They need to feel they have picked the best product, at the best price, having seen all the options available on the market.

Markets like DIY have a prime opportunity to take advantage of up and cross-selling of products and new ranges, particularly as these are the types of store consumers tend to visit only occasionally for specific items and larger purchases. Merchandising new innovations and launches, special offers and other items effectively presents these customers with a reminder of items they may want and need. DIY retailers should prominently and effectively lay out product launch displays and attractively present higher-value items, like bathroom ranges, which may entice shoppers to make impulse purchases. Price and sale promotions need to be clearly displayed, and in line with online retail and price comparison functions, if it is the best price available or beats the competition then this should be a key part of that display. Consumers increasingly believe that everything can be

found at a lower price and more conveniently online, and it is the job of those in charge of merchandising and store management to make sure these competitive offers are promoted properly. If they are, offline retail can provide real competition for the mighty challenge it faces from online.

The faces of retail Shoppers want staff availability and engagement whenever they visit a store; and rightly so. Online can never offer the ability to engage the senses to replicate the physical store experience and hands-on help is what differentiates bricks and mortar stores from online retail in delivering this, so the staff need to represent a strength. Often, limited promotions and launches requires extra staff to deliver and oversee them, and these shouldn’t be supplied at the detriment of the regular staff body. If the key to successful offline retail is ensuring customers can find the right item in the right place at the right price, leaving customers

to wander stores looking for an available member of staff to help them with their purchases is a major fail. Equally, special promotions and

merchandising projects, including launches and range reviews, need enthusiastic and experienced staff to deliver them successfully. Physical retail is a constantly-evolving model, and this is a prime opportunity for savvy retailers to commission merchandising support to deliver these campaigns and peak periods without committing to full-time contracts or jeopardising the quality

of day-to-day service. These staff can take charge of the placement and stocking of all new product ranges, while permanent store staff remain committed to daily customer service. It

is certain that retail will

only become more competitive, technologically sophisticated and intuitive. In light of this, retailers that can stay one step ahead with their bricks-and-mortar offering, ensuring customers receive excellent service and are always assured of the right product for them being in the right place at the right price, are the only retailers that will survive.

10 AUGUST 2018 DIY WEEK 13

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