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

Dear retailer, chances are you suffer from chronic pain. The sort of pain that hurts sales, increases costs and damages the brand. It hurts financially, it slows down operations, it 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 … 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

Dealing With a Low Score

Scoring a store's compliance with brand standards can elicit emotionally-charged reactions. 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, notes and action plan suggest? … Continue reading Dealing With a Low Score

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

Calibrating Checklists and Teams

At the heart of any successful retail audit program lies a well thought-out, field-tested and "calibrated" checklist. Let's dive in on what "calibration" means and why it is important. A checklist is a collection of brand standards and best practices. What goes on the checklist is a reflection of what matters to the brand (strategic … Continue reading Calibrating Checklists and Teams

Do You Need Experienced District Managers or Checklists?

So you want to check brand standards across your business, to all franchisees and locations. What do you do? Do you rely on your district managers, their experience and personal touch or do you deploy checklists for all to follow? Maybe the answer is not so black and white. Let's dive in. Checklists largely consist … Continue reading Do You Need Experienced 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. Increase … Continue reading Who Benefits from Retail Audits?

Still Using Excel Checklists? (Ouch)

On the surface, Excel and (gasp!) paper, are easy targets. While society has largely gone paper-less, multi-unit operators now collect more data-points about their locations than ever before. The following scenario is not uncommon. An Excel, Word or PDF template is distributed and filled-out at store level. Is Excel the best tool to collect, action … Continue reading Still Using Excel Checklists? (Ouch)

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 process that is regular and actionable. The visit is meant to be educational … Continue reading Mystery Shopping vs. Retail Audit