Friday, June 15, 2012

When and What to Change

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender challenged me and a whole bunch of other toy store owners to change 10% of our store each and every year.  The premise being that what you do that is special today will seem ordinary and expected tomorrow.

The famous gymnast Mary Lou Retton tells the same thing.  What wins Olympic Gold this year will be the compulsory routine at the next Olympics.

But what do you change and when?

Let's start with what not to change.  Don't change your Core Values, your Character Diamond.   Not.    Ever.

But everything else is fair game.

Product
You should be changing your product by at least 10% each year.  Did you know that Mattel changes over 75% of its Barbie lineup every year?  A classic toy like Barbie goes through a major makeover every single year.  Look for new items that compliment your mix, too, not just the latest version of last year's commodity.  Look for the latest and greatest on-the-edge products that fit within your Character Diamond.  You are the indie retailer.  People expect cutting edge from you.  Don't disappoint them.

Services
Raise the bar!  Those special services you started offering a few years ago are now part of the expectation.  If you want to WOW your customers you have to go above and beyond their expectations.  Do things unexpected and wonderful.

Merchandising
Move things around.  Shake things up.  I know a store that paints one wall a new color every quarter and then merchandises that wall to match the color.  You think people notice?  Of course they do!  Take down every sign that has been up more than a year.  No one is reading it any more.  Make new signs to replace the worn and faded ones.  Change your window displays regularly.  Make them fascinatingly attractive.

Staff Training
I have more ideas on that than worth writing in this blog.  Download my free eBook Staff Meetings Everyone Wants to Attend and you should get enough ideas to change way more than 10%.

There are plenty of ways to make changes for the better.  After a little thought, I'm not sure 10% is enough.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS  Not sure that change is necessary?  Ask yourself what is different about the way you do retail compared to ten years ago?  A whole lot has changed around you.  Change with the times or they will pass you by.

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