The planning act

In Industry News On

The consumer and trade press are full of assessments of 2007 and predictions of tough times ahead. There is also plenty of advice on how to start doing things better or differently. Although many people detest New Year resolutions deriding their short term staying power, it is worth making an assessment of what went well – despite tough trading conditions – and what can be learnt from past mistakes. Like before major battles of ancient times – it could be crucial to review the weaponry at our disposal, their past effectiveness and the new ways of using them to the best advantage.
“Plans are useless. The act of planning is invaluable,” claimed Napoleon. The process of planning – retail strategies in your case – brings out many facts and forgotten experiences which are worth reviewing again. Involve your staff in this process; they constantly deal with the customers who often volunteer advice and make comparisons – even between different retail environments. You’ll be amazed what inputs this process may produce for your 2008 strategy.
I would also like to suggest an idea which may benefit the indies. It comes from Barry Street who in his Service Matters column (see page 42) suggests that the industry (maybe retra?) should start lobbying for UK or European legislation to ban from Britain rogue, ‘flash-in-a-pan’ manufacturers which flood the market with cheap  (and nasty) products without a proper back-up service – to the detriment of all parties involved. Please let me (or Barry) know your views on this.
Anna Ryland, Editor

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