Relief for 4 Pain Points in Retail Operations

Do you, the retailer, suffer from chronic pain? Organizational, operational and systemic pain? This pain hurts your sales, increases your costs and damages your brand. It hurts you financially, slows you down operationally, puts your business at risk. Do you need relief?  Read on. Pain point #1: Relying on “theory”. Theory is what head office … Continue reading Relief for 4 Pain Points in Retail Operations

Why the 4th Quarter is Critical to Retail

The 4th quarter is, unsurprisingly, the biggest quarter for retail sales in the United States.  As such, the 4th quarter is not only important to a retailer’s bottom line, it is critical.  The months between October and December, aka “the holiday season”, include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. In the 4th quarter, customers not … Continue reading Why the 4th Quarter is Critical to Retail

10 Reasons Why Retailers Use Store Audit Software

We couldn’t think of one reason why retailers, particularly franchise-based retailers, use (or ought to use) store audit software, we thought of ten. 1. Your customers and employees’ health and safety When serving customers, compliance with standards and regulations is not simply a matter of building a positive customer experience; your customers and employees’ health … Continue reading 10 Reasons Why Retailers Use Store Audit Software

Retail Audit Lexicon

Why a retail audit lexicon? Many industries and occupations have their own vocabulary to describe the various facets and nuances of their trade. Retail audits (also called store walks or store inspections) are no exception. Since we could not find a suitable lexicon for retail audit terms, we built one. This lexicon is based on … Continue reading Retail Audit Lexicon

Managing Retail Audit Expectations & Dealing With a Low Score

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 action plan suggest?  It … Continue reading Managing Retail Audit Expectations & Dealing With a Low Score

The Mighty 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 The Mighty Action Plan

Retail Audit Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

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 Calibration – Purpose and Best Practices

People vs. Forms – Retail Performance Requires Both

Structured form data and the district manager's own experience and personal touch (aka heuristics) are sometimes presented as alternative methodologies for the purpose of retail audits.  Structured data consists of largely yes/no answers to mostly static questions on a form.  When a district manager fill-out a form that rates the store against the brand's standards and … Continue reading People vs. Forms – Retail Performance Requires Both

Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

On this blog, we often argue that retail audits drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and mitigate risks in multi-unit retail.  But how exactly will retail audits benefit you?  Here are some of the benefits you might expect from retail audits, grouped by role. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Killer Bees, Beer and Break-ins: The District Manager Diaries

Being a service provider to the retail industry, servicing primarily district managers and operations executives, we make it our business to know our users, understand how they work and what they go through everyday. Here is what we have learned: being a proficient district or regional manager is no easy feat, it requires multi-disciplinary skills and … Continue reading Killer Bees, Beer and Break-ins: The District Manager Diaries

Are you Still Doing Retail Audits on Paper?

Paper is arguably an easy target. We are still waiting for the paper-less office that was promised decades ago. In the last 20 years, technology has enabled an exponential growth in communications and with it, the amount of information that eventually gets printed. Realizing it's an easy target, we do not want to attack paper … Continue reading Are you Still Doing Retail Audits on Paper?

Mystery Shopping vs. Retail Audit

District manager-led audits focus on the process A mystery shopping program and district manager audits ultimately address different needs and have vastly different outcomes. A district manager audit essentially amounts to “quality assurance”.   Using retail audit software, the district manager follows a compliance process that is regular and actionable.  The visit is meant to be educational … Continue reading Mystery Shopping vs. Retail Audit