If in Doubt, Go Back to Basics

If in Doubt, Go Back to Basics

My wife and I spent some time in a store of a well-known brand.  My wife found two dresses that she really liked.  The store stock included the two sizes she normally buys, but neither size fitted.  A very helpful salesperson ordered both dresses online for free home delivery.  I chatted to the salesperson, helping my wife.  She said when she buys the brand, she can go up or down two sizes to get the right fit.  A great brand with great designs and well-made products, but hopeless size management.  The store delivered our order and we can return it free if it still doesn’t fit.

A retailer called Pretty Little Things was in the news this week.  They have been writing to customers closing their accounts because of their volume of returns.  Indignant shoppers told the press and news media that they have to order several different sizes because the company’s size management is so poor.

Poor size management and on shelf availability are two of the very important basics to get right, before you try to get clever with technological advances.  

Omni-channel operations allows retailers to claw some of these lost sales back, by delivering warehouse stock to the customer’s home, or to the local store for collection.  Either alternative adds cost that would not have been there if the store stock and manufacturing was managed better.  

So my plea for this week, whether you are a retailer or a supplier, is to get the basics right first before you try to do the clever stuff. 

You can read a longer version of this minute with more detailed insight at Retail and Consumer Goods Industry WIKI and EPSS, if you or your company have a licence.

Posted by Brian Hume
28th June 2024

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