“Retail Audit Best Practice” Series – Table of Contents

Welcome to the table of contents for the “Retail Audit Best Practice” series.  You may click on the title of a best practice below or view all retail audit best practices. 1. Training is Necessary but not Sufficient. Find out why a training program is necessary but not sufficient. #1: Training Is Necessary but not Sufficient 2. … Continue reading “Retail Audit Best Practice” Series – Table of Contents

Retail Audit Best Practice #9: Perfection is Elusive, Seize the Opportunity

Scoring a store’s compliance with operational, merchandising and service standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions. Most operators/franchisees take pride in their work and can struggle with a disappointing audit score and district manager guidance. Was the district manager too harsh or unfair? Is my store really lacking in certain areas as the audit’s score, notes and … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #9: Perfection is Elusive, Seize the Opportunity

Retail Audit Best Practice #8: Start Small, Calibrate, Scale Fast

At the heart of any successful retail audit program lies a well thought-out, field-tested form.  A form is a collection of operating standards and best practices.  What goes on the form is a reflection of what matters to the brand at a given point in time (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what it is required … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #8: Start Small, Calibrate, Scale Fast

Retail Audit Best Practice #7: Store Execution is a Core Competency. Do not Outsource It.

Mystery shopping vs. retail audits A mystery shopping program and District Manager-led store audits address different needs and have vastly different outcomes.   A District Manager’s audit essentially amounts to “quality assurance”.   Provided the District Manager is equipped with the right tools, she will follow a compliance process that is regular, unequivocal and actionable.  The … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #7: Store Execution is a Core Competency. Do not Outsource It.

Retail Audit Best Practice #6: Say No to Paper, Excel and Email. Automate!

Retailers who do monitor store compliance with standards sometimes rely on paper, a process that is slow, error-prone, labor-intensive, requires shipping and storage and often deprives the organization of the analytics it needs to make informed business decisions. While tracking compliance on paper is arguably better than not tracking it at all, retail audit software can … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #6: Say No to Paper, Excel and Email. Automate!

Retail Audit Best Practice #5: Close the Loop with the Action Plan

What is an action plan? The action plan is an opportunity to apply corrective actions to problem areas. It designates an individual responsible for rectifying each problem (anything deemed substandard or non-compliant by the district manager during the audit) and a target date for resolution. By doing this, the action plan fosters ownership and accountability … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #5: Close the Loop with the Action Plan

Retail Audit Best Practice #4: Engage the Store

Retail audits engage owners/franchisees by continually reinforcing organizational standards and best practices.  An audit is not a passive activity.  It actively engages the store owner or franchisee to continually improve the store according to best practices.  Describe each standard, attach a photo, assign each deficiency to somebody for resolution and engage your audience by showing them … Continue reading Retail Audit Best Practice #4: Engage the Store