I’m not so sure I’ve ever written a title for a blog with such an exaggeration in it.  It’s the word “Big” that really stretches the limits, as you’ll quickly learn.

For the past little while, I’ve been working with a national chain on some important initiatives.  They’re now at the point where they realize that the store standards are in disarray, to say the least.  The brand is looking a bit ragged, and at the root of the problem is a lack of consistent execution on standards.  Everything from merchandising, to inventory, to housekeeping to service standards have fallen behind.


There’s not much unique about this situation, because it happens all the time to retailers.  Companies take their eye off the ball, pride dips and before you know it the stores are a mess.

The impact?  Customers stop coming as often.  They spend less.  Staff turnover increases.  Complaints go up.  Sales go down.

What strikes me as odd is the concept that it’s a “BIG ASK” to have the stores run the right way.  Seriously?

Maybe I’m just an old guy now (my kids think so!) but when did it become a Big Ask to have someone do the job right?  Isn’t it a reasonable request to do the job you’re being paid to do the right way?

And, quite frankly, how hard is it to execute most store standards anyway?  Follow a planogram.  Pick up after yourself.  Show up on time. Wear your uniform.  Wait on a customer.   Not exactly rocket science, is it?

Get on with doing the right thing and running your stores right.  It’s not a BIG ASK.  In fact, it’s not really an Ask at all. 

It’s an expectation.

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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