On this blog, we focus on retail best-practices and store execution. Our mission is to help retailers execute better as well as identify and correct issues that cause loss of goodwill and loss of revenue. A top 10 list of retail failures is relevant to the scope of our blog and our audience and we can say this without feeling boastful because…we did not come up with it, Christopher Fifelski did!

Chris recently posted this list to the District Managers and Retail Operations group on LinkedIn, a Compliantia-moderated professional group with over 34,000 members. With his permission, and a good deal of gratitude on our part, we are cross-posting Chris’ list on our blog. We are also grateful to other professionals who have contributed to the discussion, including Adele Bevan, Lila Paradise, Thomas Braemer, Ron Haines, Steven Ward, Heather Van Schoick and Dale K. Lane. Contributions like these remind us that that there is no substitute for experience and that success in the retail space does not happen by chance, it is earned through vision coupled with consistent and purposeful execution.

Top ten operational failures that hurt a retailer’s image and sales

10. Broken / dirty shopping carts and baskets.
9. Products with dust or mold on the package.
8. Associates smoking at the main store entrance.
7. Missing or incorrect price labels or ad signs.
6. Products incorrectly merchandised or incorrectly placed.
5. Broken displays or damaged merchandise on the shelf.
4. Hot advertised products that are out-of-stock.
3. Rude cashiers dressed inappropriately.
2. Broken down or slow registers or other technology failures.
1. Managers who fail to engage with their customers and associates.

And a few bonus “failures”…

1. Background music blasting. – Adele Bevan
2. Messy bathrooms and broken water fountains. – Adele Bevan
3. Sign and parking lot light timers not set correctly leaving a dark lot. – Lila Paradise
4. Winter snow. After the lot is plowed, there needs to be pathways shoveled to get in the front door without climbing over a snow mountain. Entry ways shovelled and salted. – Lila Paradise
5. Insufficient or poor scheduling/staffing. – Ron Haines
6. Stock issues. – Ron Haines
7. Poor or inadequate showroom floor lighting. – Steven Ward
8. Dead flies on the window sills, dirty windows & cobwebs. – Steven Ward
9. Staff that does greet each customer with a smile. – Steven Ward

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