How can you navigate the changing retail market?

Retail market

It’s no secret the fashion industry is prone to sudden collapses, no matter how big the brand. But now, with new challenges facing the industry, more brands are struggling to stay afloat. The US fashion retailer, Forever 21, is the latest big name to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy. They join a growing number of retailers struggling to navigate changing trends and a move towards online shopping. 

Restructuring

Forever 21’s presence in the UK is limited to just three stores: Birmingham, Liverpool, and London. Their workforce in the UK alone is more than 290, with around 30,000 worldwide. They have 815 stores in 57 countries. Thousands of jobs are in jeopardy, but it should give the company enough time to attempt a restructure.

It’s everyone’s goal to avoid ending up in the same situation as Forever 21, Toys R Us, and BHS. There are various strategies, largely focusing on infusing technology into staff processes and boosting online services. This can be effective, but the retail market is volatile. If you haven’t made the right moves at the right time, you might find yourself filing for bankruptcy overnight. 

Preventative measures

During a time of such fast change, the retail sector is in more need of preventative measures than ever to avoid financial problems. This largely stems from better monitoring of internal processes. Many people believe they understand what is happening within their retail organisation, but if you’re investigating with flawed tools, you’ll get flawed results. 

For this reason, it’s time to focus on auditing. Not only carrying out audits but judging and investigating to see whether the audits you and other staff are completing are providing useful information. This includes asset management, compliance, and channel and category management. 

Your audits

It’s all too common for retail audits to lack depth. This could be in regards to the overproduction of in-store equipment or the supply of appropriate equipment to stores. This often results in unnecessary expenditure which drags your profits down. But the solution is simple with automated, detailed audits and excellent software to help you turn collected data into decision-enhancing information instantly. 

In the past, retail teams would carry out in-store duties like setting up seasonal aisles and hanging signage, fixtures, and fittings. But with hundreds of stores across multiple countries, with different promotional cycles, and growing demands, it’s increasingly difficult to monitor compliance across the business without the right tools. 

Improving audits

It’s hard to make the right changes in response to a shifting market if you base decisions on flawed audits which don’t provide the full picture of what is happening within your organisation. If you want an effective response, you need effective tools. 

This starts with making your auditing more efficient by going paperless and automating their distribution to the correct staff. It also means having the technology available to interpret the results of internal audits into useful, clear statistics and information which is accurate and effective as a basis for beneficial decision-making. 

This is just the start of knowing how to adapt in a volatile and changing market. 

With automated and scheduled paperless auditing tools, Inform People provides instant notifications and processing when audits are completed, from any location by any selected staff member. And if anything happens to go wrong, you can easily have it followed up. It’s effective decision-making made easy. For more about how Inform People makes your business more efficient, visit our website. Alternatively, you can call us on 0161 713 4104.

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