Before The Doors Open

When a new store opens it’s a matter of great joy for all the stakeholders. Each one from the management to the employees to the suppliers to the neighbourhood is delighted by the opening. The reason varying from new business opportunity to ease of shopping to employment opportunities.

This article is to put together the efforts which go behind the opening of a retail store. Firstly the properties team need to identify the property where the store is to open. This will be done basis the demographic understanding of the customer profile, their income levels. Further the rate for the property is negotiated and closed. Post which the legal team gets into action to understand the legalities of the property and signing of the agreement between the retailer and the builders. Post which the project team begins its work on the projects to make it as per retail specifications. While this period takes considerable time the other departments work on the store simultaneously.

Firstly the market research sets the groundwork by understanding of the buying patterns, disposable incomes, family sizes, food habits, competition etc. This provides the framework for the buying team to work on the assortment for the store. This is the most crucial part to the success of the store. The assortment needs to match to the needs of the target customers. This includes having the staple product of the community which might vary from rice to wheat flour to ragi to jowar to bajra etc. then further drilling down to the variety of rice, (black rice, red boiled rice, sona masoori rice, gobind bhog rice, matta rice, surti kolam ), then identify if any strong brand exists in this category else identify the mills from where this rice could be procured and packed. Apart from this identify the oils (sunflower, mustard, canola, olive, coconut), the spices used etc. Also other products and brands which exist in the market. Once the assortment is finalized identify the source of supply whether it will be procured through a local supplier or shipped from the centralized warehouse. If needs to be procured locally identify vendors dealing with brand negotiate the deal and make him/her a business partner. Ensure that these brands adhere to all the legal and commercial norms of the land. So assortment is fixed and the launch offers negotiated and closed

In the meantime the Human Resource (HR) works on the employee requirement. It selects candidates so as to ensure that the store has a blend of experienced and freshers. The team undergoes a training process. The facilities team ensures all the air conditioners, chillers, freezers are up and running. The finance team ensures that all the financial requirements are taken care of. The IT team ensures that the billing counters and other hardware software requirement is met.

Once the project work is completed ,the buying team places orders for stocks. On receipts at the store the logistics team inwards the products and the store team does the placement. During this period the marketing team works tirelessly to reach to the maximum number of target customers through hoardings, banners, new paper inserts, radio jingles, press releases etc.

On the scheduled day after all the initial effort by the whole team the doors open!!!!!


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