Matt Chat: Tips for retailers to withstand economic crisis

Retailers are often the first to feel an economic crisis as people tighten their wallets until there is more certainty.  

COVID-19 lockdowns were tough on retailers as many were unable to trade, unless they were providing essential services.  

David Hill, Papamoa Plaza Manager, has been in the retail sector for around 30 years. He believes there are golden rules for retailers that can help them withstand economic downturns and crises.  

David has managed various commercial and retail shopping centres over the years. He has seen some businesses thrive, while others struggle to survive.  

He believes his eight golden rules for retailers, listed below, are based on his expertise and observations over the years. Follow these rules and you will increase your chance of success. They sound simple because they are simple.  

8 golden rules for retailers to thrive in any environment 

  1. Ask your customer what they want, and give it to them. Folk will always pay a premium to get what they want, when they want it. 
  2. It is 10 times easier to sell to existing customers than to get new ones. 
  3. Sell the benefits, not the products. Focus on the user benefit, not the technical aspects of the product. 
  4. The more you tell, the more you sell. Don’t assume people know you and your product.  
  5. Test & measure, always. If you cant improve it, don’t do it. 
  6. Do not take advice from friends and family. Make decisions based on evidence from your customers. 
  7. Understand the lifetime value of a customer. What would you pay to get one, ten, or a hundred customers?  
  8. Being in business is like growing a garden. Forget about the sports or war analogies, you’re there to nurture and grow your regular customers.  
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