Wednesday 15 April 2009

Coping with the Empty Shops Syndrome…

Our medical friends use 'syndrome' to describe a recognisable collection of symptoms and signs indicating a particular disease or condition, which is probably an apt summary of recessionary impact on the retail trade.
With shop closures approaching 15% of national retail-space, (and some extremes like Gateshead at 52% !) and the government now encouraging the use of artistic window-dressing to disguise failure in the High Street, it is probably time for suppliers to rethink their routes-to-consumer strategy…
As Tesco and the discounters cannot be expected to fully absorb the growing over-capacity, the real issue for suppliers has to be the degree of permanance in terms of reduced retail space.
Instead of waiting for the endgame to play out, proactive suppliers could conduct a risk-analysis of the impact on their business of a 15% reduction in existing space (Risk analysis )
Then, assuming that retail demand will revert to pre-recession levels (!) the supplier needs to estimate the combination of shops and online that will absorb the business lost in the High Street.
This means re-auditing their trade management model (see Kamshop for a copy of our Trade Marketing Audit Checklist) and optimising the productivity of the customers still standing…while others sit and wait (or visit the new craft-shops)

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