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Mistakes retailers make when running multiple stores

Biggest Mistakes Retailers Make When Running Multiple Stores

Running multiple stores and expanding to other locations is a challenging, but ultimately worthwhile business endeavor — but only if you do it right.
By adding stores in other locations, you can carve out a presence in new markets and further build your retail brand. Introducing the right product mix and serving up impressive customer service, will likely result in increased sales and an enhanced customer base. These positive developments will help to improve your company’s bottom line.

In contrast, improperly managed stores can result in operational inefficiencies and even internal chaos. When there’s a lack of alignment behind the scenes, customers inevitably notice the more glaring snafus, potentially causing negative impacts to sales and damaging your brand.

To avoid these negative outcomes, this guide will shed light on 10 of the biggest mistakes retailers make when operating multiple stores. We’ll also outline proven strategies for turning each situation around.

1. Ignoring each store’s logistical differences

From a multi-store perspective, setting up another retail outlet is a simple process. You’ve fine-tuned your business’ brand, and you’ve got your retail operations processes in place.
Even with these advantages, however, you shouldn’t ignore some logistical issues when opening your new location. Within the same region, you may face zoning issues and a different competitor landscape.

If your new store is located in another state, you may have to negotiate different legal requirements and tax regulations. Weather conditions could also be a factor. For example, you may be faced with seasonal weather conditions such as hurricanes and snowstorms. If the new location offers a different cultural backdrop, it’s a good idea to hire managers and employees who live and breathe the local landscape.

Before you put the wheels in motion, perform your due diligence on your new store location. Do your market research, and consider contacting the local Chamber of Commerce for background information on the area’s demographic and business landscape. Non-competing businesses may also offer relevant words of wisdom.

2. Inadequate multi-store infrastructure

Another big mistake is managing each location using a separate back office solution.

Separately tracking each stores’ stock, sales, and performance can lead to confusion and a lack of visibility into your business as a whole. Not to mention, cobbling together reports or systems from different locations is a time-consuming task that can be fraught with human error.

Prevent all that by running your stores using one centralized platform. Equip your business with a retail management system that enables you to oversee all your shops from HQ, while empowering your in-store managers and staff.

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