World Cup Retail Fever

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World Cup Retail Fever

In May I was presenting a seminar and asked the group how they had planned as retailers to build on the World Cup fever that would spread around the world in June and July. To my surprise got some blank looks from the audience who felt it would be a non event as far as retailing was concerned. A client of ours, Woody�s Garden Centre in New Zealand used the last Olympic Games to great effect. Every time a New Zealander won a gold medal they would build a display to celebrate the event. They would try and link in a product to the display that was relevant to the gold success. As a result they obtained TV coverage and the local newspaper dropped by every time a medal was won to record the event in the garden center. Plus, their consumer traffic flow went up in a period when many retailers saw a decline. And so to the World Cup The week before the World Cup I was working on the east coast of Australia. On the evening I went into the hotel bar and the bar was promoting a beer from every country that brewed beer in the world cup, Saudi Arabia was the only one of those missing. Here was a pub getting into the celebrations in a new way and introducing me to a new product at the same time. In the early stages of the festival I was in the UK which was awash with red and white flags and the souvenir industry was loving the event. In the later stages of the cup I was working in Spain and was working down the street in Barcelona to find a crowd outside one shop and many of them taking photographs. It was the Adidas store and wow was I impressed. The shop window was displayed using football boots of all the countries in the cup and a league table was place in the window and as countries progressed through the tournament, the boots were moved accordingly. The Message There is a message in the World Cup for all retailers, you have to be in tune with your customers and you ignore world events at your peril. The consumer wants to celebrate and be involved and expects the retailer to celebrate with them. This does mean being in tune with the consumers thinking process. Alas, we often leave it to the big retailers to get behind causes and as a result the small retailer gets left behind. Little things can make the difference. I was recently in a coffee shop and the coffee came to $2.55. I gave the salesperson three dollars and he said do you want your change as we are collecting for the earthquake relief in Indonesia. Again, like most people I was happy to donate to a good cause that was top of mind. Why Do Many Retailers Fail to Celebrate? In my experience the real challenge is to stand back from you business and look at it from afar, we often have our nose to the grindstone and fail to take in what is going on around us .The key is to get out of this habit and to always look three months ahead at what is about to happen in society and then ask if this is an opportunity for the business. The World Cup was a known event with plenty of lead publicity. The next stage is to ask whether this will impact on your business in a positive or negative way. I had clients who promoted Soccer free retail venues while others got behind the promotion in a more proactive way. John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 15 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. www.johnstanley.cc