Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sales without discounting – The solution is easier than you think

At 94.5 index point, consumer confidence is at its lowest rate since August, down 1.6; this has been reflected in retailer’s expectations,71% were expecting poor results over Easter weekend (Roy Morgan Research).
In the days leading up to the four-day weekend, it was clear that retailers were creating excitement with sales, deals and extended shopping hours. Judging by the crowds over the weekend, reports of an expected 5.3% increase on last year could be realistic.
Is constant ‘sales–mode’ successful? Is it really the fault of the penny pinching customer?
As Kmart managing Director  Guy Russo said recently, Kmart used to focus on its percentage margins, but I think if you focus on customers and not margins, you’ll end up with a better result.”
“Manipulating margins around to work out how your profit is going to be is really short-term, so my main focus with our team is focusing on delivering the lowest prices you can and delivering on high quality.”
“So I’m actually happier to run lower percentage margins than we’ve ever had in the past to get the customer the benefit of the lowest price, which means that your penny profits lower. However, the equation that I’m working on from a profitability point of view is if you’re best in price then volume will go up, and then you’ll make a lot more profit.”
Turning foot traffic into sales is the only way. And here’s how: hire the right team.
We’ve all heard about the war for talent, a phrase that was coined in 1997, today when I Google searched that heading over 80,000 results came up.
The war for talent is real and retailers need to start seeing that their team is their most valuable asset; globally; full stop. All of the marketing and promotions will only get you so far, I am certain that most retailers are missing the biggest opportunity for sales growth – PEOPLE!
The Marxist theory of war is quasi-economic in that it states that all modern wars are caused by competition for resources and markets between great (imperialist) powers. My view is that this war for talent is definitely a competition for resources but you don’t have to be the biggest or the greatest, even the little guys can win the war for talent.
A highly effective manager will increase conversion, grow store turnover, drive successful company promotions & campaigns, create positive word of mouth & brand awareness, create repeat long term customers and train their staff to do the same.
Wish these candidates grew on trees? So do we. And that’s why it’s important that you snap up top talent as soon as it comes to market. Finding people who embody the traits above is becoming harder as candidates become more scarce and yet employers seem to be moving slower than ever in snapping up the talent.   Effective Store Mangers are presented with multiple offers are able to be picky. Competition is fierce and employer branding is more important than ever. Look at the whole package and remember that these candidates are not looking at salary alone.
  1. Create a strong employment brand – look at the whole picture Progression, Culture, values and incentives. What does your brand represent for a team member not just a consumer
  2. Get in quick – effective candidates with a proven background aren’t on the market long, some being interviewed and hired the same day they apply.
  3. Appreciate that your team is your biggest asset and the quickest way to get profitable sales growth.
The art of war is like the art of the courtesan; indeed, they might be called sisters, since both are the slaves of desperation —Pietro Aretino
Don’t let it get to the point of desperation, adopt these three simple steps and you’re on the way to winning the war and an absence of war, is usually called peace.

- John Caldwell


  1. You're so right, I have offered a number of people jobs recently only to have them tell me they are staying where they are or have got a better offer or even just an offer before I called them with mine, I thought my offer was good and my business is great but I just wasn't quick enough

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