My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like business tips and know-hows based on simplicity because they grab the better attention. This 3rd Edition did just that; without any management jargon and complex hullabaloo. Richard Hammond’s ‘Smart Retail’ explained retail business the correct way – easy and uncomplicated.
All throughout, Hammond emphasised, that retail business was about attracting and fulfilling customers and employee’s needs. The book contained logical and essential points, which boiled down to plain old common sense really.
Being a retailer myself, Smart Retail’s philosophy just proved my beliefs on good retail management. It mattered not, if you ran a single boutique, managed chain stores or worked in a hypermarket, the principles of retail operations and marketing revolved around the same core fundamental – look after your people!
Hammond reiterated that employee satisfaction was directly related to customer satisfaction. I absolutely agree. When people are happy working for you, their service and productivity improves. So naturally this leads to more converted sales and increased revenue. There are no other simpler formulas than that.
Evidently, Richard Hammond was not the first to learn this rule. In the book, he gave enough examples of past and current retail owners who built successful retail businesses with the same principles. These case studies were the highlights of ‘Smart Retail’. It showed that the author did not just give advice and recommendations based on what he thought were the best ways but substantiated his consultations with researched data on real life results. Hammond filled the book with ample examples in good measure.
He also pointed out that Smart Retail was mainly written for store front analysis and solutions. Although Store Managers are the primary target readers for the book, all levels of retail workers are urged to read this too. He also recommended related reference books for different retail perspectives. Nice.
The only shortcoming to ‘Smart Retail’ was that the author did not give practical day-to-day ‘operational’ advice. I hoped for insights to better staffing plan, how to meet healthy inventory, stock loss prevention tips, and scheduling repairs and store maintenance etc. Although the book’s primary focus was front line for sales and marketing, the routine Store Manager functions that I mentioned, are matters many retailers seek improvement as well. Unfortunately,‘Smart Retail’ didn’t touch on these issues this time.
Nonetheless, the overall content of ‘Smart Retail’ was very good. The book’s strength was that it was simple, practical and extremely logic. Richard Hammond was a retailer who believed and practiced good ethics and knew what was important for retail – the people; those that you and I work and do business with everyday.
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