By Ian S. Fredericks, President of Hilco Consumer-Retail
Retail is all about converting store traffic into revenue. Today, that’s more difficult than ever because various factors are conspiring against it. Fortunately, there is a solution.
What's the problem?
For starters, the retail team hierarchy hasn’t really changed in decades. As a result, retailers have struggled to “crack the code” on how to effectively and consistently manage and monitor conditions across store fleets. Often, retailers are left with a less than optimal in-store experience for customers. This issue has increased substantially since the pandemic because many shoppers have been slower to return to stores, thereby limiting foot traffic that can drive conversion.
Adding to the problem, skilled, frontline store teams are overtasked. If you doubt this, review current industry data on frontline worker attitudes, turnover, and performance; it’s all bad news. Or better yet, visit a few stores and let me know how long it took you to find an employee to assist you. It seems like every day frontline teams have more and more responsibilities, but ineffective tools and less time to spend with customers. Consequently, they are leaving the retail world altogether and turnover is at an all-time high.
Additionally, today’s labor market is VERY tight, making it extremely difficult for retailers to hire desperately needed talent to fill the gaps. Heading into the most important shopping season of the year, now more than ever, retailers must improve their store team experience as well as the experience their employees ultimately deliver for shoppers. Critically, the operators who can solve these issues will be at a distinct advantage over the holidays and moving forward.
Putting your consumer hat on for a minute, wouldn’t it be nice to walk into two stores run by the same operations team and find things merchandised in a familiar way? Wouldn’t you be more likely to buy — and buy more — if you knew where you could find what you were looking for or where the latest trend-on merchandise would be displayed? And if a happy, engaged store team member was there to assist you, wouldn’t that contribute to the likelihood of you making a purchase and returning to the store to make another in the future? Undoubtedly, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding, YES!
So, what's the solution?
With the informed perspective of having operated more than 30,000 stores, worked with 700,000 store associates, and merchandised over $150 billion in inventory, our team at Hilco Consumer-Retail has the solution — a better way to empower store teams across retail fleets to collaborate with one another and operational leaders more effectively. To help solve these challenges, Hilco Global created ReStore for Retail, a mobile visual merchandising and operations platform, which engages store teams and operational leaders like never before and improves not only their experiences, but also their customers’ experiences. By doing so, sales and profits improve!