Everyone always talks about how fast retail is changing. That’s true. But, what’s equally true is that some things just never seem to change. Consider these never-changing issues:
- Retail still isn’t viewed as a career
Yes, this one is changing, albeit very slowly. However, retail still isn’t the first choice for the majority of graduates at any level. If you’re in retail, you know what a great career retail can be. Yet, retail still has a reputation of not being a career you choose, but rather one that you fall into. The retail industry has to take responsibility for this lingering view. Do a better job of career development. Brag a lot more too.
- Getting waited on in stores is still a challenge
Seriously? What’s it going to take to meet this most basic customer expectation? No retailer is immune to this either. In fact, getting waited on in the ‘high end’ stores seems to be even more elusive today than ever. Unless someone told you that something is more important than the customer, shouldn’t you be waiting on your customers?
- There’s always something to blame poor performance on
The weather. The economy. The competition. The dollar. Online retailers. Traffic. Consumer confidence. Donald Trump (couldn’t resist!). It’s a long list of reasons that seem to be used to explain poor performance in the stores. There’s no one prouder of the retail community than me, but the unvarnished truth is that there’s more untapped potential in the stores than there are reasons why performance is soft.
- Staff turnover rates are ridiculously high
It’s hard to get on with building the business when you have a revolving door for staff. Some retailers have discovered that layering in more coaching, training and development dramatically reduces turnover. Yet, still too many seem resigned to live with turnover rates at unsustainable levels.
- A lot of sales continue to walk out the door everyday
Go sit outside any store on any day and just watch. You’ll see a lot of great things happening. But, you’ll also see a lot of missed opportunities. See point #2 above. But, there’s more than that happening/not happening that results in lost sales. A lack of focus, effort, knowledge, skills … there’s a range of miscues that cost the store sales. How many sales? A LOT.
30 years into this business and I’m amazed at how far retail has come. It’s an amazing industry. But, I’m just as amazed that some things just never seem to change. Don’t you think the time has come to put an end to some of these things?