Retail efficiency


How do you boost performance in retail stores on a shrinking brick-and-mortar market?


The ongoing digital revolution puts a lot of stress on brick-and-mortar stores when the total market for offline retail shrinks massively in favor of online stores. Naturally the key action for traditional stores is to secure an online presence to defend sales volumes, which there are several approaches for from separate multi-channel, integrated cross-channel or seamless omni-channel. However, many retail chains focus too much on the new online channel and fail to act on performance in the physical stores, which often leads to cost inefficiencies, internal competition, non-aligned incentives and eroded overall profitability.


A couple of guiding principles to follow in order to secure offline store performance:

  1. First of all make sure that the organization fully embraces the change and communicate openly a change agenda for how you need to adapt to the market situation, pay special attention on avoiding barriers being established between online and offline operations
  2. In the physical stores, instead of just cutting hours trying to live up to previously defined productivity targets, take the opportunity to identify and re-assess key workforce drivers since these most likely have changed when sales volumes decrease
  3. Based on an understanding of operative drivers evaluate current work methods to ensure they i) are efficient and ii) also supports the online business - define new targets and make sure they are realistic
  4. Assess customer behaviors, most likely these will change when volumes go online since demographics for online customers is different than for the total customer base, examples: i) opening hours should be evaluated since peak periods can shift during the day and ii) promotions in stores might need to be re-focused
  5. Develop an updated staffing model to optimize resource needs for the new situation to secure cost efficiency
  6. Re-evaluate sales targets and define an updated store personnel incentive scheme that optimizes the full offering (offline and online) to secure that stores support the full strategy of the company


A focused execution based on these principles will secure a store organization that is ready to embrace the digital market change rather than fight it. Further, right-sizing of store organization based on updated needs will secure cost efficiency and long-term profitability. And finally, it secures a seamless integration of online and offline operations aligned on common business objectives.



Digital readiness for supply chain

January 15, 2018

New publication on transformation



Kungstensgatan 62

112 39 Stockholm, Sweden

+ 46 76 191 61 15



Management consulting with true flexibility to adapt to your specific needs in order to create sustainable results.

Copyright @ All Rights Reserved