4 Retail Operations Trends You Should be Actively Managing

By on November 12, 2014 | Topics: Culture, Operations

1. Don’t Compete – Create. This old maxim is especially true today and can create retail solutions as retailers are all scurrying to find ground that is uniquely their own. Doing what everyone else does is “the price of admission.” Finding what has not been done adds value for consumers and separates great retailers from everyone else. 

Tip: Use your proprietary and private labels to create item assortment that sets you apart.   Label items that are uniquely your own under your brand name and create separation from your competition.

2. Shop your maintenance and upkeep. Retail operations like maintenance, upkeep, and utilities may be considered boring in some retail circles. However, smart retailers know that the difference between a so-so bottom line and healthy and growing profitability lies in paying attention to these basics of the business. Great retailers stay focused on scrutinizing costs and improving services when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Also, they have learned the value of having dedicated resources whose primary job is to lower costs and improve offerings when it comes to upkeep and maintenance.

Tip: Electricity is now a commodity in many places.  Shop your electric utility business across all the providers in your marketplace to save big $$$.

3. It may be the PACKAGE and not what’s in it that really counts. With manufacturers, retailers, and consumers all in search of longer shelf life for products, attention is turning towards “active and intelligent packaging.”  While many of these new-age packaging items cost more upfront, the downstream savings from less product loss stacks the financial deck in favor of innovation.

Tip: Involve consumers to test your packaging change decisions.   Finding out that they don’t approve after you’ve made a change is a costly error  

4. Tell me what to do boss.  Directing your workforce to the work that needs to be done, when it needs to be done, is a challenge in today’s retail environment. Workforces are leaner with fewer deployed resources while the retail store size has grown and along with it the complexity and variety of tasks that must be performed to satisfy consumer needs.   Making a list has long been the staple of getting things done. But lately, technology has made big inroads with the arrival of automated workflow direction – checklists delivered to individual stores and workers via smart phones and tablets.

Tip: Check out solution providers for automated checklists and auditing such as

Every VP of Operations should be actively managing these four trends in order to stay ahead of your customer demand, increase the bottom line, and improve business operations.

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