Why In-Store Execution Matters
We often hear that retail is about execution. Be that as it may, what exactly is execution and why is it so important?
The incomparable Albert Einstein once said "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not." While he surely referred to the field of science research, this adage applies to many other fields, and indeed to retail. Theory is the thing that head office imagines, as far as marketing activities and operational projects, to deliver a specific result like higher sales, lower costs and/or higher customer satisfaction. Theory is the new signage that marketing has developed, training that "should be delivered" and operations/merchandising/health & safety/cash handling standards that "need to be followed". Theory is the mix of every one of those things that retail brands work hard, and invest extensive energy and cash, to create. Practice is the thing that really occurs at store level. In practice, signage is not always put up, staff isn't constantly prepared and occasional projects are not generally executed reliably and on schedule.
So what is in-store execution? In-store execution reconciles the theory with the training. In-store execution makes it happen. With it, you have a store climate that follows through on the brand's vision and guarantee. Without it, you have wishful thinking and a false sense of security.
For what reason is in-store execution so important? Assuming you have more than a handful of stores to manage, you do not know how stores really execute unless you have measures and auditing software to help you with this. Operators execute differently. District managers may have different inclinations and priorities based on their own experience and sensibilities. There isn't anything wrong with that, however you need to ensure that the center principles and projects that are the backbone of the brand's strategy are indeed implemented in full, everywhere and every time. Execution adjusts the vision and expectations of head office with the reality on the ground.
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