Steps to expanding your retail business

Written By Steps To Faculty Published June 22nd, 2010

Despite recent economic woes, major retailers and discounters such as Walgreens and Target are expanding at exponential rates throughout the United States. Why? The senior executives at these organizations have devised carefully planned strategies to generate new avenues of business and at the same time push the envelope in the retail industry. If you are a small scale retailer, however, you may feel inferior or unable to compete with the likes of such retail giants. The reverse is true with a little forethought. See how.

Step 1 Listen to your customers

Too often, retail managers only believe the quickest way to reach consumers is to read about their tastes in the Wall Street Journal. This is not the case. When your customers enter your store, they talk amongst themselves much of the time. Pay an employee to listen to what they say. Ask them questions at the checkout lines. By actively interacting with customers you can get a sense of what they would like to see in your store.

Step 2 Watch the trends

Not only do your customers provide you with an idea about their tastes, so do national trends. In the case of Target, the CEO saw the need to add fresh food sections in their stores in addition to the existing durable goods and health and beauty products, and low cost high end fashions. The CEO envisioned that consumers need a one-stop shop orientation given that they are busy these days. Read about the latest trends or watch them on cnn.com.

Step 3 Establish a social network

Either on your main web page or separately at sites such as ning.com set up a specific social network where your customers can make suggestions that they would like to see.

Step 4 Follow advice

When the CEO of 7-11 looked through a social network, he found that many of the customers wanted more variety of fresh, ready to go convenient food. Hence the popular chain has added 50 new varieties of fresh foods this year. 7-11 is slated to add 200 more stores this year as a result of the increased demand. Follow advice and reach out. The commentaries can help direct your business in the right and more profitable direction.

Step 5 Consider adding more variety

As dollar stores and food chains, including supermarkets, expand, so can you. Even if you are a smaller chain, you can attract more consumers to your store if you have a variety of goods and services that vary in price and quality. Even the rich are buying at cheaper restaurants now and shopping at dollar stores. Mix it up to get the best results for your store.

Remember, retail will always be here to stay.


Roger Due

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