Wednesday 1 October 2008

Why have Retail Standards?

You may well be looking forward to a Summer holiday, perhaps travelling somewhere exotic – I say this bearing in mind that although being based in London as I write this, that London can be exotic to many travellers especially if you are not experiencing such a currently cold climate and yearn for one? Anyway, with this in mind imagine you begin your journey. Bags are packed, journey to the airport was easy, flight was comfortable and then you arrive at the hotel. This ‘exotic’ place that you may have looked forward to visiting for months and travelled hours to get to is surrounded by a building site; maybe your hotel has not actually been built? OK well that’s an extreme example. Incidentally isn't it is amazing how carefully hotel rooms are photographed from very flattering angles and naturally only the best suite can be viewed on-line? Imagine the disappointment.... maybe you feel the disappointment right now? Maybe, like me you have been in this situation? I once stayed with a colleague in a Hotel room that had no windows, well it did have one window but it faced onto the communal staircase with a very short burgundy velour curtain and we slept shoulder to shoulder in a ‘double’ bed with an electric fan whirring above us having take it in turns throughout the night to burn incense sticks to keep the mosquito's coming through the holes in the ceiling and the electrics buzzing all night would have had 'Health and Safety' going mad.
Once you get over the hotel shock, deciding not to stay but then staying anyway because its such a nightmare to move, you are tired and getting your money back is more hassle than its worth.
You decide perhaps to journey to the beach, your perhaps expecting this.........

and you get this? (this is real)

Or perhaps take in some culture? You're expecting this.......

and you get this? (this is real too)

How would you feel now?
Imagine your customer. They arrive at your store. Maybe they had travelled across the country, perhaps across the world, not necessarily to shop with you but perhaps visit you are on their journey. Your customer approaches your store and sees the following?

How does your customer feel now?

Your customer may not initially see all of your faults directly. Perhaps they don’t even notice that your mannequins have their hands on the wrong arms or even think that merchandise crammed into a window is a sign of a desperate retailer etc. However, these are a ‘red rag’ and clear indicator of a retailer who doesn't care? Perhaps staff are unhelpful, or perhaps they are helpful but the environment looks untidy. This to me usually means they are desperate for your cash but the merchandise is not worth the money?

So why have retail standards and what does this include??

Store maintenance: Anything broken should be fixed or removed. Leaking ceilings and missing lights should be repaired or replaced

Replenishment of merchandise: Merchandise should be replenished but never so much that it is unshoppable.

House keeping: All areas should be kept clean and tidy, this also reduces the amount of damaged goods.

Staff appearance: Staff do not always have to wear smart uniforms however they should perhaps be clean and perhaps wearing some of the merchandise. This also shows a customer how to 'wear' something.

Health and Safety: Provides the customer and employees with a clean and safe environment in which to work or shop.

Whats wrong in the picture below?

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