Why retail chains fail

The 'clean up' within retail has started. At the moment we are talking about a doubling of the number of bankruptcies compared to 2018. We still have more than 8 months to go, which is promising. Why retail chains fail? The answer is simple.

Retailers don't live up to what they want customers to believe. They use slogans to entice people to their stores and create an expectation that is hardly met or not at all. 'The drugstore with attention', 'There can only be one the best', 'That's entertainment'. If customers don't get what they were promised, they leave and don't come back.

Many management teams are stuck in the conventional control and product-oriented way of working instead of the new customer-connecting act of trust, even though managers deny this. Because, they do talk about customer focus. There is a world of difference between thinking and doing, as well as between control and trust.

It is the conservative corporate culture and the associated processes/systems that cannot bridge the gap to customer-connecting actions. Those are the next retail chains that are going to collapse. New slogans do not prevent this.

How to prevent tipping over: Don't promise customers anything until it's proven that you can deliver what you're going to promise!

What if you promise customers that you will always look for a special shopping experience for them? What would be the effect if customers did not experience this? Exactly, the reverse happens, customers leave and never come back. A fast downward spiral. So don't promise until you can deliver.

It is therefore important that prior to the introduction of a (new) slogan at all levels within the company a consistent quality is delivered to what you are going to promise. This requires training, discipline, commitment and perseverance. NPS check (Net Promotion Score) is followed by the introduction so that customers in every store, at any time of the day, in every department, with every sales employee get a wow feeling and want more of it.

Getting a little better, small steps consistently. Customers come back because they had a positive experience last time, they want it again. If they do not get what they expect, they experience that the company is not doing well. If they get that little bit more, they are positively surprised and loyal to your company.

In other words: first narrow the meshes of the customer 'safety net', in line with what you are going to promise and then introduce the slogan. The result: more buying customers, more returning customers, more happy customers, more happy employees. Turnover factor 3.4 guaranteed.