Posts Tagged 'Retail'

What Do You Think About Minimum Wage Increases?

We’re inviting you to tell us what you think about the proposed increases to minimum wage.

Please comment. Thanks.

Follow up, Uniformity & Brand Recognition

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.

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 or don’t think it’s very important and will have no impact one way or the other. Maybe they don’t think their boss really cares whether it gets done or not or sees that there are no consequences for not getting it done.

They may even feel justified because they think they are just too busy completing other, seemingly more important, tasks and they don’t take directions from the boss seriously.

All of the above are unacceptable, of course.

As a leader, give this a few moments thought. Here are some questions to guide you.

1) Are most of my instructions actually followed? If not, why?

2) Am I often frustrated and angry – even embarrassed- when I discover that something important has not been done?

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

4) 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 will not excel in their position. They will spend a lot of time being frustrated, embarrassed and angry until they have a majority of employees who do not require follow up…employees who take care of business!

We’ve told you, before, 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 insufficient follow up to ensure the directives had been properly executed.

In retail organizations, where you have several levels of individuals issuing directives and assigning projects and 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 if you expect uniformity and brand recognition to get stronger, rather than be degraded.

All the Success!

Special Pricing Alert – Buy One, Get One at 50% off Expires in 17 Days! Register for Retail Standards, Compliance & Execution Seminar Now.

Retail Standards, Compliance
& Execution Seminar

April 26 & 27, 2016
Kingston, Jamaica

Until March 27th pay $1,495 for one person; 2nd person admitted for $749.

Seminar Outline

* Introducing the Store
and Setting the Scene

* Development of Standards and Expectations

Why Adherence to Standards is a Critical Success Factor

The Effect of Compliance on the Operating Statement

5 Reasons Why Some Employees Don’t Meet Standards

* How to Capitalize on Every Type of
Store Visit & Resulting Action Plans

Reviewing the SVR from a Productivity Point of View

Building the Action Plan

7 Proven Follow up Techniques

* Creating a Road Map to Excellence in Compliance & Execution

Removing Obstacles

* Scheduling for Wage Cost Compliance
and Productivity

Effective Scheduling

Creating a ‘Happy’ Zero Tolerance Environment

Costing Schedule Adjustments

Spotting the Red Flags

* Loss Prevention through Customer Experience Best Practices

Shrinkage: External, Internal and Paperwork Errors

Awareness of Surroundings – Importance of Positioning

10 Sure Fire Clues to Identify Shoplifters and Internal Theft

Safe Actions to Thwart the Thief

Q & A

Certificate Awards
This seminar is interactive. Participants will have the opportunity to spend time working individually and in groups, to discuss their ideas and to come up with solutions to various issues presented by the Case Study Store.

Exclusive Seminar Fee Structure:
Only Until March 27th – Pay $1,495 for one person; 2nd person admitted for $749 – that’s 50% off.
After March 27 – $1,495 per person

Included in the Fee: Two Days – Case Study, presentations, videos,
practical & relevant exercises, workshop materials, continuous refreshments, full lunch and all take away materials.

Certificate is awarded upon completion.

Please address all inquiries to Josephine
Hill, Events Manager:



Word to the RetailWise 2

Today’s ‘Word to the RetailWise’ is: Look at your store –  including windows, cash desk, fitting rooms (if any), displays, etc. – from your customer’s point of view.

Literally…position yourself exactly the way a customer would.

Walk past your windows, stroll around looking at displays and signage, touch the merchandise, if applicable try a garment on and see what the fitting rooms are like, etc.

Many would say that they do all of these things as a routine and they complete a checklist to ensure everything is perfect. But that is not what we’re suggesting. Anything that has become routine enough to be added to a checklist can easily be dismissed, glossed over or taken for granted. You know what we mean, don’t you?

The point here, is to determine what the customer sees and senses, not whether policies and procedures are being followed.

Are the windows too crowded? Is there dust anywhere? Are the lights aimed properly or do they shine in your face? Are they casting an unusual color of light onto the merchandise? Is there room to move around freely? Are the signs clear or confusing? Are there any sharp edges, pointy hooks, loops in the carpet or anything else that could represent a safety hazard? Is there gum stuck to the floor?

Are the employees well groomed? Are they all poised and ready to assist? Do you like the music that’s playing? Is the door to the backroom or receiving area propped open revealing a not so pretty picture? Are the mirrors and glass all crystal clean?

When standing at the cash desk – remember…from the customer’s side – what do you see? A mass of wires coming out of the POS? Merchandise, paperwork or supplies piled high? Dust? Cashier’s notes stuck all over everything?

What the customer sees and senses, while in your store, is really important. There are plenty of other things you can look for when you do your customer walkthrough. Only you can come up with them all for your particular business. This is just a start.

Aim to perform this exercise often, but spontaneously.

All the Success!
DMSRetail Inc.

PS: Check our most definitive resource center for retail managers and enroll! The Retail Business Academy

Time to Lift the Spirits of Your Store Staff

This time of year is many different things to many different people. Your ability to understand what this time of year means to your people in the field, and your ability to tune in and give them what they need, is critical to the success of your operation during this holiday season.

Retail people know that this season is huge for them. There is a better than average chance of them meeting and/or exceeding their sales budgets. To many, that means a better than average chance of earning commissions or bonuses. They know that they will see increased customer traffic. They probably have lots of inventory – great new novelty items in addition to increased quantities of other merchandise. They understand that this is an immense opportunity to contribute to the annual sales results for their store and their company. And they are looking forward to all of this.

Here are some of the things that they are not looking forward to:

  • Staff shortages due to insufficient hiring and illness, real or fabricated
  • Stock rooms bulging at the seams; aisles that cannot be used
  • Employee lunchrooms, and possibly even washrooms, taken over by excess inventory, bags and other supplies
  • Cranky shoppers
  • Extended hours of operation
  • Missing their family functions because they have to work
  • Emergency markdowns on top of emergency markdowns
  • Excessive Head Office requirements for reporting and visual presentation changes
  • Short breaks and long line-ups at the food court
  • Aching bones and muscles…particularly in their feet
  • Overwhelming fatigue day after day
  • The Boxing Day (Week) set-up that has to be finished on Christmas Eve
  • The H.O. visits that always finish with what has to be done/changed/improved instead of a pat on the back and a show of appreciation
  • Constant schedule changes because someone at H.O. (most probably someone who has not worked in that store) decided that they are under scheduled here and over scheduled there
  • Parking so far away from the mall entrance that they wish there was a bus available because their feet are sore

The list could go on and on, but you get the picture. If you have ever worked in a store during this time of year you may have some understanding of what the field staff are going through. If you haven’’t, …maybe it’s time you did just to gain the very valuable experience.

Guess the decade!

People who work in retail stand for long periods of time and run around a lot during the holiday season. That brings up the subject of comfortable shoes again! Can you guess the decade in which this shoe was worn? If you can, there’s a complimentary copy of our Success Guide ‘Retail Customer Service Fundamentals’ for you! Make your guess now! Go to


Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops

Do you think you’d be a good candidate to attend the upcoming Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops in Phoenix? Well, you can find out if you wish.

The first step is to answer these three questions.

1.) Are you tired of doing the same things over and over and expecting better results?
2.) Are you trying to figure out what actions are necessary to ensure next year will be a banner year?
3.) Are you ready to get 2012 off to a great start?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the above, then you may be ready to attend, but please keep reading to find out, for sure, if it would make sense for you to attend; if you qualify, so to speak.

The customer’s experience in your stores and the resulting sales performance…good or bad…is a direct result of what’s going on in the business; a direct result of management abilities, decisions and actions. Unfortunately, the fact that so many customers have bad shopping experiences means…well, it means that many retailers need to pick things up a notch because a bad shopping experience is just the tip of the iceberg!

Frankly, consultants and retail management experts are somewhat puzzled as to why it is taking so long for the retail sector, more specifically, the management personnel operating in it, to identify the critical issues and take action. What is going on in some of those boardrooms, anyway?

Some just keep going along the same path, ignoring all of the signs until they’re forced to turn the lights out. Some just continue to throw good money after bad at things that ‘might’ be causing problems…at things that ‘might’ be the cause of unsatisfactory financial results… rather than address the things that ‘are most definitely’ causing the problems.

In our many years of experience, we find that there are quite a few retail management individuals who think they already know everything there is to know about the retail business. If that were true, we wouldn’t be seeing the problems that we see today. And the problems are nothing as simple as poor customer service or messy stores, etc.

No, when sales and profits are not what they should be, there are problems that run much deeper than that.

So, perhaps, many of the retail manager’s know the mechanics…but that’s just not enough.You have to admit that warrants some consideration.

We really hate to say this but it’s no secret that there are plenty of customers who are not that happy about going shopping in stores anymore. That’s one of the reasons on-line retailers are gaining a competitive advantage.

The reason we bring this up is to point out that there is evidence that there are still many things that retail management individuals need to do better – like manage for performance, lead people to create a loyal following, operate with integrity and principles, build and maintain a performance culture.

If this was all being done properly, most of the issues would simply disappear.

Some might say the retail industry is in a bit of a mess! Well, maybe, but it’s certainly not all doom and gloom. There is so much to be done!

If, after reading this, you think that you would qualify, join DMSRetail’s retail management experts for the Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops in Phoenix in January 2012 and find out just what it’s going to take to prosper in the future of retail. Hint…it’s way more than technology!

The future is bright – despite what’s going on – because there is so much opportunity for those willing to embrace it by attending the Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops.

The Retail District Management Workshop is being held on January 12 & 13, 2012

The Retail Operations Management Workshop is being held on January 9-10-11, 2012

Send an email to: to request Program Outlines and find out about fees, group discounts, who should attend, what’s included, etc. Or, use these links:

The Retail District Management Workshop:

The Retail Operations Management Workshop:

These workshops are not geared to the average person. They are hard hitting – tell it like it is – sessions that emphasize the importance of a performance culture and holding people accountable every step of the way.

If you’re on board, we look forward to meeting you in Phoenix.

All the Success!
DMSRetail Inc.

PS: As you may have gathered, we don’t believe the Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops are for everyone. If you think they’re for you and/or others in your organization, let us know and we’ll reserve your seat(s). But, please act very soon because class size is strictly limited for quality purposes. Send an email to:

PPS: You should not consider attending the Retail Management G.O.L.D. Workshops unless you’re ready for something bold and new. If you are, here are those links again:

The Retail District Management Workshop:

The Retail Operations Management Workshop:


Today’s ‘Word to the RetailWise’ is…actually a question: Should you gently nudge your customers to give you a high score on their Customer Service Survey?

Recently, I was shopping in one of my favorite stores – they have clothing and accessories for men, women, kids, infants; they have houseware and pictures and exercise stuff, etc. It’s a great place to shop for gifts, as well as for yourself.

If you like ‘Word to the RetailWise’, we encourage you to forward it – in it’s entirety – to your colleagues and friends who have an interest in retail. Better yet, they can sign up here for their own free copy. It takes about 3 seconds.

Anyway, when I got to the cash desk to pay for my purchases, the cashier was unusually…and, I must say, unaturally… sweet and I knew immediately that something was up – you know the kind of talk that is clearly for show?

I was right…something was up. At the end of the transaction she handed me my receipt and circled a website name printed on it. She said I should complete the survey online and I would have a chance to win $1,000. She added “remember, we strive for 5”.

Also, she had stapled a small blue piece of paper, with a note on it, to my receipt. It was a reminder, to me, that they are striving to score “5” on the survey.

So, is it a good thing or a bad thing to nudge your customers to give you a “5”? What do you think? Was this great work by an enterprising Store Manager? Or a ploy to ‘game the data’ on the Customer Service Survey? Would you do it? If you’d like to tell us what you think, please go to and leave your comments.

All the Success!
DMSRetail Inc.

PS: Have you checked out the easy payment plan for the Super Retail Success Bundle yet? If not, you can do it now and get the electronic download within moments of making your first payment:

Store Management Process – Have You Seen It Yet?

The Store Management Process is published on our website if you ‘d like to review it.

You’ll see the 7 separate processes that make up the Store Management Process, along with the required actions and skills for each.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can find it here:

You’ll probably find our blueprint interesting and you may very well have something to add. We hope you’ll share your comments because, as a DMSRetail subscriber, your input is very valuable to us. You may be able to help refine the Store Management Process further, for the benefit of other retailers.

All the Success!

Josephine Hill
DMSRetail Inc.

PS: The Store Management Process is also i ncluded as a bonus on DVD, with the Retail District Management YourTime Study Course where it is fully explained by a DMSRetail Consultant. You can find that here:

PPS: Check us out on Facebook and if you like us…please ‘Like’ us. Thanks!

Holiday Tips #1

Regardless of the economic outlook, you can rest assured that many people will be in your stores this holiday season. They may be working with a tighter budget, or they may not. They may be more discerning, or they may not. Whatever happens you still need to be prepared. There are things you need to do to have your store, your staff, your management team and your merchandise ready.

Here are some Holiday Season Tips – the first of our Holiday Season Tips Series, to help you make sure you’re doing everything you can to make the most of the holiday traffic that comes into your store:

Study History – Get out last year’s sales records, promotional calendar and staff schedules. Study them to see if there is anything you might do differently this year. If you were the Manager last year, try to remember the things that really caused things to breakdown. Learn from those things and safeguard against those same things happening again this year. Hint: If you do not already do this, make a point of noting all of the things that work really well and the things that don’t so you you’ll have the benefit of that information next holiday season.

Schedules – The Backbone of your Store -Make schedules for the 11 weeks (w/e November 13, 2010 to w/e January 22, 2011). Based on your sales targets, you need to figure out what kind of floor coverage you will need for each of the 11 weeks. These can be mock schedules but they should fairly represent what your actual schedule should look like. It is during the making of these mock schedules that you will come up with your plan for the holiday season with regard to floor coverage, stock replenishment, shipping/receiving, cashiers, greeters, fitting room coverage, recovery of the store throughout the day and at night, etc. You’ll get a very good idea of how many temporary employees you should hire. Hint: Once you know how many temporary employees you will need, hire 4 more.

The reason you will want to schedule well into January 2011 is because of the trend toward the purchase of gift cards. After the main holiday event, many customers will come into your store to spend their gift card. You need to be as ready for them as you were for the pre-holiday gift buyers. So, whatever you do, don’t become complacent in January.

Employee Illness – Try to recall from last year: Did a lot of employees call in sick? Were there certain days where you were left without proper coverage? How did that affect your business? Were the temporary employees trained well enough to really add value to your business? What can you do to avoid the pitfalls of last year? Hints: 1) hire more temporary workers and train them better 2)make sure your regular staff are considered when making the schedule – the needs of the business comes first, of course, but your regular employees will have some particular dates that they really need to have off for family gatherings and holiday preparation 3) send sick workers home so as not to spread illness to customers and other staff members 4) make sure you are not working certain employees so hard that they become exhausted or disillusioned.

Staff Meetings – Don’t forget to schedule time for management team meetings and staff meetings. Some of the meetings will be short touch base meetings and others may be educational. Still others should be for fun and celebration. Remember, everyone is stressed during the holidays and anything you can do to make your employees’ lives a little better during this busy time will probably pay dividends. Hint: Appoint someone to organize a pot luck luncheon for some of your busiest days. This accomplishes two things. 1) it promotes a sense of camaraderie among regular and temporary employees and 2) it saves them from having to fight the line ups at the food courts; giving them more time off of their feet.

Maintenance – Always important but now is the time to make certain that all of your light fixtures are working; your exit signs are lit, your fire extinguishers have been checked, your flooring and carpets have no turned up edges that can trip people, your POS and printers are working properly, your doors or door grills are in good repair, ceiling ducts are clean and dust free, fitting rooms are clean and welcoming, shelves are firmly in place to avoid accidents, no chipped glass anywhere, no rough edges on sign holders, the back room is well organized, the plumbing (if any) and any illuminated store signage is working properly. You won’t want to be spending valuable on floor and customer time taking care of pesky maintenance issues that could be taken care of in advance. Emergencies aside, your concentration needs to be elsewhere so…get it done now.

Watch for the Holiday Season Tips #2, coming soon.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Team  

PS. To make the most out of the upcoming holiday season, utilize the tips, techniques and tools that are in DMSRetail’s Super Retail Success Bundle – go here:

Future of Retail According to PSFK

PSFK, a consulting agency, recently published their vision of the future of retail. You can read and/or get your copy by going here: . We would love to hear what you think so please come back and post your comments.

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