For the past couple of years, retail survival has largely been about controlling the controllable. But in 2011, as spending starts to loosen in the face of a brightening economy, retailers have a lot more to look forward to, according to Natalie Berg, global research director for Planet Retail, London.
Speaking at the National Retail Federation’s 100th Annual Convention & EXPO, at the session, “Power Players in Focus: How to Be a Retail Winner,” Berg said that to be successful in 2011, retailers need to do the following:
• Focus on core assets and drivers of profitability;
• Aim for a targeted globalization approach;
• Leverage multichannel; and,
• Put shoppers at the core.
“A shopper-centric strategy will be crucial in 2011,” said Berg, who added that a honed focus on the customer has become critical to success.
Going forward, shoppers are looking for value and a sense of discovery. Berg pointed to Carrefour as a good example of a retailer that has added discovery to its mix. The chain is trying to reinvent its hypermarket concept with a weighty use of in-store technology and such added services as child care and hair care.
Partnering with specialists will also be a top success strategy in 2011, according to Berg. Carrefour and Virgin Records, for example, have entered into a global partnership in which Carrefour has expanded its music offerings with Virgin in-store shops. And J.C. Penney continues to expand its ongoing partnership with Sephora by rolling out more in-store beauty shops.
“Use technology to capitalize on frugality through new formats and innovative promotions,” Berg said. Applications like ShopKick are engaging customers; promotions such as Groupon on Facebook provide innovative ways to grab interest and generate sales.
“Multichannel is the way forward,” she added. “And retailers will have to strike a balance between value and discovery.”
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