What do I see? Utter, Unfathomable Inefficiency – that is retail as we know it

Have a look at the 2 pictures below taken at a mall-attached large chain retailer.  Not a SINGLE customer in the store.  Practically every rack had a red and white sale sign on it.  Look at the multiple sizes of each item that have to be made available.

Now consider this.

What is the probability of someone walking through the store to this location, finding an article of clothing that is subjectively pleasing and desirable enough for the person to pick it up and consider the price. Consider if this is a nice to have or need to have item. Further consider the price and whether it is higher or lower than the clearing price — the price at which the user (in that particular user’s mind) thinks it is a good deal and decides to buy it. What is known is the quantity of work needed to inventory, merchandise, display all the products. What is not known very well is the probability of a sale for any or all of the items in the store.

Further consider the redundant inventory of similar (or the same) generic products — redundant because multiple stores attached to the same mall carry pretty much the same generic stuff. Even brand names provide little differentiation or value add. And celebrity designers and endorsers such as Kimora, Cindy, Kathy, or even Jaclyn Smith don’t help. The entire Kimora section was just as deserted as the second photo in this bunch.

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By: Dr. Augustine Fou Thursday, July 1st, 2010 integrated marketing

1 Comment to What do I see? Utter, Unfathomable Inefficiency – that is retail as we know it

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    Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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