Posts Tagged ‘Retail’

The simple answer is you don’t.

Imagine the following retail scenario. You discover beautiful piece of furniture only to find that it is a “one of a kind”. You discover where you can order one only to find out that it could take 4 to 6 months to receive your order. So, how does this retailer manage to survive in the age of free two day shipping? Salt Creek Farmhouse is an example of a vertical furniture retail shop that has found ways to develop customer relationships to thrive in an omnichannel world. Retail survival requires transformation to new paradigms. Lesson 1 starts with focusing on doing what the giants are not doing.


And what are they doing right?

An extract (lightly edited for brevity) from Chris Peterson’s take on SCF’s success story interspersed with an occasional comment from me within <..>:

 Five lessons from Salt Creek Farmhouse

  1. Telling your story is as important as the products you sell

In the age of mass merchants, much of retail lost its “soul”. Stores merely became places to sell products. SCF is a small business and retail shop with a great story that creates a unique brand identity and differentiation for their products <though “Our Story” could do with more romance in there, I thought>

  1. Engage your customers to help tell your story

Far too many retailers use social media as another way to advertise products and promote sales. One of the most powerful aspects of visual social media like Instagram the new word-of-mouth   is having customers posting photos of how they are using products in their homes…To quote SCF’s Instagram page: “Lovely pieces should come with a lovely story.

  1. When you can’t compete on price, compete on value and personalization

…SCF competes on quality art and workmanship that people still value. They also create personal relevance by designing things for customers, and pieces that you cannot purchase everywhere…<Just imagine what a draw these pieces would be in your rooms>

  1. Know your customers and go where they are shopping

For SCF’s products that would get lost and never be found in the millions of SKUs of an retail giant, Etsy was a perfect digital place in the company of other similar artisan style stores therein…core customers could organically search for products like theirs on Etsy. It is more important to be where your customers are, than to be on sites or in stores with the most traffic.

       5. Lack of inventory can be managed as an asset

…SCF literally carries almost no inventory. In order to sell pieces as they build them, they focus on other value propositions of customization and exclusivity as opposed to the old paradigm of “mass merchandising”. It also requires developing an intimate relationship with customers who appreciate quality and service beyond the expected and are quite willing to wait for months to get what they want!…




Source: Chris’s article appears here.



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These are some interesting jottings, edited for brevity, made by Robert Lewis attending a recent SAP’s Retail Executive Forum held in New York (see below for a short profile of RL). Noteworthy is SAP’s robust confidence and optimism in its products and solutions enabling the woebegone Retail face today’s challenges to a ‘T’ more than ever before. Occasional comments amplifying the point being made are included in italics.


During the Forum, SAP successfully provided a new storyline for the future of retail <instead of shying away from a segment finding itself in shambles>. First, they transformed the popular negative narrative of chaos, disruption, and apocalypse to a “new normal” which they anointed the “retail renaissance.” As Matt Laukaitis, SVP and General Manager, SAP Retail NA said, “Let’s forget the doom and gloom. We’re here to share what works – the strategies for how you can adapt, lead, and thrive – and drive your own success.” <All is not lost, SAP assures and proceeds to talk about what it brings to the table for its customer’s success!>

Second, they provided a major learning experience of the positive significance of the technology revolution <and this is the key to its success>. SAP’s comprehensive understanding, among other things, of the multitude of value chains, from product and service creation, all the way through consumption <its core technology> may be used effectively to assess each customer’s desire and ultimately end with the perfect delivery of these individualized wants and needs through technology in all of its various formatsYes, I know this sounds like stating the obvious, but the obvious becomes brilliant when successfully implemented. And there were many examples of how to achieve such success <these reassuring stories lend credence to its claims>.


<Importantly, on the way forward> Other keynotes by SAP executives and industry leaders were insightful about the new generation of consumers who are defining a whole new socioeconomic culture, totally reassessing value and values. The next gen is essentially redefining what value is beyond price. And it’s not just about new products, services or experiences. It’s about what you stand for. How you conduct business. Why you matter. And how you are helping to make the world better. “While winning retailers have always known the importance of putting the customer first, those who evolve to holistically combine a customer centric approach with authentic branded promise across social, value, (and social value), experience, and ethics, are those who are succeeding at a greater rate now and truly defining the future “says Laukaitis.



Source: therobinreport.com/author/rlewis/

About Robin Lewis: Founder and CEO of The Robin Report. An author, speaker, and consultant for the retail and consumer products industries. Co-authored the book: “The New Rules of Retail.” As a VP at Goldman Sachs, he launched a retail consulting practice. Prior to this, he was an EVP and Executive Editor at WWD, and a VP of Strategy and Business Development at the VF Corporation. He is frequently requested by C-level management for advice, consultation and strategic presentations by many marquee retailers and financial firms. And, often quoted in all of the major print and broadcast media.

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schwarzwaelder-bote.de  mom and pop

An old French lady had a small shop in her village for years, until one day a huge corporate supermarket set up across the road from her little shop.

They put up signs advertising their prices, including one that said: Butter – 10 francs.

In response, the lady added a sign to her own window: Butter – 9 francs.

The next day, the big supermarket had a new sign: Butter – 8 francs.

Sure enough, the day after the lady’s sign now read: Butter – 7 francs.

This went on for a while, until eventually one of the lady’s customers pointed to the sign and said, “Madame, you cannot keep your prices so low for long. These big companies can use their buying power to sell products cheaper, but a little store like yours can never compete.”

In response, the old lady bent forward conspiratorially and muttered, “Monsieur, I don’t even sell butter.”

“Aren’t you lying then, Madame, when your sign prices butter?”

“Mmmm…may be. But they thank me heartily when I direct them to cheaper prices across the street.”





Source: Santabanta.com and image from schwarzwaelder-bote.de

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