In retail, options are mandatory

 

If you know anything as a retailer, it’s that shoppers want what they want when they want it. We want to shop from our couches at 11 p.m., or we want to drop into a store and have an experience; we want to get things delivered, or we want to pick them up the same day. We want every option so we can create the experience we want and need in the moment.

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Ask the Retail Experts: Managing self-checkouts

 

Dear Experts:

My company implemented self-checkouts a few years ago. Customers seem to love them, but they’re a challenge to properly manage. Any tips?

— Director, Store Operations

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What do bank branch closures mean for retail?

 

As more and more of us take care of our banking needs online or on mobile devices, the need to go in to a local bank branch and see a friendly face is fading fast. In the first half of 2017, more than 1,700 bank branches closed their doors, and the second half of the year continued the downward trend.


The decrease in branches raises two interesting issues for retailers:

  • How could this change individual stores’ deposit procedures?
  • Should you offer cash back to meet customers’ cash needs, and if so, how do you manage each store’s cash on hand?
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Digging into retail deposit options

 

Shoppers making in-person purchases in 2018 have more payment choices at the register than ever before. They can pay with check, debit or credit, or by scanning their phone or watch. Or they can pull out their wallets and pay with cash — and despite convenient advances in payment technology, many do.

 

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It’s official: The cost of cash is more than you think

  


Get 10 retailers in a room and ask them what their most expensive form of payment is. What do you think they’ll say? I’d wager most of them would say credit – but they’d be wrong.


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Restaurants | Why accepting cash is so expensive

 

In my early restaurant days, part of our mission was to ensure the 3 F’s: food, feel and flow. Was the food great? How was the feel/vibe? Was there a great flow through the line and the restaurant? Maintaining these key metrics – and profitability, of course – was the mark of a great manager. One F I hated dealing with? Funds. Managing and reconciling cash at the end of the day was a chore and a headache.

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Why retailers should worry about the cost of cash

 

When I talk with retailers, I occasionally get push-back when we discuss the cost of accepting cash and how to lower it. It’s always interesting to hear why a retailer might not see cash as a concern, but once we start talking, they see how the hidden costs of cash can creep up. 

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Self-checkouts | Will cashless units work for your stores?

 

Self-checkouts have come in and out of fashion in the retail world over the last several years, and with good reason: They can be a double-edged sword for any retailer who implements them.

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Can too much cash can be a bad thing?

 

Too much cash is bad? Absolutely, when it’s sitting idle in your stores. Cash is essential in a retail store, but striking the right balance of cash on hand and cash in corporate’s bank account is a never-ending challenge. If stores have too little cash, they can’t operate properly. But fear of running short often causes retailers to keep too much cash on hand, creating a costly problem — idle cash.

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11 important things retailers could be doing instead of managing store reports

 

When I was a district coordinator in a major retail chain, I was — as all retail leaders are  slammed. All the time. If I wasn’t forecasting sales or monitoring operational results, I was managing vendors and department heads. My favorite part of the job was being in stores and seeing how things were going day to day, but it felt like I was only there if there was a problem to solve. And, of course, I only heard about these problems when I’d spot them in the daily and weekly data deluges that flooded my email.

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