“The Best Advice I Can Give Retailers Right Now” by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys

“The Best Advice I Can Give Retailers Right Now” by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys

It would be easy to start this article by talking about how we’ve all been through the craziest times in our lives.  But you already know that.  I could also talk about how challenging things can be now, with the extreme difficulties in the supply chain causing many to struggle to keep up with increasing demand.  On top of all that, we’re dealing with mask mandates and all kinds of political noise that affects retail.  But you know about that too, and you’re already navigating that. So let’s get down to something important.  In times like these, the winners are those that can become hyper-focused on the truly important things.  It’s very easy to get distracted by the problems that exist in our industry, to throw up your hands and just hope that things work out.  You could do that, but you’re also better than that. At this moment in time, my most successful clients are focused on 2 things, and 2 things only: Their customers and their inventory.  It could be argued that staying hyper-focused on those 2 things has always been the key to retail success, and that’s true.  That said, it’s especially true today, given everything I wrote in the first paragraph, the fundamentals of focus are more important today than ever before. But how do you do that?  The nature of our business is such that there seems to never be enough time to get everything done, and lots of small details seem to block our ability to focus on the things we want to focus on.  Push play to hear about how Dan Jablons...
“How to Improve Talent Retention This Holiday Season” by Dr. Natalie Baumgartner via Total Retail

“How to Improve Talent Retention This Holiday Season” by Dr. Natalie Baumgartner via Total Retail

Credit: iStock.com by Drazen Retail workers are leaving their jobs at a record pace, with 721,000 workers quitting in August alone, maintaining an industry high for employee turnover since April. What’s more, employers in the retail space that were already facing massive labor shortages are now also preparing for increased seasonal hiring — making employee engagement more critical than ever. Employee engagement is a key driver of employee motivation, retention and happiness — and is a critical factor for retailers to empower their workforces. To foster a culture of engagement, it’s essential that retail leaders establish meaningful connections throughout their organization. However, it’s difficult to create connections among retail employees as frontline team members hold a customer-facing position, working less collaboratively with their managers than in a traditional office setting. This lack of connection is creating a disengaged workforce as only 65 percent of retail employees are engaged. So, what will it take to retain and engage workers during the busiest season of the year? Let’s dive into three strategies retail leaders should consider. Encourage Frequent Recognition at All Levels Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of employees wish they received more recognition at work. When employees are regularly recognized it results in lower turnover. Fostering a culture of employee recognition is clearly critical for retention, but the approach must come from the top, and recognition should be ingrained in every aspect of the company to make a real cultural shift. To create a culture of recognition, retail leaders must approach it like all business objectives, with a plan of action. Employers can activate their recognition strategy by prioritizing manager check-ins, incentivizing internal recognition and providing rewards, which can include...
“Retail Sales Training: Pepper Your Presentation to Remove Insecurity” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“Retail Sales Training: Pepper Your Presentation to Remove Insecurity” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Ever been at a great dinner and used the salt instead of the pepper? The whole entree is ruined. This retail sales training blog is about peppering your approach to avoid the salt of insecurity. A colleague of mine, Carol Spiekerman posted this on her blog. I thought her story was perfect to illustrate the finer points when you are training retail staff. I’ll share my comments after but here’s Carol’s story… “Last Saturday, my just-divorced friend and I spent two hours browsing Best Buy (breaking my previous record by about one-and-a-half). After a long and icky battle, she and her ex-husband finally made it official, and she was excited about trading her “perfectly good” room hog of a television; receiver and speaker set-up for a streamlined home theater system. She’d asked me to accompany her because she was “clueless” about technology yet ready to splurge big time; she wanted me to have her back. BTW, both my friend and Mr. Ex had enjoyed soaring salaries, so funds weren’t the issue. Every minute of this visit reeked of “customer centricity.” The sales associates could not have been more professional: the first one deftly guided us through computer speakers— though they were not even on my list, I started poking around. Plugging his iPhone into the demo unit and flashing a conspiratorial grin, he took me up on my dare to crank up the volume on the $150+ Klipsch set . . . and when it came time to head to Home Theater, his seamless hand-off to a senior associate was a real thing of beauty. Once there, we were treated...
“Jump on Board with Locally” by Calista Tufankjian

“Jump on Board with Locally” by Calista Tufankjian

 Come ride the Locally wave Are you Looking for a new way to connect brands and shoppers? Locally is your answer. Locally is a dynamic store and product locator company with thousands of retailers integrated providing shoppers with nearby, in stock products throughout multiple channels. Retailers, if you haven’t already heard of Locally, let’s dive in and learn more about our latest technology and advancements. How will this help your business?  Locally’s mission is to help retailers surface their in-stock merchandise to nearby online shoppers by using digital marketing tactics, merging brand-provided digital product content with POS stock information. We connect shoppers to local stores that currently have the product they are looking for in-stock. Our platform keeps the workload for stores low, while driving new online shoppers into the door. Our platform closes the gap between retailers, shoppers and brands. We strive to bring everyone together.  Keep your customers happy  It is key to keep your shoppers happy, especially during a pandemic. Locally is all about convenience. We make it simple for any size retailer to offer in-store or curbside pickup and/or same day delivery to their community. Locally also displays local events, store hours and many more features. These advancements will help keep your customers satisfied. People live very busy lifestyles and Locally will save everyone time. Locally is here to simplify the shopping experience for the consumer and the retailer!   Shopping Locally is the way to be Shopping at your favorite local shop is the best way to support your community. Locally permits retailers to broadcast what they have in stock to local consumers. Without Locally,...
“Investing in Associates is Good for Business” by Rob Klitsch via Total Retail

“Investing in Associates is Good for Business” by Rob Klitsch via Total Retail

The tide is turning in retail. Despite staff and supply shortages that may burden shoppers and encumber stores during the holiday season, signs of growing optimism for the future abound. While last year the industry underwent a scourge of bankruptcies and closures, mid-year predictions suggest store openings could surpass store closings for the first time in years, and Forrester estimates physical stores will capture 71 percent of all U.S. retail sales by 2024. Even digitally native brands, like Warby Parker and Allbirds, are making direct investments in their brick-and-mortar businesses. This speaks volumes. Yet, just as retail appears to be turning a corner financially, hiring competition continues to heat up. The retail and hospitality sector shed about 44 percent of hourly shifts in the early months of the pandemic, according to UKG’s workforce activity tracker, and has only recovered about half of those as of September. As holiday-induced urgency to hire workers drives corporate retailers to raise the bar on benefits and incentives offered to frontline employees, it’s difficult to brand these new employee-centric recruitment strategies as anything but positive. Related story: Retail’s Labor Crisis: How Can Everyone Win? New Benefits Offered to Frontline Retail Associates Take the Industry in a New Direction Good intentions have always been present, but until now, many at the corporate level didn’t necessarily have to act on those intentions. However, with no end to the labor squeeze in sight — and with holiday sales and customer satisfaction riding on retailers’ ability to staff the floor — it’s no wonder we’ve seen a dramatic shift in thinking among corporate retailers catering to frontline associates. New research from UKG finds 70...
“If you missed the recent ‘5 Things You Need To Know Before Black Friday’ webinar, the BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion at Surf Expo or either of the other two 2021 BRA quarterly webinars, you can view them all right here at no cost” by BRA + Management One

“If you missed the recent ‘5 Things You Need To Know Before Black Friday’ webinar, the BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion at Surf Expo or either of the other two 2021 BRA quarterly webinars, you can view them all right here at no cost” by BRA + Management One

Once per Quarter, Board Retailers Association hosts relevant and helpful webinars on a variety of topics in collaboration with BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One. You can view all four of these excellent collaborative quarterly webinars below. “5 Things You Need To Know Before Black Friday” (4th Quarter 2021 Collaborative BRA + M1 Webinar) As we begin to plan for 2022, retailers need to focus NOW on key areas in their business to set the stage for success through the holidays and into next year.  Without a doubt, the holiday season will be quite different than last year for both retailers and consumers, so how can you prepare for the unknown? From year-end tax strategies to digital marketing and supply chain moves, retailers will have their hands full in Q4 trying to navigate the challenges. It can be easy to lose sight of what is MOST important and impactful before the new year begins. Our live Q&A includes Paul Erickson of Management One and Doug Works of BRA speaking with Jeff Plattman of CohnReznick, one of the nation’s largest accounting, tax and business advisory firms, to get an informed perspective on how successful retailers need to plan their year-end to be set up for 2022. Push play to view this important 4th Quarter collaborative BRA + M1 webinar “BRA Retailer Roundtable Panel Discussion at Surf Expo – Sept. 2021” (3rd Quarter 2021 Collaborative BRA + M1 Webinar) Concerns about the delta variant contributed to store traffic declines in July, combined with some signs that consumer confidence is wavering. The outlook for business in Q4 is nowhere near certain. In this Board...