Retail risk in Covid and post-Covid times - scoring an own goal [Part 2]

Ben Jansen van Rensburg, director of Neo Retail Solutions, continues his analogy of retail performance management versus sports management - in essence, what retailers need to do to survive the economic melt-down due to the pandemic.

In 2012 a Harvard Business School (HBS) professor, Anita Elberse, took up a unique opportunity to examine the management style and principles of Sir Alex Ferguson (also known as ‘the Gaffer’), previously manager of Manchester United, and arguably one of the most successful in the history of the game. She noted that “success and staying power like Sir Alex Ferguson’s demand study, and not just by football fans. How did he do it? Can one identify habits that enabled his success and principles that guided it?”

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Retail risk in Covid and post-Covid times - scoring an own goal [Part 1]

Ben Jansen van Rensburg, director at Neo Retail Solutions, shines a spotlight on what the real issues are for retailers during the pandemic and reveals what they should be focusing on if they are to survive.

I think few would argue that retail in normal times is an extremely challenging and competitive arena. But in Covid times the reality is that the sector is predicted to take the biggest hit as the full commercial impact of lockdown decisions is revealed. Investec Property Fund notes this is a global trend, with retailers facing the biggest business impact of the pandemic. South Africa will not prove to be immune to this world shift.

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Argility expands with investment in Neo Retail Solutions

The Argility Technology Group (ATG) has announced a strategic investment in Neo Retail Solutions, a company that specialises in the development; design and build, plus marketing, of automated retail technology solutions. This is the enterprise software solutions group’s sixth investment in just over two years. Neo develops smart, integrated selling platforms for high risk Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) such as: medication; baby formula; batteries; shaving and tobacco products. Due to theft, many retailers cannot put these items onto their shelves. Neo Retail Solutions enables retailers to physically manage high value categories in real-time, via a cloud platform, thereby eliminating losses.

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Good Service = Disruptive, really ?

Most stores offer deeply impersonal shopping experiences as their default setting. Thriving stores that combine world-class personalized experiences and cutting edge entertaining tech will find that a disproportionate amount of trade will come their way. The irony is that good service will be labelled as disruptive.
From Linked In Post - Ben Jansen van Rensburg


Why no Priority Check Out ?

Why are shoppers that spend thousands at a grocery store made to stand in long queues but Mr 10 items or less gets a priority check-in? It makes no sense. Retailers need to rethink loyalty. Giving customers the VIP treatment is more effective than discounts when it comes to establishing customer loyalty, says a Massey University consumer behaviour specialist. Associate Professor Valentyna Melnyk studied almost 10,000 consumers and their attitudes to the various customer loyalty programmes they were members of. She found the most effective schemes gave customers preferential treatment like special cardholders' days. "One of the most intriguing findings of the research was that a simple, non-monetary differentiation between members and non-members was a more powerful tool in creating customer loyalty than offering higher discounts," Dr Melnyk says.
From Linked In Post - Ben Jansen van Rensburg


The Tobacco Kiosk is not for Health and Beauty product

If you want to know what the owner is having trouble with then go and have a look at the kiosk. Baby formula next to condoms, pregnancy testing kits, and cigarettes. Ok, what about shaving blades and batteries next to hair colour kits? Cologne and headache tablets next to shoe polish? These are products that belong to extremely profitable categories such as health and beauty, pharmaceuticals, men’s grooming, and sexual wellbeing. Now think of some of the multinationals behind these products. Reckitt Benkiser, Procter&Gamble, Beiersdorf, Adcock Ingram, Duracell, Unilever, and others. The truth is it is very little they can do to change a retailer's behavior if it is his money invested in the stock.
From Linked In Post - Ben Jansen van Rensburg


Speed Shop = No Staff to engage with

Nike’s Speed Shop
In 2018, Nike opened a flagship store in New York City called the ‘Nike House of Innovation 000’. Alongside customisation studios and instant checkout points, a stand-out feature of the six-floor studio is the ‘Speed Shop’. This allows customers to reserve shoes online to try on in-store. More specifically, customers can arrive (through a dedicated entrance) to find a locker with their name on, which can then be unlocked via their smartphone. Mobile check-out is also available, meaning customers do not even need to speak to anyone (let alone stand in a queue) if they want to buy the shoes in question. The ultimate in convenience shopping.
By Nikki Gilliland  January 23rd 2019