By Mike Dwyer, Executive Vice-President Head of Operations for Hilco Global.
When I was a retail director of stores, I spent most of my time ensuring my stores had an appealing, consistent visual appearance. It was not an easy task. I now work directly with large retail brands at Hilco Global and consistent in-store execution is still a major struggle for many of these retailers.
Consistency is key to not only upholding a brand’s image, but is the key to a positive overall customer experience. I see three major challenges impeding retailers from delivering and maintaining consistency across stores.
Challenge 1: Hiring the right employees. The employees running each store location make or break a customer’s experience. Retail stores are struggling to hire the right individuals who are passionate to work a sales floor or implement planograms as a visual merchandiser. Training each employee to execute each store’s priorities efficiently and accurately is necessary to maintain consistency across stores.
Challenge 2: Retaining the right employees. Retailers have always experienced high employee turnover rates. However, over the past few years, turnover rates have skyrocketed. Stores are still rebounding from the losses post the COVID-19 pandemic and they must retain employees long enough so that they can learn and execute their roles as seasoned employees.
Challenge 3: Providing the right tools and resources to their teams. When I was a director of stores, I viewed my role as providing my team with those store-wide tools and resources that they could adopt and utilize to make their lives easier. There is an almost constant flow of communications between headquarters and store teams, pushing new initiatives – from visual sets to safety protocols, updated HR training, and lengthy district manager visits. Many retailers lack the in-store technology to help identify and execute those initiatives that will optimize store performance.
Stores that lack a consistent approach to solving these three key challenges often do not have the ability to set a standard of visual representation and maintain quality customer experiences.
By meeting these three challenges, the customer experience with your brand will be consistent across stores. If a store does not have appropriate trained staff with the right tools and resources, the consumer will face obstacles and barriers throughout their shopping engagement. These barriers can be anything from broken store infrastructure, such as an unusable door, to unorganized or missing stock.
Retailers often lack integrated technology that prevents them from consistently communicating priorities across their stores. Today’s district managers often are responsible for managing upwards of 25 geographically diverse store locations which makes it near impossible to communicate quickly and efficiently with both headquarters and each store locations. The solution is to leverage real-time, collaborative retail technology platforms to minimize lengthy in-store visits. With the right technology, district managers can evaluate their network of stores in minutes to quickly provide any directives for changes that need to be made to maintain the highest quality of visual brand representation.
Retail technology, such as Hilco Global’s ReStore VSX (visual store experience)platform, delivers these three primary benefits to retailers. It enhances the customer’s in-store experience, provides a sense of urgency to help store teams speedily execute store tasks, and it makes the store teams’ roles simpler.
At Hilco Global, we leverage ReStore VSX to provide our teams with a mobile store execution aid in their pocket. It is an in-store execution platform that closes the gap between strategy and execution. ReStore VSX empowers retailers to get back to the business of retailing. It simplifies daily store operations so staff can spend more time connecting with customers, improving their bottom line, and maintaining consistent customer experiences across store locations.
About ReStore for Retail
ReStore for Retail is an independent operating unit of Hilco Global, one of the world’s leading retail authorities. To learn more about ReStore for Retail’s tech-enabled solutions, please visit www.restoreforretail.com.