06 Apr 2017

Traditional retail skills still relevant

In today’s rapidly changing retail environment, old retail skills such as merchandising, buying and display are as important as they always have been, said leaders at the World Retail Congress today.

Peter King, CEO of Magasin du Nord, said: “Operation skills transfer to the omni-channel environment and retailers should build on that skill base. It’s still about understanding the customer, understanding the product the customer wants and projecting that, either in store or by e-commerce.

“That doesn’t matter if it’s in a different environment. The age-old story of positioning product still applies: if it’s raining, you move the umbrellas to the front of the store. When merchandising websites and landing pages, the theories are exactly the same. It’s about people, product and expectation.”

Technology is also helping retailers build on these fundamental skills. Charles Brown, president of The Source, Canada’s largest consumer electronics and mobile retailer, said: “The planogram is not a guideline, it’s a rough estimate and then you should let the teams in-store make decisions. Product is still the key star but now we have far more data that we can use to tune up stores and websites to optimise the customer experience.”

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