You might have noticed the last weekend you popped into your local electrical retailer that up to half the staff on the shop floor were working for the brands rather than the store itself.
That’s because, due to rising costs (more about that later), retailers are beginning to relinquish the responsibility of staff trainingand sales to the brands found on their shelves.
Most of the bigger brands are well aware of this recent shift in responsibility, and are already investing heavily in all-important retail marketing and, specifically, field marketing teams.
Smaller up-and-coming brands, less so.
Unless they get with the programme fast, these challenger brands are in danger of being left behind. One of their products is unlikely to sell, up against well-supported high profile competition, unless a brand ambassador goes in to the store to engage with the staff initially and then ultimately with the customers.
An article in the Guardian earlier this year expanded on the reasons behind this new hands-off approach from the retailers. Tim Vallance, head of UK retail and leisure at JLL, explained:
“In 2017, retailers will endure a ‘perfect storm’ of rising inflation, labour costs, import costs and, in some cases, business rates, ongoing e-commerce-led structural change, in addition to a potential reduction in consumer spending.”
With high street stores feeling the pinch, and now investing less in staff on the shop floor, it’s easy to see why brands are being forced to pick up the slack.
Those that do so most effectively will be the winners in the new retail landscape. Those that aren’t so prepared need to act fast or the outlook looks very bleak indeed.
We’ll be exploring some more of these topics, as well as sharing new strategies for how retailers and brands can succeed in 2017, in our forthcoming Masterclass ‘retail uncovered: what makes a successful retail strategy’.You can find out more information on the agenda and sign up by clicking here.