The great retail conspiracy

Do you believe that:

  1. Suppliers must be screwed for the last cent on every deal?

  2. The competition must be beaten?

  3. The Government is out to rip you off?


Readers of this blog will know that I was presenting at a conference in Melbourne and it struck me again how many retailers believe suppliers, competitors, the government etc. are all conspiring against them.Time to consider these views rationally:

Conspiracy #1: Suppliers must be screwed for the last cent on every deal
Suppliers were major sponsors of the conference, without whom the conference would not have happened. Suppliers fund shopper marketing and trade promotion initiatives. Suppliers invest heavily in product training for staff development.

I know all these things because I make my living making these things happen. Sure, the supplier gains too, but that is the nature of a win-win relationship. Screwing every cent out of supplier simply means that activities like these above don’t happen, which only has a detrimental impact on sales (lose-lose).

The last thing that a supplier will cut is their margin – just like the retailer. They have shareholders too. They have KPIs too – so that ‘fantastic’ deal that was achieved is more likely to be at the expense of developing the business, promoting the product and developing staff.

Conspiracy #2: The competition must be beaten
This is another furphy. The aim of the game is not to have any competition. That is kinda the point of a having a niche, a competitive edge or a USP.

Every minute spent obsessing about the competition is time that could have been spent improving your own business. Customers will only compare your business to a competitor if they are the same, so make sure it isn’t.

Conspiracy #3: The Government is out to rip you off
The government is definitely not there to rip you off. Actually, maybe, on second thoughts…

(OK - that last one was just a joke.)
But seriously, how many of these thoughts or ‘beliefs’ actually limit our success? I can think of a few more (another blog maybe) but what can you add to the list of popular misconceptions?