In a week when data showed that August retail figures for the UK showed a fall, I was, somewhat, gobsmacked to experience bad retailing from a major international retailer ie Zara. A retailer who, generally, is feted for its cutting edge retailing. Moreover,analysts believe that fashion retailing accounted for much of the drop.
Friday night in a major London shopping centre ,should be a good time to harvest funds from your consumer. Indeed, this was the case, however, there are some buts. This a particular large branch, but on entering it felt like a particularly unloved market stall. It was a dump. Yes, it was very busy but there were no shortage of staff, none of which were tidying anything up nor were they helping the potential customers. Worse still were clothes that had been tried on and were covered in makeup (women’s clothes , for anyone interested) . It is bad enough that a consumer lets their makeup mark ‘tried on clothes ‘ , it is worse still that staff put them back on the hangers heavily marked, making them virtually unsaleable .
However, in my book, the cardinal sin was 4 unopened tills, with a queue of at least 40 customers. Even if the available staff were not ‘ till ‘ trained, which would be a management issue, it is surely a gross error not to maximise your cash take in the shortest possible time.
All these errors could, of course be down to local management. But this in itself is the responsibility of senior management. When my wife and I walked into Top Shop (yeah right ..’what are you doing in Top Shop..’) which is virtually next door, it was the complete opposite. They were a perfect example of ‘Good Shop…Bad Shop’
What has this got to do with party retailers? Poor retailing is not restricted to any market sector and especially when you have more than a single outlet,underlining the importance of local management. Even the best of retailers can get it wrong. Success is created on discovering and rectifying the mistakes. I doubt very much that Zara read my blogs . Even if they did they are not going to take any notice of what I say.
Retailing is tough and takes no prisoners. International multiples, will always have under performing stores. Small chains and independents cannot afford that luxury.