Exclusive by Patrick Avenell
Another industry veteran, this time Retravision’s Rob Sanders, has gone on the record today with his views on the obstacles facing small or independent retailers. He finds it amusing that the big retailers dare to complain about this economic climate, because the smaller operators face it everyday.
“I have worked in a rural Retravision store, and actively see, day in – day out, what these discount chains have done to the industry,” said Sanders.
“We are constantly bombarded with ‘price matching/beating’ offers from the consumer, who in turn, have been given little or no advice whatsoever on the product they wish to purchase.”
Sanders had little sympathy for the big retailers, making subtle reference to Gerry Harvey’s recent comment about how the economic crisis has forced him to close stores.
“I…find it amusing that some of these discount chains scream poor with the current economic situation. They must realise that it is them themselves that have drive margin down to the levels that being attained at the moment.”
Sanders is not solely interesting in airing grievances, however, and he delivered a number of insights that retailers would do well to take on-board.
“I am actively involved with training within our group, and have urged all stores that I have been affiliated with to strive for complete customer service,” he said.
“It is unfortunate to find that with all the hard work done with the consumer, it is still price driven by the ones screaming poor.
“As part of sales training, I urge new employees to enter some of these [larger, chain] stores with the intention to buy a certain product – it is amazing how much the price is discussed before the customer’s needs are actually considered.”
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