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09/01/2015

Stores, Like Candidates, Strive to Shine

They all want to portray unique qualities for best-in-class leadership practices. In varying degrees, the candidates espouse consistent performance, trustworthiness, flexibility, and knowledge of and service for their constituencies' needs.

This year's Leading Retailers have the same goals in mind. The key point is, every high-profile entity must stand out in an immediately intuitive way to garner the most votes, or to achieve the greatest growth. So, with those thoughts in mind, look at this issue and see if you agree with our editors' picks for the 2016 Leading Retailers.

Talking about best practices, I attended an outstanding, high-level strategy and planning meeting conducted by the Category Management Association to completely revise and update the category management process that has been universally used during the past 25 years.

Led by category management expert Gordon Wade, the objective is to comprehensively improve the 1.0 program to a 2.0 enhancement. The primary objective is to incorporate all of the modern advancements of process, data and technology tools into CatMan 2.0.

One of the most important points discussed was the essential need to reduce silos among top management so that the process can be shared and implemented throughout all levels of retail and CPG companies. Retail Leader will be reporting extensively about this important industry initiative on an ongoing basis.

Changing subjects, here is one of my rants: the meaning and interpretation of "shopper experience." What does the term mean? There are countless ideas and concepts being floated around that describe, via research and trial-and-error efforts, the best new way to engage shoppers. But like Big Data, much of which is contradictory and confusing, so is the shopper experience solution.

Those retailers that have truly provided something extra to shoppers have found that it's a straightforward combination of remodeling/investing in existing stores, expanding assortments such as organic and healthy, upgrading technology for easier navigation, providing more specific products to demographic-friendly locations, enhancing social media capabilities, offering quality store brands, trimming SKUs for easier decision making, and overhauling loyalty programs.

These ideas and concepts provide shopper experience. And they are not simple, and not easy to offer. Collectively, they offer a new high level of shopper experience. Individually, they are what shoppers expect.

Here's a list of attributes for critical thinkers:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Collaboration across networks
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communications
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination
  • Listening skills, asking the right questions
  • Putting it all back together

I wish I had most of those skills.

These ideas and concepts provide shopper experience. And they are not simple, and not easy to offer. Collectively, they offer a new high level of shopper experience. Individually, they are what shoppers expect.




– Harry Stagnito,

President and CEO,
Stagnito Business Information