Store Tours – Are You Doing Them?

Inspired by the constant evolution of retail stores, a mapped out Store Tour can be a great way to focus on what is taking place in your local retail environment. The purpose of your tour can vary from person to person, but for the most part you want to set sail on your tour with learning as your primary objective.

[tweetmeme]From new stores to new lines introduced in veteran stores, a Store Tour allows you to stay on track with what’s going on in retail. Getting side tracked can be easy, so a dedicated day or even just a few hours is ideal when planning your tour. A few things to consider to help make the most of your Store Tour include:

1. What are you directly looking to improve within your own business? Consider how your goals may relate to other stores.

2. Based on your business goals, what stores do you want to include on your Store Tour list? Leave room for additional stores, as well, but consider how these select stores can aid you in your own personal goals. For example, a store known for strong merchandising may inspire you to improve your own merchandising objectives.

3. Are there any new stores that have opened that you have not visited yet? If so, add these to your list.

4. Has new management taken over any stores within your competitive environment? Often new management equals change, so make it a point to check out these stores. If you are familiar with these stores, look for obvious changes and follow up on them to see if they have been successful for their business.

5. If your store could stand to improve in customer service, employee relations or any other sector, keep an eye out for other stores are visibly handling these issues. While you may not get the total inside dirt on these topics, it’s amazing what a little observation can tell you.

Store Tours are a valuable addition to a retailer’s “to do” checklist, so make sure you are planning one in your near future. Completing this bi-annually is great, but quarterly is ideal.

Happy hunting!

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