Buying product to sell in a retail environment, whether it be for stores, ecommerce or international multi-channel business, requires a fine tuning of many variables: What to buy? How much to pay for it? How much to sell it for? Where to buy it from? How many units to buy? Is it on trend? Is it right for the customer?
Throw in a particularly unstable retail market and this makes each and every one of those decisions even harder to make.
The tendency is to play it safe, to retreat to a place of relative comfort, to hunker down and hope that the cash flow will weather the storm. At Retail Remedy we believe there is a balance to be struck here.
Low risk = high risk
Fantastic core product, bought with the key customer in mind, is a retail must-have and is the corner stone of most businesses. There is not a lot new about this statement, but is your core product the best it can possibly be? Has it been truly considered with your actual customer in mind? Is there still an element of real newness within your core offer? (and that doesn’t just mean a new, seasonal colourway).
This is where creativity becomes your most important resource. Considered design and creative marketing are your least expendable assets when retail is uncertain. It is more important than ever to have a unique selling point and to stand out from the crowd. It is riskier to make too many “safe” choices at the expense of new and unique products, that are not interchangeable with another brands’. And perhaps it is actually less of a risk, dare we say it, to push the creative boundaries and make a few mistakes? Buying by committee, or subjecting product to the scrutiny of a hierarchy of sign-off processes often leads to the dumbing-down of a product range.
Under these circumstances the need for agility in retail is even greater. Taking calculated risks with new and unique product is rendered less of a concern if the business is able to react to trade decisively, quickly and effectively. Simplification is the key to achieving increased agility: Simplification of company structure, clarity of offer to the customer and alignment of brand in each and every channel will deliver financial rewards.
The pace of change in retail is exponential and “tried and tested” strategies are usually out of date. We aren’t just referring to fast fashion here.
Standing still is moving backwards
This frequently uttered mantra has never been so relevant as it is to current trading. If you would like help to future-proof your retail business, to simplify it whilst amplifying your uniqueness and increasing your agility, give us a call.