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Insane Retailing

By:  Erik Miethner, MT, BPHE, DMSRetail

It has been said by many authors that an appropriate definition of insanity be ‘repeating the same actions time and time again, expecting different results’. This definition seems simplistic and even ludicrous to educated psychologists, but for the rest of the population it suits just fine.

Retailing has been around since the beginning of time. One retailer buying product from a supplier in hopes he will turn a profit by selling the product to an end consumer. The processes and methods have, of course, been refined over the course of time and the rudimentary dealings that happened thousands of years ago have been replaced with technologically advanced retail infrastructures and corporate imperatives.

Consider the vast number of companies who achieve sales via retailing. The number is large and growing annually. These companies, perhaps even yours, operate with a knowledge that they’re doing all they can to achieve success. They are doing just the same things as they have been doing in years past. Sales were decent then, they are only getting better. Right? Think about this next statement;


Now, this phrase is fantastic for people who always have been doing exactly the right things, have always been wildly successful at it and operate their business in a vacuum. For the rest of us, static business environments do not exist. Things always change; in fact, the only thing that is constant in any business is change. Market variability is what keeps the economy moving forward, regardless of the particular point within the economic cycle we currently happen to be in.

The point to all of this is that certain attributes, skill sets, attitudes and capabilities are necessary within your company in order to move forward. The very best way to ensure that your team continues to be a leader in your industry is to consistently and optimally train and re-train to stay ahead of industry trends. Specific training to achieve specific goals is vital to the success of an organization. It makes little sense to invest heavily in more of the same, when all that it will produce for you is more of the same. Investing in cutting edge retail management training will bring a wealth of valuable, original and innovative capabilities to your team.

Consider the opening statement of this article; the definition of insanity. Can you identify any practices that your company undertakes on a regular basis that achieve minimal results, time and time again? Does executive mandate dictate that these practices produce higher and higher revenues each quarter, yet they provide no viable solutions to achieve this directive? Just as one cannot obtain blood from a stone, one cannot ask a team to produce something novel and profitable from an old method. New tools are needed. Innovative methods need to be introduced, as well as the applicable support given to see implementation through to completion.

Imagine how much knowledge is out there waiting to be harnessed by your company and utilized to the very best of your ability? How valuable could this new knowledge make your organization? What would the ROI look like on that? Distance your company from ‘Retail Insanity’; invest in appropriate training that will enable your teams to thrive in any economy.

During these tough economic times, it would behoove you to ask this question of your head office personnel: What would cost more?
A) Providing top quality, leading edge training for our company’s most valuable and profitable asset; its people or B) Not training our #1 asset properly and watching our organization slowly become a casualty of this economy?

Doing the same things, while expecting different results will only give you more of the same. Guaranteed. Be bold; try something new and see how incredible the new results can be.


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