Best Retail Consultant Success: Changing A Toy Store Retail Sales Culture [Case Study]

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As a retail consultant, clients come to me to help them make more sales, attract more customers and become more profitable.

I'm sharing several case studies and business makeover results from some of the largest brands to some of the smallest mom and pops with lessons on your physical location, merchandising, branding, marketing to your target customers and of course, intense retail sales training - all of which you can use in your stores.

This post is on changing the culture of your business from survival to thriving.

The challenge

A regional chain was being challenged more and more by big box and online sales. The CEO came up to me afterward a speech and asked me, "How can we work with you?" I asked him to call me.

During the conversation, it seemed there was a great spirit of nurturing in the stores, but not much selling. I'll let the CEO Roberta Bonoff of Creative Kidstuff take this case study from there...

The situation

"When I saw and heard you speak, it felt like you slapped me out of a dead-lock - and really challenged my thinking. You see, we had become bogged down in survival. And it wasn't a healthy place to be... Not for me as the leader or my team. I needed someone to help me work on a new direction for my business and help me hear and observe what was going on. I was looking for a shift change in who we were. I had a hunch you could help us with your bluntness and track record."

The prescription

To get to the true performance issues, we needed to find the root causes. Many of these root causes were buried in the organization's structure. The "training issues" and interpersonal silos were masking why these problems were showing up time and time again.

We held a meeting with staff and heard things that needed to be changed and updated and looked at - and behaviors that had to stop- namely the discount game of both prices and people.

We wondered if they had the right people in the right jobs and were their personality styles allowing them to play to their strengths?

We had every employee take the personality quiz and shared the results with the team while teaching the four personality styles and what their strengths were. "As you stated over and over, NO MORE KUMBAYaaahhhhhhh. We needed everyone to perform, not survive so performance standards were set with ways to monitor."

The results

"We aligned our staff into better responsibilities, changed our marketing plan, put together a training program and re-trained 200 employees using your comprehensive sales training program with several training lessons on product knowledge."

Their customers rewarded their efforts with an 18% increase in sales and lower turnover rates. Several new stores were built and acquired.

"As it rolled out, we experienced a huge culture change with both resistance and excitement at the same time. Yes, some people were let go and some people didn't want to change and left on their own. But we achieved what we wanted. Within months a new standard was set."

The lessons for you

  • It's great to have a nurturing environment and you can still sell and be genuine.

  • Survival isn't a place you can grow your business from. Address issues and change the culture.

  • Personality styles are very real and helpful to get the right people doing the job they are best suited for.