Expect the Unexpected

Brexit, Trump, the general election…. today’s retailers are having to deal with a fair amount of instability. So how do you best plan for the unexpected? One way is to make sure you monitor your KPIs and plan a range of cost scenarios - look out for our great new retail benchmarking tool coming soon to help you do just that! In the meantime, here are a few more ideas for planning ahead.

The key is to know when business is going to fall off a bit and plan. Use the time to prepare for the next season, develop new products, try out new ideas. Planning for quiet times, even if you don’t yet foresee any, is a key building block for retail resilience.

Customers are keen on new products, but the buying cycle is rather long: notice - keep watching and checking back - trial buy - repeat buy. Keep your product range fresh to keep your existing customers coming back, you may rely on them more in a challenging climate. It’s much cheaper to retain those who have bought with you before, than to have to continually replace them.

Understanding how the buying cycle works in your own business is essential if there might be downturns. Try your best to plan in time for new ranges to start becoming profitable and plan in a range of possible cost scenarios based on exchange rate fluctuations.

Really push your unique offering, and make it clear to consumers why what they buy from you will be special. People choose more carefully where to spend money, when they have less of it.

Don’t buy based on personal preference, choose what you know your customer will value enough to part with cash for. Go to the trade shows with a careful plan and a good understanding of your best-sellers - and where better to start than #ACE2018 on 1-2 March in Brighton - the only trade show designed specifically for the cultural retail sector.

The end result is or should be an efficient business based on reliable product offerings that will weather any storms. Want to know more? Read the full article here.

How are the UK’s political changes affecting you? Why not share your views in the ACE members LinkedIn group.