Monthly Archives: May 2014

Bricks and Mortar Retailer’s Reality Check – Adapt or Die!

Adapt or die – a stern warning for Bricks and Mortar retailers. News from the retail industry suggests that Bricks and Mortar retailers that have not yet have a strategy to counter big online competitors, are condemned to close shop…

The fantasy of Bricks and Mortar retail stores

Bricks and Mortar retailers rely on loyal customers that want to see, touch and smell their products. They hope that the family restaurant near their shop will bring feet and customers visiting the salon to do their hair or having their nails manicure, will pop in the store to buy groceries on the way out.

Bricks and Mortar shops, in prime locations such as shopping malls, are however closing their shops at an alarming rate – with new tenants slow to occupy the space. Other, less desirable locations will probably have to find non-retail tenants – converting into everything from warehouses and churches to indoor go-cart tracks (CNN News).

Eventually, the anchor grocery store in the upmarket shopping mall will also have to shut its doors – or adapt new strategies to convert the threats in opportunities.

The big change

Forbes suggests the Bricks and Mortar shops should adopt the following strategies to get the feet back into their shops:

  • Turning the shop into a fulfillment center – shops should be remodeled to add direct order fulfillment and stocking in the back-office, limiting the assortments stocked on the floor in order to compete over the long-term  with Amazon and other big retailers.
  • Take the in-store experience to a different level – when customers come into the shop, reward them with a great experience – both in terms of brand and service.
  • Integrate channels relentlessly, to the point that channel disappears – retailers must look at their systems landscape, operational approach and performance metrics, and relentlessly erode the notion of channel.

Adapt or die

It is not good enough for Bricks and mortar retailers just to stock their shop with merchandise and wait for the customers to walk through their doors. The internet has changed how retail customers search and shop for products. Retailers should analyse their situation and adapt accordingly.

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