Today I Solve The Problems of Retailers
Sears, Radio Shack, Best Buy…..going, going gone? Many analysts think so.
Radio Shack used to be so cool, and still could be.
It’s the only place to get things you didn’t know you needed. Capacitors, resistors, bits of wire and plugs. Hobbyists and home handymen are the market.
Batteries for everything. New mobiles and services to go along with them. That’s all they need. Get rid of the toys and the stuff that’s marginal.
But first? I’ve been going in your stores for decades, and with very few, and I mean VERY few exceptions, you have the rudest, least helpful personnel of any retail chain,, ever, anywhere. They all act like you’re interrupting their day. They are no longer knowledgeable about the products you sell.
They can’t install the batteries you sell, or activate the phones. Terrible. Keep the stores open, fire the employees en masse or send them to personality school. Seriously.
Best Buy. I used to call on them at one of my first jobs. They only had three or four stores, and the company name was “Sound of Music.” (Oh, damn, now their old jingle is in my head).
So the “analysts” (MBAs in their first jobs, who apparently know everything about everything), say people go to a store to touch and feel an object, then rush home to buy it off the internet.
Bingo! Put an e commerce kiosk in every aisle at Best Buy, let the people shop there. And not pay shipping. And take (mostly) immediate delivery. Sears has some software that shows you appliance prices at competitors. Best Buy could have that. Even if they were a little higher price on some items, the screen could show the price difference when you add shipping and a calculation for the time spent waiting. And the “kiosks” would be a lot more knowledgeable than most sales people. So cut your staffs, too. Boost cash flow. Compete with the internet. You’re welcome.
Sears. I don’t know what to do about them. I think they were better when the carried the always dependable and reliable store brand, Craftsmen, and their other house brands, and they meant it when they said “Satisfaction Guaranteed – For Life.”
Kind of like Penny’s, Sears is full of unknowledgeable sales people. Maybe that’s just retail these days, but it used to be that the employees knew what they were selling and good explain intelligently to anybody.
I was looking at ranges a couple months ago, went to Sears, and although it seems like these two things couldn’t possibly go together, the salesman was incredibly pushy while not having the slightest bit of product knowledge.
Sure I walked. Do people go touch and feel at Sears like at Best Buy and then just go home and shop online? I don’t think so. But the Sears name and reputation used to mean something. Now it’s just “another store,” at least that’s what it seems to me.
Want me to fix YOUR company’s problems? Drop me a line.
BTW – couple years ago I consulted a niche specialty store, had a lot of potential, little competition. Within a few months, we had seven stores open in three months, quite an accomplishment. With ten more on the drawing board. I found some outside investors, also an accomplishment. You don’t find many people that want to invest in retail. The company owner thought it was great, and that the investor’s money could be his own little piggy bank. Guess how long the company lasted? Right. Lesson: don’t spend investor’s money on your own crap.