Small retailers can learn from bigger retailers’ strategies

Last month I acted for a tenant whose shop was performing badly.  When I asked how his website was performing, he said the shop had a website, but that it was not updated, showed only a small amount of stock and did not allow customers to purchase online.

This is not unusual.  I often hear excuses like ‘my clients don’t shop online, so I don’t need a website‘.

In a recent online postcard, James Stewart from Ferrier Hodgson has outlined some retail strategies being employed by some of the most successful retailers in the world.  The article compares the difficulties faced by traditional department stores like Myer and David Jones with techniques being employed by Apple, Zara and now JC Penny.

Smaller retailers can learn from their example.  Simply having an active and up-to-date website that allows customers to shop online, or at least see all of the stock and prices before coming to the store, may increase smaller tenant’s ability to compete with online discounters.

I almost always select purchases online before going anywhere near a shop.  If I can purchase the item without leaving home, then I will.  Generally I only go to a shop if the product is advertised online.  If it is not advertised online, I probably won’t buy it.

My wife is a more extreme example.  She looks after two children with a third on the way.  She will sometimes pay more for an online product to avoid having to drag two kids to a shopping centre.

Readers’ retail shop clients may find James’ article useful – a copy is available here.

About Sam Hopper

Sam is a property and insolvency barrister.

View all posts by Sam Hopper


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