Winning at Retail


What many retailers are now finding is that, despite a still somewhat depressed marketplace, it is entirely possible to grow sales if the right actions are taken. That realisation is the first step for many independent retail store owners in turning their business around. With this in mind, we thought we would share with you some interesting initiatives retailers are engaging in, resulting in tangible and often immediate sales benefits.

  • Many retailers can now create a direct link between the work they are doing on their social media and generating additional sales. The recent example is a fashion shop that posted some great photographs of garments at 6pm one evening and sold three over the phone as bridesmaid’s dresses at 9am the next morning.

  • Running events and talks is a great way to reengage with customers. A florist who ran a themed evening flower class was able to make a profit on the evening but also reported that a significant number of these customers reactivated doing business with them post the event.
  • If managed properly text databases can be extremely powerful. To maximise successful use and keep customers engaged it is important not to overuse the database and once per month would be the very maximum for most retail businesses otherwise you run the risk of losing your customers.
  • Staff focus on average transaction value can really boost sales. Many retailers now have ATV daily targets on white boards in their staff areas and train staff on how to improve this.

What more and more independent retailers are demonstrating is that if the business becomes re energised and starts to communicate with its consumers on a more proactive basis, then sales slowly start to rise. The day of waiting for consumers to arrive at the shop is long gone and reaching out to your target consumer base is the secret to driving sales and keeping your business positioned correctly.

Many independent retailers have been through a difficult period; however a significant number are now fighting back and proving that there is real sales growth to be achieved. In reality it is about ‘change of mind-set’ and retail owners who are able to put the past behind them and fight on in a determined fashion are those that are reaping the current early stage rewards. It is now time to re energise your business.

The Beacon Initiative is designed to support independent retailers throughout County Cork and the programme is heavily subsidised by Cork County Councils Economic Development Fund. Towns throughout the county like Castletownbere and Cobh are currently participating in the programme, which includes a workshop and four site visits by retail experts to their shops and the creation of a sales growth plan.


James Burke – Retail ConsultantJames Burke - Beacon Initiative

James is an experienced retail consultant and part of the Beacon Initiative Retail Programme Management Team, which can assist retailers through the provision of management and retail expertise.