Efficiency is the name of the game in local independent retail today.
Efficiency of retail space. Efficiency of inventory investment.l Efficiency of tech infrastructure. Efficiency of labour.
While specialisation is important in retail, finding allied specialty areas that expand the appeal of your business is important today, as that can address efficiency opportunities like those noted above. Through our POS software we help with this and through our business management support and advice we can reveal allied product and category reach opportunities.
We are grateful to help local independent retailers with this. We use the data we can access and share this with retailers.
In the big retail, mass retail, spaces we see fresh examples of expanding into new product categories.
Two stories in recent days reinforce the extent of change in retail and remind all of us in local indie retail to consider change as well.
Bunnings gears up to be dog’s best friend with expanded pet range
Hardware giant Bunnings is hoping shoppers will add dog food and toys to their shopping lists when heading in store as the retailer launches a significant expansion of its pet merchandise business.
Bunnings will throw down a competitive challenge to specialty pet retailers, which have boomed since the COVID era, when it expands its range from a couple of hundred items to close to 1000 products from late March.
This is a smart move because the majority of pet related purchases are habit based and habit based shoppers are tremendously valuable. Their regular shop is valuable in the context of what else a business operates.
It’s kind of I told you so but around 5 or 6 years ago we suggested the pet category to another retail channel.
The other move in by Chemist Warehouse, into optical.
Chemist Warehouse and Peter Larsen join forces to ‘disrupt’ optometry industry
February 15, 2023, 3:18 pm 847
The first store in Melbourne is the start of a mass rollout to take place in the coming years.
Australian pharmacy retailer Chemist Warehouse has entered the optometry market, opening its first store in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern and appointing prominent industry figure Mr Peter Larsen as its managing director.
On 15 February, Optometrist Warehouse announced it had opened its first location at 120 Glenferrie Road, with plans to “disrupt the industry” in the coming years.
“Initial expansion plans include the opening of a handful of stores in 2023, followed by a mass network rollout which will see Optometrist Warehouse become a household name and the go-to optometry service provider within the Australian market,” a press release stated.
We noticed the Chemist Warehouse move as one of their first locations is two doors from one of our shops.
These are thought out moves, designed to reach new shoppers, to strengthen existing, well-established, businesses. In each case they target product / service categories served by vertical businesses, specialty businesses focussed only on these niches. It’s those narrow-focussed businesses that are at risk.
This is why we think it is vital that any local indie retail business draws shoppers for many different reasons, and not just the usual 3 or for product or service categories that we see are typical in a newsagency business.
So, our question today is what moves are you making to attract new shoppers? You have to have made or be making moves because you need new shoppers, especially new shoppers who would not usually shop your shop.
It’s not too late. There are plenty of opportunities. The moves by Bunnings and Chemist Warehouse should wake some local retailers up, and help them see the opportunities out there.
Retail is changing in 2023 at a faster pace than in recent years. We need to change.