American writer Max Ehrmann wrote the prose poem Desiderata in 1927 in which he said: “Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.” In my experience, you need not look further than the media to see plenty of the trickery Mr Ehrmann refers to.
In his famous Serenity Prayer, American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Retail executives tend to track sales figures as their most important metric, but in my experience, trying to maximise sales figures alone makes little sense. As in sport, focusing on the score won’t work on its own. Only good and consistent practice, combined with a commitment to continually improve skill and technique will deliver the desired results. The scoreboard simply reflects the results achieved in the more mundane variables.
On 19 June 2015, retailbiz.com.au reported a claim by CHOICE magazine that shoppers could face a 250%+ price hike on goods purchased online from overseas if the Federal Government closes a highly damaging loophole in the GST system.
The vast majority of people don’t steal, but some do and this small minority finds retailers particularly temping targets – they have money and goods, with relatively easy access to both.
The ‘Fair Work’ Commission recently announced a 2.5% increase to minimum wage, effective from 1 July 2015. This may be old news to you, but the misguided nature of this decision cannot go without comment. The increase creates issues at many levels, some of them strategic, with long-term consequences.
In August 1996, I wrote an editorial for The Quality Magazine, titled ‘Quality Management in Retail’. In the article, I lamented the lack of interest in TQM (Total Quality Management) amongst Australian retailers. Twenty years later, the industry still struggles with sub-optimal results, but I believe that I’ve now discovered one of the reasons why TQM gets the cold shoulder.