Success factors

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Publishing Reviews from the Top at the beginning of the new trading year is a good opportunity for a reflection on what constitutes success in our industry – the real success, regardless of the size of a company. 
The recent debate on how retailers can survive and prosper in a downturn by the KPMG/SPSL Retail Think Tank has provided a great deal of interesting observations. First, the retail analysts concluded that the single most important element of successful retailing is knowing and understanding target customers and how they perceive the retailers. There is nothing new in this you may say. Yet, what have really changed are the customers themselves. They are not only ‘greener’, and possibly older, but also less loyal in the face of tremendous choice. However, they are still responsive to special treatment, respecting their individual needs. Time, or lack or it is a key factor now. “Time is the new money” and everything which saves it is valued, including convenient opening times, easy navigation around the store and help with understanding and operating products.
The second key success factor, according to the experts, which I would like to mention here, is the delivery proposition that incorporates product, environment, price/value and service offer. It is also an ability to build the ’emotional connection’ with the customer – affinity and trust, leading to regular patronage. It is, therefore, worth finding out what exactly your customers want and then having sourced it, adjust the price to match the perceived value of that product or service. What could be simpler than this?
Anna Ryland, Editor

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