New store openings are always a real milestone in any companies history. Certainly from a customer perspective, and those that work within the store, they are a highlight in their calendars. “The birth” of a new store requires the collective teamwork and effort of many people and departments, both within and outside the organisation. The co-ordination and planning process behind these retail feats defines not only a successful launch but also the associated costs. Its also sets the operational and performance trajectory for many months to come. Getting this critical and costly exercise right is essential for all, the business, the employees and the customers.
Store Opening Efficiency.
We all recognise that it is essential the new store opens on time for the customers, and that their expectations are exceeded from their first visit. It is also important that the store opening programme is efficient and effective. The Sigma retail team have spent years reviewing and revising such programmes to maximise efficiency and quality. From pre-opening preparations, recruitment and training, the logistics of delivering fixturing and stock to the final merchandising of the store. Our focus is simple, getting this right first time is the only option. Needing to be delivered on time, on budget whilst also giving new team members a positive memorable experience.
Customers first impressions of your new store really do matter.
Getting your store opening programme as efficient and effective for any expanding business should be a core objective with very clear benefits:
♦ Controlling business costs and maximising value – in some cases, programme efficiency can be increased by as much as 50%.
♦ Improving store opening standards and quality – clearly, this has a direct impact on initial sales and that critical first customers experience.
♦ Increasing store opening capacity – whether you are looking to open the stores faster or open a greater number of stores with the same resource.
♦Creating a better experience – for those involved in the process, whilst challenging should be memorable for all the right reasons.
♦ Maximising sales – Perhaps obvious for the initial opening days, however over the coming weeks as the branch operation and replenishment systems kick in they all benefit from a good opening resulting in a positive impact on sales and customers for months to come.
Logistics and Management.
New store openings are a true feat of management and complex logistics, working together to a very tight and often immovable delivery deadline. To really understand the process we break this down into simple topline phases. Firstly a Pre-opening phase; where basically the planning and preparations are carried setting up the operational programme. Then moving on to an Opening phase; traditionally starting when the merchandising teams take over from the property department and the merchandising and store operational build is underway. This is often the first time new staff have been on-site and this involves the store management and a combination of other departments simultaneously working together. Usually to conclude the day prior to opening, a deadline not to be missed. On the day of opening, even prior to letting in the first customers the Post Opening phase;commences, dependant upon many factors this can go on for several weeks, combined with any awareness programmes for the new store. Finally a Review Phase; the objective clearly outlined in the title.
Retail is Detail, particularly when reviewing store opening programmes.
Process and Management Improvement.
Store opening programmes look complex, however to the experienced eye they simply are a multi-layered logistics process. We can help you review your current store opening programmes large or small, specifically looking to improve efficiency and delivery. We have the skills and experience to look at the overall process initially in its component stages looking for major process innovation or large structural changes to the programme. We also have the resources required to carry out the detailed review resulting in those final detailed proposals and suggestions to reduce costs and deliver a better outcome. When it comes to trials and implementation we will be right there alongside to make sure all goes to plan and of course to ensure a better experience for those involved.
Give us a call to find out more about how we can help you.
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