What can be learned from the Hottest Retailers of 2011?
The National Retail Federation and Stores Magazine just published their list of the 100 Hottest Retailers of 2011. Considering the state of the economy and everything you hear about the trend towards on-line retailing you would think that you would see a list that is dominated by discounters and e-tailers. You would also expect that the retailers who are seeing growth are the ones who are able to increase revenue by increasing door-count as they swallow-up weaker competitors.
But guess what, while Amazon is number two with over 42% growth and there are other like Lumber Liquidators who’s growth clearly came through expansion, there are dozens of retailers who are growing at double-digit or strong single-digit paces the old fashioned way….by executing better than their competitors.
These retailers come from all sectors and all store sizes and formats including: Food (Fresh & Easy Markets), Consumer Goods (Bed, Bath & Beyond), Electronics (RadioShack), Apparel (Chico’s), Footwear (DSW), Fashion Accessories (Claire’s), Healthcare (GNC). Some, like Tiffany cater to luxury customers and others like Dollar Tree focus on the value segment.
What can we learn from this list?
- Focus on Your Core Consumer – Each of these retailers is good at what they do and they do and while they seek areas for expansion, they never lose sight of serving their core customers. They understand the importance of the retail customer experience to their survival and growth.
- Focus on Execution – Whether it is through operational enhancements, reducing inventory turns, improving hiring practices, or focusing on improving the retail sales training and retail management training programs that their team members.
- Promote Their Unique Value Proposition – Most of the retailers on the list not only know who their core customers are, but they promote their uniqueness to them. Whether it is convenience, helpfulness, knowledge, broad selection, or one of a kind merchandise, these retailers all communicate their message through all types of media.
There are more lessons that can be learned from these hot retailers…So read the article. But even better, visit some of these retailers’ locations and speak to their team members. It does not matter is you own one store or if you have fifty. Learning and taking action is key to your business’ ability to not just survive, but to grow!
- David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group. As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he has hired, trained, and performance managed thousands of retail sales representatives and retail managers. You can learn more about instructor-led and e-learning training solutions for retailers at www.retailertrainingsolutions.com.