviews with the purpose of hiring competent – potentially great – individuals who show indications of being able to move up in the organization.

In retail, a competent associate must have the ability to sell, whether completely developed or not.

The HSRM can spot potential and goes out of his way to hire candidates who have it.

Throughout the recruiting, hiring, on-boarding and training process, the HSRM keeps the Store Management Process in mind.

Before the HSRM even considers starting the interviewing process a Successful Associate Profile is developed based on successful people who are already in the role.

A Successful Associate Profile is not difficult to create.

Developing your own Successful Associate Profile

  • Make a list of all of the important functions required in the position.
  • Make a list of the competencies that a candidate would have to have in order to perform those functions.
  • Make a list of associates who possess these competencies and are very successful in the same position who are already in your organization.
  • Observe those associates performing each of the functions.
  • Make a list of the traits and characteristics exhibited by those associates while performing the functions.

Your Successful Associate Profile should not be lengthy; you cannot include so many requirements that you eliminate every candidate.

Choose the most important ones; the ones that contribute to the ‘cause’ and, as mentioned above, the ‘cause’ is to maximize revenue and profit.

**An important note here – revenue and profit obviously cannot be maximized simply by putting a high powered sales associate on the sales floor.

The associate must possess many more skills and qualities than just being able to sell merchandise.

If he does not, return rates will sky rocket and customer retention will suffer leading to the eventual demise of the business.

So, when we say the ‘cause’ is to maximize revenue and profit, it must be understood that a well rounded approach is required.

Contrary to what many believe, HSRM’s say that the very best time to lay out expectations of the position, is during the interview.

It’s true that interviews are for the purpose of determining if a candidate is the right fit for the employer and vice versa.

However, there is a lot to be gained by discussing expectations in the interview, particularly in retail.

There are many preconceived notions out there about what a position in retail involves.

Many retailers do not have high quality individuals working for them and that has to make you question their hiring practices.

But back to the point, the candidate sitting in front of you during the interview may have some incorrect information strictly based on what s/he has experienced in retail stores and may have the idea that a retail job is no big deal.

The HSRM cannot take that chance and that is why it is so important to let the candidate know what the real story is.

The interviewer, or HSRM, does not leave room for misunderstandings when it comes to expectations.

The interview is also a good time to discuss rewards, consequences of poor performance and possible growth opportunities.

That is not to say any promises are made or wage rates are discussed.

This should be a general discussion which is useful in letting the candidate know what you are looking for and what you expect to give in return.

In retail stores, we often encounter employees who, clearly, would rather not be doing the job they were hired for.

It is obvious from their attitude towards customers and in their overall performance.

A major benefit of making expectations – high expectations – clear during the interview is that it allows candidates to think seriously about whether they really do want the position you have available.

If they are just looking for any old job to make a few bucks until something better comes along, then they would quickly realize they are talking to the wrong person.

While HSRM’s make expectations clear during the interview, they cannot dominate the conversation as this would defeat the main purpose of the interview.

The HSRM is skilled at having these conversations in order to get all of the information they want and need from the candidate while making their expectations known at the same time.

For example, an HSRM may ask the candidate ‘what do you believe would be your number one responsibility as a sales associate for x company?’

The candidate will respond and the interviewer will find out if the candidate knows that the number one responsibility will be selling.

If the candidate responds with something other than that, then the interviewer phrases the next question to probe a little deeper into the response.

During this exercise, at some point, the interviewer can make it clear that selling while delivering exemplary customer service is the number one responsibility of the position.

Plenty of time should be spent with this type of question in order to ensure understanding.

The HSRM has developed a level of intuition, or gut feel, to know whether a candidate has potential to do well in the role and to work well with the HSRM.

While intuition cannot be relied upon 100%, it certainly should be taken into consideration.

In fact, HSRM’s say they rely on intuition more often than most Human Resources personnel would recommend.

But, they find they are so often right that they just cannot ignore it.

HSRM’s know that one of the best ways to be successful is to surround themselves with competent people.

They have that in mind when they are interviewing and hiring and they have that in mind when they are training or setting out the training plan for the new hire.

They take training very seriously.

During the training process the HSRM can take advantage of many opportunities to clarify expectations until they are crystal clear to the new hire.

A solid training plan that is workable within time and budget constraints is what the HSRM relies on to ensure new hires are brought on board properly.

Having high expectations of an individual and then failing to provide them with the tools and knowledge they require to do a good job is counter productive.

It will lead to confusion and high employee turnover.

HSRM’s often rely on their more seasoned employees to handle most of the training of new hires. This accomplishes a couple of very positive things.

First, the more seasoned employee is hand picked specifically by the HSRM and there would be a good reason for that.

The HSRM can have confidence that the training will be up to the standard expected.

Second, the seasoned employee would feel rewarded and, therefore, motivated for having attained the status of ‘trainer’ even if unofficially.

It is a pat on the back for the seasoned employee and it also recognizes him within the workplace as the person, chosen by the superior, to perform this important function.

The HSRM does not delegate training without following proper delegation techniques.

There will be check points and follow up conversations to ensure everything is progressing as planned.

The HSRM will take time to discuss the progress of the training with the new hire as well as with the trainer.

For more insights, go to dmsretail.com

Inventory Management Workshop

Get the Presentation Sent to Your Email

Two 3 – Hour Sessions of Specialized Guidance 

In this brand new Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE, you’ll get the benefit of a comprehensive program which covers all aspects of the Buying, Inventory Control and Category Management functions as well as Online and Digital Marketing, and much more.

We explain all of the steps and processes involved in Inventory Management from A to Z. Practice exercises and quizzes reinforce the content.

(Learn more about your Expert Instructor for the Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE, below.)

Here are the specific areas covered in the workshop:

Sourcing

Sourcing is an important and very time sensitive task in buying management. This module looks at the steps and the process of sourcing as well as the vendor analysis aspect of this work. (Retail Sourcing Primer, Vendor Analysis, Sourcing Challenges, Best Practices)

Negotiation

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Once the sourcing is done, the next step is negotiation. In this module, important aspects of building negotiation skills are discussed. Introduction to Negotiation, Negotiation Process, Planning, Targets & Aspirations, Common Mistakes in Negotiations)

Category Design

The crux of category management is category design or, as sometimes called, the category plan. This module covers the steps involved in creating a successful category design. (What is a Category?, Category Definition, Category Roles, Category Assessment)

Pricing

Correct pricing directly improves profitability. Different pricing models and strategies are revealed to improve understanding of this crucial activity. (Factors to Consider, Price Elasticity, General Pricing Approaches, Pricing Strategies)

Assortment Planning

Assortment planning carries a lot of weight in successful inventory management. This module discusses the important aspects and requirements of successful assortment planning. (What is Assortment Planning?, Key Deliverables, Impact on Company Operations, Assortment Planning and Customer Perspective, Key Factors and Assortment Process, Item Selection Considerations, Assortment Decision Making Considerations, Summary)

Allocation Planning

The other side of the coin to assortment planning is allocation planning, making it equally important. This module covers the techniques and considerations required to effectively plan allocation. (Good & Bad Ideas, Rules for Success, Allocation Principles, Key Allocation Capabilities)

Save time and money with special group rates and have your inventory teams attend this workshop together ONLINE.

Arrangements can be made for companies in different time zones.

Exclusive sessions are available. Email: solutions @ dmsretail . com

Space Planning

In this module we demonstrate the difference in approaching space planning at Macro and Micro levels to facilitate optimum store layouts. (What is Space Planning?, Rationale and Constraints, Types of Merchandise, Space Planning Considerations, Macro Space Planning, Micro Space Planning)

Implementation Management

Merchandise and Category plans come to life when implemented at store level. The steps and approval process are discussed in detail. (Overview, Approval, Scheduling, Best Practices)

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Analytics & Reporting

This module deals with Key Performance Indicators in retail business, discussed within the framework of the “Pillars of Retail”. Other key formulas are also detailed. (Why Measure & 6 Pillars, Product KPI’s, GMROII & GMROF, KPI’s for Reporting/Merchandising, Online KPI’s)

Inventory Control

This module addresses the functions and processes involved in acquiring and controlling inventory. A very important tool used in inventory management is Open-to-Buy, and it is discussed and illustrated in detail. (Inventory Turns, Applied: Gross Margin Return on Inventory Investment, Buyer’s Goals, Merchandise Hierarchy, Merchandise Planning, Forecasting, Open-to-Buy or OTB)

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Distribution Strategies

To make assortments and allocations work properly, one must have a clear understanding of how distribution and logistics work. This module explains it all. (Distribution Channels, Function & Role of Distribution Channels, Logistics, Warehousing, Distribution Strategies)

Vendor Management

The crux of category management is category design or, as sometimes called, category plan. This module covers the steps involved in creating a successful category design. (What is Vendor Management?, Benefits, Challenges, Vendor Management Process, Best Practices, Vendor Management vs Vendor Relationship Management)


Internal Communications & Relationships

This module explains internal communications and focuses on the importance of internal communications with colleagues and other interested parties outside the company. (Internal Communications, Common Types of Internal Communications Pieces (aka “Comms”), Business Relationships, Building Quality Relationships)

Cost Management

Before we can manage costs involved in buying, we must understand what kind of costs and expenses we are dealing with. There is plenty of information on those subjects covered in this module. (Components of the Income Statement, Operating Expenses, Operating Statement, Inventory Systems, Purchasing Transactions, Cost of Holding Inventory)

Competitive Strategies

The buying organization has to be perfectly in-line with the company’s go-to-market strategy. This module discusses go-to-market, or competitive strategies, in detail. (Overview, Cost Leadership, Niche or Focus, Differentiation)

Promotions

In addition to promotional choices and sales promotion types, tactics at the category strategic level are also discussed in this module. (Tactical Choices, Sales Promotions, Tactics Examples, Considerations)

Category Marketing Strategies

A critical part of any marketing effort is to be able to define the characteristics of the target market. This module goes into detail on customer profiling. (Who Are My Customers?, Marketing Channels, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Product Type vs Strategy)

Online Marketing Fundamentals

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Because there is increasing momentum in online retail, in this module we discuss how to position the company properly online, by utilizing social media effectively. (Why Engage in Online Marketing?, Goal Setting, Who is Your Audience?, Where is Your Audience? Part 1 and Part 2)

Digital Marketing

In this module, the concepts and tools required to do effective Digital Marketing are discussed in detail. The step by step process is also illustrated. (Return on Investment or ROI, Maximizing Your Exposure, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Automation Tools, Putting it All Together)

Operational Policies & Procedures

Provides understanding as to why we need and use policies and procedures in general, and as they relate to the buying function. (General Policies & Procedures, Inventory Management & Procurement – Internal Controls, Physical and Document Controls)

Make room on your calendar….

Wednesday, August 11 & Friday, August 13, 2021

3 Hours each Day – From 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon Eastern 

Registration covers both sessions.

Presentation and Recordings will be sent to Registrants whether you attend or not.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW

Save time and money with special group rates and have your inventory teams attend this workshop together ONLINE.

Arrangements can be made for companies in different time zones.

Exclusive sessions are available. Email: solutions @ dmsretail . com

Your Expert Instructor for the Inventory Management Workshop ONLINE

Matt Parmaks, MSc.

Matt Parmaks has extensive knowledge about the retail industry, gained through formal education, executive level retail work experience and a keen interest in business and world affairs.

He is the author of numerous books and articles on Retail Performance and Managerial Productivity. Matt received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Engineering from the University of Birmingham in the UK.

Until next time,

All the Success!

MAX ROI Store Visits

Retailers spend countless hours and dollars on store visits.

Do you know what your ROI is? Most retailers say “no”.

Most retailers have a position of Regional Manager and/or District Manager somewhere on their organizational chart or matrix or whatever they wish to use to indicate lines of authority and accountability.

Depending on the size of the retailer, there might also be Area Managers or Senior Store Managers who travel around to check on stores. 

There are as many possibilities as there are for any organization…for any structure in any industry.

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The question of whether or not the retailer gets a return on the investment is rarely seriously considered.

Of course, accountants will look at expense reports and proclaim too much money is being spent.

That’s their job, more or less. But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of this subject. 

Whose job is it to demand a return on investment of time and money spent on store visits?

We could clearly point out whose job it should be but it’s kind of a gray area, isn’t it?

Here’s the big question: How do you calculate the ROI on a store visit?

Most store visits are not fully thought out, well planned, and well executed business ‘meetings’.  No…they’re not. 

I know you want to believe they are…but they’re not.


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Of course, they could be…and they certainly should be.  You don’t hold business meetings just ‘because’, right?

Right now, DMs and RMs and the like are visiting stores and doing what comes naturally.

Everything they do during the visit is done according to their style and ability.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Presumably good people have been hired or promoted into those jobs and they are going about their business as they see fit.

They may have some checklists and reports to complete.

They may have visual presentations to check, or inventory to spot count or performance reviews to look at.

They will do what is expected and they will probably do it very well. That is not the point.

The point is that anytime a substantial amount of money and time are invested in a business process or event the company has an obligation to figure out if the investment is sound.

Will there be a satisfactory ROI?

When you think of the cost of air and ground travel, vehicle leasing, vehicle maintenance, insurance, overnight accommodation, rising gas prices, meals, floor coverage, etc. it really adds up!

When you add the salary and benefit cost of the visiting person you end up with a substantial amount.  


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There is a 7 Stage Process for planning, organizing and executing a high ROI Store Visit.

You’ve got to stop wasting time on store visits that are not serious, don’t advance the business, don’t develop managers, etc.

Except for (possibly) a tiny and fleeting motivational bump,

Mickey Mouse store visits are well…sad to say…almost useless.

Why, then, are there so many people visiting stores, restaurants and service outlets with no plan…with no process?

The Store Visit is a critical business function and must be taken seriously.

We’re not suggesting that visiting management personnel aren’t serious.

Only that without a predetermined plan and focus that is properly executed at store level, things can and do go off track quickly.

It’s human nature – people get distracted by the ‘thing’ or supposed ‘crisis’ of the moment.


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The truth is… Although rarely referred to as such, the Mickey Mouse store visit is much more common than anyone would like to admit.

What makes that so, is lack of process.

Anyone who visits retail outlets…or has experience in that area, will know that visits often just ‘go with the flow’.

Completely. And they know how easily it happens; not something that’s planned.

Without laser focus, these visits can be like runaway trains.

‘Going with the flow’ makes it next to impossible to ensure that issues are addressed, people are developed, and targets are achieved.

Even the most competent RM or DM should be able to rely on some type of road map when it comes to staying on top of the incredible amount of detail involved in the operation of a well run and profitable store.

We can certainly agree that some store visits should include lots of rah! rah! motivation and ‘going with the flow’ just to get the feel of what’s going on…to get to know how the staff are doing…to lift people up.


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That’s one of the jobs of a RM or DM that no one should deny.

Even still, though, certain things must be planned for and accomplished.

Certain parts of the visit can be free flowing – but not all.

Let’s look at some of the things that need to be done as part of a comprehensive, well executed one day store visit by a retail business owner or their designate – the DM or RM:

Training Needs Analysis
Schedule Productivity
CheckInventory (Spot) Count
Succession Planning Exercise
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Store Maintenance and Renovation Requirements Analysis
P & L Review
Merchandise Review
Safety Inspection and Facilities Review
Loss Prevention Audit
Staff Performance Review
Management Development Session
Mall Management Updates
Marketing and Signage Package Review
Online Business Review (if applicable)
Obstacle Removal
Action Planning

Managing by the ‘seat of the pants’ is never desirable.

Even seasoned RMs and DMs will forget the odd thing now and again.

Even they will not show up ready for game day on every…single…visit.

And let’s not forget that not everyone who is ‘seasoned’ is totally focused. But, that’s what’s needed.

‘Max ROI Store Visit YourTime Study Course’ Digital Version – Files will be sent to Your Email Inbox

Only $147

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Remember we’re talking about a critical business function…not an afterthought about those stores out there interacting with our customers, selling our products and services and generally making or breaking our brand every single day.

This 7 Stage Process is particularly important when doing formal, full day visits.

But, although the topics, details, specifics, preparations, time allotments and action plans may vary depending on the particular type of visit …

The 7 Stage Store Visit process should be followed for every… single… visit.


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In this course, we present a focused approach to the Store Visit process that is productive and rewarding for everyone.

When there is a relentless focus on sales and profitability, customer service, people development, succession planning, vendor reviews, aged inventory, sign packages, product and presentation, safety and loss prevention, and so many other things…important things… then everyone feels a sense of accomplishment and they’re ready to confidently and happily move forward with action plan items.

You may be doing ok, but if you’re not following this method for Store Visits, then you aren’t profiting as much as you could be.

Guaranteed. This is no joke…no gimmick.

Store Visits that give you the best return on your investment are the only way to go.

The method is easy to replicate, store after store…time after time.

A full day’s work can produce results far and beyond the day!!

Remember, The Store Visit is a critical business function and should be regarded as such.

Properly executed store visits following this method are going to give you positive results.

They are going to advance the business. That’s worth some extra time and effort, isn’t it?

This affordable program is jam-packed with everything needed to get the MAXIMUM ROI on every store visit and ensure that all store visits produce a positive result …because time is money!

Every single store visit should be expected to yield quantifiable results; to move the business forward to some degree, otherwise it is strictly a social visit.

Here are just a few of the topics we address in this course:

Various types of store visits and expectations for each type
How to get all the important stuff covered in one day
Scheduling store visits
Who is making the schedule, anyway?
Preparation for a visit – we provide the only checklist you’ll need
How to conduct a highly productive visit
The SVR (Store Visit Report) to facilitate development of the Action Plan
How to get a higher ROI on your time during each type of store visit
What works and what doesn’t; what to do and what not to do during a visit
What the visit really means to the Store Manager and staff
The resulting – all important action plan – the roadmap for going forward  

MAX ROI Store Visits will be the only kind you’ll ever have when you start using this 7 Step Process…or Technique, Method, Approach, Mode, Plan of Action Whatever you want to call it…it works.

Once you start doing this, you’ll never get mediocre results again.

Drive Productivity to new heights in your retail organization. 

In this course, we demonstrate how properly executed Store Visits will produce positive and quantifiable results every time. Every…single…time!

That’s not to mention the importance of the huge motivational opportunity presented by a store visit that is properly done.

You may wonder how all these things can be covered in a one-day store visit!! In fact, many retailers cannot do it.

They do not know how to do it and, therefore, they fail to get the results – the quantifiable positive results – that they want and need.

Well, there is a simple method and we can help you figure it out. That’s where this course comes in.

We explain it all so you can expect BIG OUTCOMES.

When you’ve mastered the skill of a properly executed store visit and when you have seen the results, you will never look back.

You will want to apply the techniques to almost any oversight challenge you ever come up against.

Order Your Copy Now!

‘Max ROI Store Visit YourTime Study Course’ Digital Version – Files will be sent to Your Email Inbox

Only $147


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