No one likes to talk about this topic.  It makes everyone feel bad.  When I’m on stage at a conference talking about it, people avoid making eye contact with me.  You can cut the tension in the room with a knife.  It’s the real ‘shame’ of retail.

 

I’m talking about compliance on store standards, or more like it, the rampant non-compliance that exists in most every store.

Standards are those non-negotiable, minimum expectations we set for stores to follow.  Pretty simple things really.  Show up on time.  Wear your uniform right.  Follow the merchandising standards.  Keep the store clean.  Wait on customers.  Nothing complicated, and nothing very difficult to do.

Yet, when I ask retailers to rate their compliance on standards on a scale of 1 to 10, they typically give themselves a 6 or 7.   That’s shameful.  Keep in mind we’re talking about non-negotiable, minimum expectations.  Anything less than a 10 out of 10 is failure.

Yet, somehow, we’ve come to believe that a 6, 7 or 8 is OK.  We’ve become complacent. When a store opens for the first time, it’s a solid 10 out of 10 on Day One.  Then, it begins to slide and no one does anything about it.  It’s a management issue, not a staff issue.

You wouldn’t accept the guy who cuts your hair being a 6 out of 10.  What about the guy who fixes your car brakes?  Why do we accept this nonsense in retail stores?

Consider what all this non-compliance is costing you:  Lost customers who can’t trust the shopping experience.  Lost staff who can’t trust the work experience.  Lost sales.  Mountains of stress.

If you’re frustrated about this ‘shame’ and don’t know where to start, feel free to send me an email and I’ll send you some steps you need to get on right away.

This isn’t about being a bully or a mean boss.  It’s about realizing that we have a right to run the stores the right way.  Every day.  Every time.

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.

Comments (2)

  1. Art Vanden Enden

Kevin Your point that it is a management issue and not a staff issue nails it. WE have just finished our spring hiring season and our managers all agreed we hired good people. Now we need to make sure they really understand what we need and...

Kevin Your point that it is a management issue and not a staff issue nails it. WE have just finished our spring hiring season and our managers all agreed we hired good people. Now we need to make sure they really understand what we need and expect. Managers and Supervisors need to manage their staff.

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  1. Fabien Tiburce

Kevin is spot on! Non compliance has a devastating effect on the shopper experience, shrink (think loss prevention) and sales (year round but especially when it comes to seasonal programs which must be implemented in full and in time to be most...

Kevin is spot on! Non compliance has a devastating effect on the shopper experience, shrink (think loss prevention) and sales (year round but especially when it comes to seasonal programs which must be implemented in full and in time to be most effective and profitable). And yet it is a) entirely preventable and b) does not have to cost a lot. Successful retailers all have one thing in common: they execute better than the competition. What should retailers do? Reach out to a thought-leader like Kevin Graff. Deploy some retail audit processes and software. Time has come for all retailers to turn shame into action and lost opportunities into sales and higher margins.

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