Author Topic: Serious changes ahead for UK retail stores...  (Read 645 times)

Offline Gargoyle

  • Posts: 902
Serious changes ahead for UK retail stores...
« on: July 08, 2006, 06:29:31 AM »
Up until now the GW retail scene has remained largely unchanged for a long time.
Managers are trained for a few months and then they get placed into a store and they have to make it hit target at least once in three months or they fail their probation period as a manager.
They have a full timer and a part timer (used to be 2 FT's and 3 P.T's) as staff to help them maker up the numbers.
Above the manager there is a cell manager who looks after a handful of stores, sometimes as many as ten.
Above the cell managers are the few regional/area managers.
Above them is , or was until recently, the Head of retail UK.
That is essentially the structure on the UK retail side of the company.

Now up until now, the only person who regularly saw the figures for the individual stores, and knew the numbers they were doing, was the head of retail, and occasionally when he felt it was necessary I guess, a regional manager. Usually to say something like, "... that store isn't doing very well, go and give them some hurry up."
So the information would flow down the chain.
Cell managers could and still do waltz into stores and make wholesale changes to how the stores are run even though they don't have to work in the environment. Then they waltz out and the manager and staff have to deal with the sudden implementation and the upheaval that can and often does causse.
I'm not just talking about merchandising, I'm talking about changes in what to promote, how they are going to promote it, even down to roster changes from a centralised core that has no local knowledge of opening times, if they are in a mall etc.

The rumour in the Corridors is...
In a couple of months the veil is going to be lifted and the manner in which ALL the retail stores in the UK conduct themselves is going to change significantly.
For the first time actual store managers are going to see their own books.
For the first time the store managers are going to have to account for profit and loss margins, and for deliveries, damaged product, wastage, rental overheads etc.
This is part of the process of putting the much greater onus on to the individual store managers to make their store function profitably.
No longer will retail managers be just glorified full timers, they will have to run with the ball, examine spreadsheets for outgoings, stock, wages etc. and make adjustments in accordance with the localised clientele, and their lease agreements and utilities.
It's going to be interesting to see who copes and who gets booted out because some stores in the UK are operating at a loss due to high rental for their location on the high street or in a mall.
Thus it will be much tougher for some than others, hardly a level playing field.
The stores in difficulty have been propped up artificially by the surplus of moneys that was available during the LotR phase.
That is now long past and I think this new 'streamlining' is the process by which GW are looking to glean out the problem stores/areas/managers and cull them out.
In short, I expect a 6 month time frame of information gathering followed by closures of those stores that are failing to keep their heads above the 'break even' line.
GW cannot afford to carry the dead timber any more if the shareholders are to receive a reasonable dividend.
Watch this space...
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