Good shop….Bad shop!

Every market place has its share of good and bad retailers. We have all been into shops, where you think ‘ how do they stay in business?’ And you go into another selling the same type of product and feel enticed to buy.

So what? Who cares? The good ones survive and prosper and bad ones go to the wall. That is not always the case, but importantly in a relatively small market place like party I believe it has other implications.

Bad shops….discourage innovation and efficiency by suppliers. If the supply chain is faced with outlets that don’t perform well, they will not create new and innovative product as they, rightly, think that the outlets are unlikely to be able sell the product. Generally as poor retailers are happy with the status quo they will not push supply chain to greater efficiencies. To use an historical context, prior to the invasion of the party Giants from across the Atlantic, traditional British party suppliers, were just that ‘traditional ‘. There was no impetus to innovate and profitability was reasonable as there was little competition. Most suppliers were small family businesses , who had been around for some time and did not look beyond what happened last year or maybe tweak a colour or shape, or worse still wait for a major event eg Royal Wedding.

The interesting feature here is that in Europe it was a little different. The suppliers were larger and more innovative, albeit relying heavily on the carnival season. Maybe not as a consequence but perhaps just coincidental party retailers appear to be developing more quickly there than in the UK. 

Bad shops…..discourage customers. In my experience some quite literally. They seem to actively dislike anyone who walks in the shop. As a party is an occasional purchase for those who only have access or experience a ‘poor retailer’ are unlikely to return and maybe think every retailer is the same. Not all will turn to the internet, as it could inconvenient or not realistic ie large minute decisions. For those that do it may obviate their need to find a good retailer.

So what set me off along this negative path. I have seen some in recent weeks and start thinking if there a future for the party retailer. Then I go into a good one and all is well again……

What is to be done ? Nothing …..we can only hope that any potential new entrant into retail market visit the better stores and say ‘yes, this is the sort of store I want to operate’. This needs to happen if we still want bricks and mortar party stores in the UK in ten years time.

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