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

Ten Ways to Improve Store Execution

In-store execution is known to drive sales and cut costs.  But for these and other known merits of execution, how do you actually achieve it? 1. Seek clarity Define and describe standards clearly and unequivocally.  This point seems obvious but is often overlooked by overly succinct, sometime cryptic, copy used to define operational standards. The description … Continue reading Ten Ways to Improve Store Execution

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?

How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

Not every retailer is aware there are highly efficient, largely automated systems for handing retail audits (also known as store visits and store walks) today.  Some organizations have devised their own process, typically a "checklist" of some sort, usually in Excel.  It is not very efficient but it does the job and appears to be … Continue reading How Much do Retail Audits Cost?

Why Your Next Store Walk Should be on a Tablet

Sure tablets are all the rage but are they suited to the demands of retail?  Can they handle back-office activities like store walks and retail audits? The answer is far from obvious.  The field is a notoriously demanding environment for portable devices.  Poor light conditions, interruptions and the need to support data entry while the … Continue reading Why Your Next Store Walk Should be on a Tablet

Great Sandwich. Lousy Washrooms.

I have a bone to pick with some of my favorite QSR brands.  It’s not the menu.  It’s not the service.  It’s not the seating, the parking lot nor the drive-thru.  Quick service restaurants have obviously poured money, systems and processes in key areas and it shows.  But when nature calls, or when I want … Continue reading Great Sandwich. Lousy Washrooms.

When Brand Ambassadors Hurt the Brand

At a recent focus group, a participant's comments really caught our attention. The participant, a professional woman in her late 30's, told us she stopped going to Brand "X" restaurants (we never disclose customer or brand names) because her local Brand "X" location was under new management and standards had gone down. From a brand … Continue reading When Brand Ambassadors Hurt the Brand