Retail benchmarking

Retail benchmarking – overview

Training within the retail sector is very often led by a desire to raise service standards, very often as the result of competitive pressure within a particular market sector. But what standard should you be aiming for? Where are you at the moment? How do you compare with your competitors? You need answers to these questions before you even start thinking about training. And we’re here to help you with this.

A typical benchmarking / training exercise could involve any or all of the following stages:

  • Meet with your management team for a total overview of your current and future retail operation
  • Visit a variety of your stores on a regional basis, to deepen knowledge of your market and the challenges you are facing
  • Assess the current and potential skills of the managers within stores and identify ways of developing their knowledge and skills through tailor-made training programmes and other interventions
  • Prepare team and individual development programmes in order to monitor performance improvement
  • Observe the level of management supervision and suggest suitable and practical methods to ensure ongoing appraisals and evaluations are conducted in order to achieve the required standards
  • Compare your stores with other retail operations and compile a gap analysis by comparing your organisation with world class retailers (and your key competitors), focusing on in-store impact, service standards and staff development
  • Highlight the levels of internal and external communication
  • Preparation and presentation of analysis and recommendations. Detailed discussions with your management team, taking into account the best current practices both inside and outside the industry, before agreeing new service standards
  • Development of a bespoke programme of training interventions, based on the findings from the research and the agreement of new service standards. Recommend how best to cascade the training within your organisation
  • Compile visually exciting and interactive training packs in order that your managers and trainers can deliver individual and group training sessions to their staff in ‘bite-sized’ sessions at times to suit you

Full details below or download course outline.

Expert trainer

Peter gained extensive experience in senior sales and marketing positions with organisations such as Gillette, L’Oreal and Levi’s before founding his own niche consultancy twenty years ago. He has worked with more than a hundred clients, many of them blue-chip, multinational organisations. Focused on the retail and wholesale sectors, he has particular experience of franchise operations. Recent assignments have included:

  • Esprit: Compiled a strategic plan for the UK and Ireland. Masterminded the recruitment of franchise partners
  • Nike: benchmarked the company owned and franchise stores. Compiled a comprehensive franchise package to roll out a new franchise store project
  • Nokia: Benchmarked best practice to launch a franchise concept throughout Europe, including comparisons of franchise operations in a range of sectors: fashion, mobile phones, design, print & copy. Analysed the key differences to be taken into consideration between the UK and the rest of Europe
  • The North Face: Benchmarked franchise operation and introduced commercial training through technical reps. Designed training packs to be delivered to stores on an ongoing basis by the technical reps
  • Timberland: Total training programme across the UK and Europe for managers of company owned stores and franchise stores, recruiting franchise partners. Compiled training packs and trained the managers to deliver training to their teams throughout Europe

Retail benchmarking – course outline

By definition, any training would be completely bespoke to your particular requirements, but by way of example modules Peter has developed for previous clients include:

The role of the manager

  • Key responsibilities
  • Training different skills levels
  • Achieving your objectives within the team
  • Style and approval

Management by objectives

  • Theory of MBO
  • Benefits to your company
  • Benefits to the manager and the team
  • Setting and monitoring standards

Your retail company standards

  • Benefits of standards
  • Looking at best practice
  • Style and approach to introduce standards successfully
  • Project – compiling your company standards / field evaluation skills

Appraisal and evaluation skills

  • Review – Preview – Look forward
  • The management cycle
  • Best practice
  • Key Benefits
  • Style and approach

Recruitment skills

  • Planning and preparation
  • Profiling
  • Advertising
  • Interview and evaluation skills
  • Style and approach
  • Project – Interview skills – Brainstorm – Improving the way we recruit

Effective meeting skills

  • Venue
  • Formulating the agenda
  • Chairmanship
  • Participating effectively
  • Time allocations
  • Project – Formulating your next agenda

Handling groups effectively

  • Group handling techniques
  • Style and approach
  • Participation
  • Gaining commitment

Delivering staff training workshops

  • Style and approach
  • Planning and preparation
  • The trainer’s role
  • Participation
  • Range of subjects
  • Project – Delivering training to your team

‘Cascadable’ training packs

  • Trainer notes for each pack contain:
    • – Introduction
    • – Overview of Training Agenda
    • – Objectives
    • – Target Audiencev
    • – Suggested Style
    • – Equipment needs
    • – Length of Module
  • Sample topics:
    • – Company standards – The retail selling sequence
    • – Active listening
    • – Questioning techniques
    • – Closing techniques – Buying signals – Cross-selling – Multiple purchase
    • – Handling objections with confidence
    • – Customer service – Aspiring to be world class
    • – Business focus – Business awareness – Gaining the commercial edge