4 Pain Points of Retail Operations (and Ways to Relieve Pain)

Do you suffer from chronic "field pain? This sort of pain hurts sales, increases costs and damages the brand. This pain hurts financially, slows down operations and puts the business at risk. Do you need relief? Read on. THE pAIN OF Relying on “theory”. Theory is what head office envisions, in terms of merchandising initiatives … Continue reading 4 Pain Points of Retail Operations (and Ways to Relieve Pain)

Why the 4th Quarter is Critical to Retail

The 4th quarter is essential to a retailer’s bottom line. It is the biggest quarter for retail sales in the United States. The biggest quarter for retail sales The months between October and December are commonly known as “the holiday season”. They include consumer-spending holidays and celebrations such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas. … Continue reading Why the 4th Quarter is Critical to Retail

10 Reasons Why Retailers Need 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 Need Store Audit Software

Lexicon for Retail Audits and Brand Standards

Why a lexicon? Many industries 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 our interactions with retailers … Continue reading Lexicon for Retail Audits and Brand Standards

Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity

Scoring a store against brand standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions by the franchisee or store manager. Most operators/franchisees take pride in their work and can struggle with a disappointing visit score and district manager guidance. Was the district manager too harsh or unfair? Is my store really lacking in certain areas as the visit's score, … Continue reading Don’t Sweat the Score, Seize the Opportunity

The Mighty Action Plan

What is an action plan? When the district manager walks a store/location, she is bound to find issues. Even the best and most diligent operators make mistakes occasionally. Brand standards exist for a reason: they protect the brand and make locations more inviting to guests and more profitable. The action plan is an opportunity to … Continue reading The Mighty Action Plan

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Calibrating Checklists and Teams

In a retail and hospitality environment, a checklist is a collection of brand standards and best practices. What goes on the checklist reflects what matters to the brand (strategic initiatives, seasonal programs, etc…), what the brand is required to do (laws and regulations, health and safety, etc…) and what it aspires to be, operationally and … Continue reading Calibrating Checklists and Teams

District Managers or Checklists?

Let's say you need to check brand standards across your business, for all franchisees and locations. How do you do that? Do you rely on district managers, their experience and personal touch or do you deploy checklists for all to fill-out? Checklists largely consist of yes/no answers to standard questions. When a district manager fill-out … Continue reading District Managers or Checklists?

Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Sure, 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. Head Office Lower total cost of ownership than Excel™ and paper-based visits. Home-grown solutions are often lacking and needlessly expensive to … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Still Using Excel for Brand Standards? (Ouch)

When we went paper less, we all assumed we'd magically become more efficient. Whiz-bang, look at us saving data! However, you can be just as inefficient with technology as you can without. Capturing data electronically does not, in and of itself, make it efficient. To make matters worse, multi-unit operators now collect more data about … Continue reading Still Using Excel for Brand Standards? (Ouch)

Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits

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 process that is regular and actionable. The visit is meant to be educational … Continue reading Mystery Shoppers vs. District Manager-Led Audits