Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Hi all, I have been working at the Olympics with my friends from The Retailer running stores in the Olympic park, Wimbledon, and Hyde Park for a the official sports memorabilia company Innovative Sports.
What a fantastic experience it has been, extremely busy and no room for errors, with some of the biggest ever pop up shops.
I have had so many new experience I don't  where to start  to tell everyone.
The sporting memorabilia product is well made and imaginative from opening ceremony photo montages, to signed tops from sporting stars, and the famous London Olympic torches.
It reinforced to me that great product is one of the main keys to success, putting time and effort into this area is vital if your business is to be successful.

Friday, 1 June 2012

I am constantly inspired by the people running their own retail businesses either on the High Street, or the web.
There is an endless variety and bottomless enthusiasm, but the successful ones have one thing in common;
a uniqueness, what makes them stand out from the crowd,and drives new customers through the door.
What is your specialism, and can you explain it in a paragraph to someone,if you cant explain it clearly how is your customer going to understand it.
Take time with it ask customers, shoppers in the street get feedback and adapt, if no one else is delivering what you do and the public want it, then your job will be much easier.
Sounds simple but it is not always, the large brands not only spend time improving what they do, but more importantly what they do differently.
Thanks all

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

I know its an old saying, but still very valid. I have never read any statistics on how many businesses work without a plan or vision of what they want to achieve, but I suspect it is around 90%. However everyone I talk to agrees it is a vital part of running a business.
So what is it that is stopping us?
Time! Many of us  say we are to busy running our business to plan, but if we don't how do we know what road to take and what our objective is.
How! I don't know what to include, and where to start. What is your vision for yourself and the business, is a good place to start, if you know what your ideal objective is then you can plan the road towards it.
I will be running a series of courses at the Falkirk Stadium, and the first is all about retail planning, starting on the 16th May at 6:30pm, contact me on 07818836482 or john@reailretailsolutions.co.uk
Give your business an edge have a plan.

Friday, 17 February 2012

I have been reading daily in the press about shop closures and empty High Streets, and going around the country can see the empty units along many streets. However it does occur to me that in this mayhem there must be opportunities for new start up businesses with a new and exiting proposition.
Here is the problem what is the next great idea?  
What product or service does the future consumer need or must have, what sector is it in, and will it need a shop on our streets at all?
Should our empty shopping areas be redeveloped into residential areas, with less retail?
What do you think?
 Let me know your thoughts.

Monday, 30 January 2012

I thought you all might enjoy this light hearted window brought to us by the Bo'ness Toy shop an great independent retailer.
Windows can be a great tool in attracting more custom and getting noticed, and this example got my attention.
If you have any examples of displays that made you stop or just laugh send them to me at john@realretailsolutions.co.uk       Have fun with your displays!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

What is going on? I have just visited a major high street clothing shop, only to be totally ignored by at least 5 staff members.
I am sure this company has training for the team, but here is the difference is it tick box training, where the business can say yes we have trained everyone, and then forget about it. Or is it time spent really investigating what happens in their store by talking to the team, getting them to understand how really to improve service and therefore sales.
Many large businesses expect the team to carry out other duties such as stock counting whilst serving, what happens, the employee has a deadline to meet and is under pressure and the service part of the equation is pushed further and further down the list.
So what am I saying, well it's this don't just pay lip service to customer service live it breathe it, from the top down, ensure that it is top priority in your daily planning and above all give the team time to do it and see sales and repeat business grow.
It is an old equation but it works think of your favourite shops chances are the human element is high up in what makes them special.
Lastly if you receive poor service complain politely but strongly,as high and often as you can.

Monday, 2 January 2012

A happy New Year to all and may 2012 bring you all you want.
2011 was a tough year for retailers with some big names closing, and I have no doubt 2012 is going to bring more.
So what is the magic formula for a successful retail business ?
After 30 odd years with many ups and downs in retail I have not yet found it.
There are so many ingredients to bringing customers to your door and getting them to spend, but one thing I see time and time again especially with independants is taking time out to look at where you are, what needs achieved and having a plan to get there.
The managing of a business can take all your effort and energy, you just keep running and running like the guinea pig on a wheel.
So my new year resolution is to regularly take time out to look at the business lift my eyes and plan for the future.
So with new direction will come new energy to drive the business to success!!!!