Archive for July, 2010

The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing Your Business

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Retail DoctorI was sent this book the other day from Bob Phibbs, well known in the USA as ‘The Retail Doctor’. As the name implies, he is approached by ‘sick’ retailers to ‘diagnose, treat and cure’ them to full recovery, very much like our own Mary (Queen of Shops) Portas.

Anyway, his latest book ‘Guide to Growing Your Business’ is is now available  and a very good read it is.  It is set out with very simple to understand suggestions along with real life examples and ends each chapter with simple action bullet points.

The chapters are split into clear sections including, financials, store layout, employees, selling, training, e-commerce etc. There is probably little in there which most professional retailers don’t know or appreciate but it’s always good to be reminded of many of the basics and look at your operations from an ‘outsiders’ viewpoint.

For example, many retailers are product or trading led and often don’t pay enough attention to the financials. Bob understands this and gives suggestions for key reports you should look at each week. He suggests getting print outs emailed to you of:-

1. Average sale per day – how much each customer spends
2. Number of sales – customer count
3. Weekly sales by category – top and bottom 5 establish trends
4. Weekly sales by person – how much each each employee makes you
5 . Year over year by week – comparing to previous years
6. Year over Year to date – running total for the year (will strip out changes to Easter dates for example)
7. Number of units per transaction – how your staff are upselling add-ons
8. Number of voids – a good alert to theft by staff

Now these figures will not take any more than an hour a week to analyse  but will give you excellent insight to trends to take action on. Rather than asking your manager general questions such as ‘why are sales down’ you can be more specific such as ‘why do sales drop when Vicki is working’?

As I’ve mentioned, it is a very easy to understand book with  simple step by step guides and at £13.99 or less will save/make you money even if you only take on board 1 or 2 of the suggestions.

You can buy it from £7.25 here

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery

Tesco’s F&F Clothing Brand seeking West End shop

Friday, July 9th, 2010

It’s been revealed today that Tesco has been actively looking around London’s West End for a Flagship store of  6,000+ sq ft for it’s F&F clothing brand.

The  ‘value’ clothing market is estimated to be worth £9.3 bn in the UK and Tesco lies in 5th place behind Primark, (Asda’s) George, T K Maxx and New Look with a market share of around 10.4%, not a position Tesco is generally happy with.

The F&F  (formerly Florence and Fred) brand has grown fast over the last few years with expansion into several sub-brands such as F&F Trends, F&F Couture, F&F Petite and F&F True (larger sizes) along with developing it’s internet presence. It even boasts it’s own celebrity with, the former model, Caprice as one of the designers.

It’s debatable whether Tesco can make the economics of a prime high street site square with selling similar products in it’s (much cheaper) supermarkets located in Retail Parks. You would expect Tesco to have done their sums but the equally professional Asda spent nearly 5 years trying to make their stand-alone George shops profitable before finally closing the 11 sites in 2008.

It may be an interesting year on the Retail front with a number of overseas chains, such as Victoria’s Secrets, Forever 21 and Vera Moda looking to take advantage of the cheap pound and (temporary?) availability of some prime retail sites after the shock of the last 18 months.

We may see a different High street in the next few years to what we are used to.

Tony Heywood – Gilcrest Services Ltd
Retail Troubleshooter
Business Turnaround and Recovery