About this eBook
Preface In India and perhaps in the entire world, at least the next decade is going to belong to the Retail Management. With steady growth of surplus funds with middle and upper-class people, the habit of going out for making purchases has become a regular pastime with the market segment belonging to the Consumer Group. Some enterprising businesspersons have anticipated the retail boom and opened their retail outlets pre-empting the increasing demand for such stores. To be successful the retailers need to learn the areas, among others, that are of great significance for their business in the present scenario as given below 1. Buying behaviour, customer and market focus 2. Brand selection, staying flexible and responsive to market needs 3. Mean Time Between Purchase MTBP depends on products, package sizes and economic level of the customers of the target market segment 4. Need to hold on to valuable professionals at all levels 5. Optimizing use of time As the competition is intensifying information about customers needs, competitor s capabilities, and the strengths of company s products and brand and services are essential and critical to retail company s success. Market information takes a route to reach the decision-makers. It starts from the field salesperson s level and through the hierarchy goes to the top with unnecessary filters diluting the same. At times the relevant information does not reach the decisionmakers as the field salespersons have rare access to the top management. It appears that the hierarchy is meant only to prevent the information flow to the top. The filters along the route create waste paper baskets to dump the information without realizing the importance it might have for the top decision-makers. The best way, therefore is to make people at each level responsible for making strategy as then the companies can get out of the top management myopic syndrome where everything gets tuned and fine-tuned by them. Flexibility of operations would provide sustainable competitive advantage to the retail outlets. With it the company can take full advantage of the market information gathered by the field salespersons. Since the strategic implementation has to be carried out at each level, its formulation at each level would make the field force participant in strategic formulation and its implementation. The workforce becomes more knowledgeable, loyal and committed to the company s goals.
Retailers have to realize that their major asset is the intellectual capital in the form of the valuable personnel. The new generation of knowledge workers want more control of their work lives and more say in company s operational plans. The knowledge workers are going to help build the company s competitive advantage and therefore must be cherished and motivated whenever possible. Competitive advantage comes from dedicated approach to time management as with local field persons take crucial decisions on customer complaints, promotion plans without the approval of the top management the time factor helps in gaining customer approval and brand acceptance creating customer loyalty in the shortest possible time. Townsfolks have been depending on the neighbourhood retailers for the daily needs. In the last five years, the entire retail business has undergone major