The Retailer Spring Edition 2022

SPR I NG 202 2

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power of your local store teams.” ‘‘

It’s time to stop thinking of your head office as the powerhouse of your business. Instead, focus on the potent, untapped

People first, technology second. This mindset shift is a human revolution, not a technical one. It feels like a return to the golden age of retail, where sales assistants knew the tastes of their VIP clients inside-out, you’d be right. Technology is vital, but only as a tool to bring those timeless human values right into the heart of your brand. Unleashing the power of local means three things. It means training – sometimes almost ‘untraining’ - teams who have been encouraged to escalate upwards consistently. Recruit people who want to connect with people and empower them to bring local context, connections and problem solving into their roles. If the balance of power in your organisation leans into head office teams, how can you change that? Instead of information, issues and energy flowing upwards, how can you spread it outwards across every store in your network? This might involve cultural change, but the effort will be worth it. Secondly, it means investing in the right solution, one that’s been specifically developed for physical outlets. Your store teams need to be able to connect with customers and make autonomous decisions that drive change.

Thirdly, it’s about an imaginative, creative and exciting re-imaging ofwhat a local store can be. Let your store teams tell you what they think will work for their customers. Getting more involved in the local community, developing a fulfilment space for online orders and building more of a social hub for local customers. Whatever it may be, it will transform your relationship with customers, driving huge amounts of loyalty and engagement (from staff and customers). Yes, the newnormal might be just as tough as the old one. But by unleash ing the power of local, your brand could be on the cusp of something exceptional – a new golden age of retail. Like the old normal, only better.

Nicolas Hammer

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