When setting up a new retail chain, there are critical details to address and certain common challenges to overcome or manage successfully. By addressing all the issues well, the retail chain is likely to find some early success while avoiding the kind of pitfalls that have brought down many nascent retailers before them.
Supply Chain Challenges
Managing the supply chain successfully is important because when the store runs out of stock, it cannot make sales. Negotiating contract terms is difficult. When already possessing considerable retail experience but not having previously negotiated similar deals, it’s easy to get unfavorable contract terms. This is where professional supply chain consulting is useful to ensure the right terms are agreed to and thereby setting the business up for future success.
Store Layout Challenges
The layout of stores must take into consideration the ways that people shop. There’s a reason why the frozen goods are in one place in the supermarket, the fresh vegetables in another location, and the candy upfront at the checkout. When getting the layout right, a retail store maximizes the potential revenue per customer; when it doesn’t, sales are lost.
Some stores have gone so far as to pump in artificial baking smells into the bakery section, regardless of whether they have a working bakery in the back or not; the smell of fresh bread makes people want to buy it.
Even the eye level of where the most popular goods are placed on the shelf makes a difference. Indeed, some manufacturers pay for prime placement to up their sales or offer discounted prices to ensure they get a prominent position. This is how powerful product positioning is.
Staffing procedures, shift patterns, and standards for both the employees and their employer help make clear what is expected and where the responsibility lies. Staff must have established rules of conduct and a hierarchy to understand who is in charge.
It is sometimes beneficial to offer sales staff a commission along with their salary, although this will depend on the type of retail chain. It’s certainly true that the better staff know their product lines, the more helpful they can be with customers. Providing sales and customer service training to staff is never a bad idea either.
Without customers, the store will never make money. A multi-faceted marketing plan that goes beyond being seen by passersby is necessary to make local people aware of the new store. Create an opening day event with special discounts.
For the stores already opened, make sure they’re prominently featured in Google Local search results when looking for relevant terms in the local area. Submit the business to Google to get noticed. Hire an SEO professional that specializes in helping local businesses to get each store noticed online in Google, Bing, Yelp, and elsewhere. The internet makes it affordable for smaller chains to compete against the Walmart-sized retail brands of this world when approached intelligently.
New retail chains have some unique challenges that long-established ones have already gone through. When handling these issues properly, including any business licensing and other requirements necessary to operate, a retail chain sets the foundation to grow steadily over time.