I find it astonishing that, whilst all the talk in the press is about the "shopper experience" people are surprised that shoppers buy more if retailers make life easier for them with clean, well merchandised stores.
Having read about the "massive improvement" in last year's sales results that New Look has achieved with their latest store design by Checkland Kindleysides, I am delighted for them. I'm even more delighted that great, common sense layouts and merchandising can still drive retail sales. Whilst multi-channel retailing is grabbing the headlines and mindshare, with over 600 stores in the UK, for New Look to get "massive sales improvements" over the whole chain will be great for their business and proves that the High Street is still the shoppers favourite.
By comparison New Look hope that the on-line sales contribution will grow to 7% of revenues. As such, the on-line store will be the biggest New Look shop in terms of sales. But, and this is important, 93% of its revenues will still come from the physical stores on the High Streets and shopping centres around the UK. Getting those stores to work, so that the customer experience is great and they can see what they're looking for, is really what it is all about.
All too often, the clarity that the store makeover delivers to the shop floor is lost within a few months as the store becomes cluttered with fragmented ranges, unsold stock and too many fixtures. The shop manager is frustrated too because they know the space is swamped, their bonus is dependent upon sales, and yet, they are powerless to move the terminal stock out and make proper use of the shop floor. And what of the customer? Well, for those who have no desire to navigate through a cluttered store, they will simply vote with their feet and take their custom elsewhere.
Collaborative planning of the shop floor and stock capacity is absolutely key to maintaining the massive sales improvements currently being enjoyed by New Look. The tool to help them or you achieve the same is called vrMockshop. It is a virtual retail modelling solution that helps you plan exactly what the shopper will see as they walk your store. Think of it as planning the Customer Vision.
Perhaps more importantly, vrMockshop can help New Look and every other brand and retailer maintain their stores. Used regularly, it helps you keep the store layouts and merchandising looking fresh and easy to shop. The payback is extraordinary if you take a moment to think about it. By investing a few hours each week to plan layouts and new stock deliveries, the stores will maintain the "massive improvement" in sales. Leave the stores to become cluttered and difficult to shop, as the New Look stores were before the revamp, costs the company a fortune. So, even if three people had to spend the whole week, every week maintaining the 600+ stores, at an annual cost of £100k, it would be more than worth it - wouldn't it?.
vrMockshop makes this possible. It puts the whole estate of stores at the end of your computer mouse. It automates many of the laborious tasks and makes communicating with the shop floor incredibly easy. With vrMockshop, New Look would be able to maintain their "massive improvement".
It really is extraordinarily simple to use. Take a look at the demo and discover for yourself why over 7,500 users in 32 different countries, including some of the world's leading brands use vrMockshop to plan and maintain great "shopping experiences" which drive "massive improvements" in sales.Article written by Colin Liversedge - CEO, vrSoftware
- "The format features a root-and-branch revamp including a new logo, alternative layouts and new merchandising methods." - John Ryan - Retail Week. April 27th 2012