June 1, 2017

Get your bad stores back on track



As a retailer, you’re always measuring, ranking, counting, analyzing and comparing every aspect of every store in your chain. You’re thrilled with your top-performing stores – the ones with the highest conversion rates, the best compliance, the neatest shelves, the five-star online reviews.


Then there are your bad stores. The stores that don’t follow procedures and routinely report high cash loss and high turnover. The ones that threaten your profits and your reputation. The ones that show one (or all) of the following traits:

  1. Turnover: In retail, turnover is inevitable. But especially high turnover at any of your stores will cost you – hiring and training new employees is expensive, and every new associate means lost productivity during the hiring and training process, as well as errors and reduced quality while the new employee learns to perform their job.

  2. Noncompliance: Poor procedural compliance can be an issue in any store in your chain, but it’s one of the hallmarks of a bad store. These stores are late and incomplete in their reporting, too slow or too fast in completing back office tasks, and often have created their own shortcuts to your currency management procedures that hurt productivity and profitability.

  3. Poor customer service and sales: Finding time to improve customer experience in an already-challenged location can be impossible, especially if the store has bad retail conversion rates. A store’s conversion rate or transaction amount per customer factors heavily into most retailers’ staffing and labor hours. Stores with low sales per customer face the prospect of corporate limiting their hours in an effort to manage the location’s profitability. Store employees then have to manage all the same tasks required to keep the store up and running, like stocking, cleaning, merchandising and currency management, but with fewer scheduled hours available.

  4. Loss: One of the more obvious signs of a bad store is high cash loss due to fraud or simple human error. Repeated errors can be corrected with training, but in the meantime, they distract your loss prevention team from addressing actual fraud.


Can you save your bad retail stores from themselves before it’s too late? With a little discipline and the tools in place to help them succeed, any store is salvageable.


It can be overwhelming to know where to start when you’re dealing with a bad store. But it helps to start by comparing them with your good stores.


What are they doing that can help you coach challenged stores? Use them as benchmarks to measure the progress you make as you work with bad stores. Focus on indicators like:

  • Discipline and speed around daily back office tasks
  • Adherence to policies and procedures
  • Reporting and communication with corporate


See what they’re doing right that the bad stores aren’t. Then, you can follow these three steps to start bad stores on the path to success:

  1. Think about your succession plan as you move employees up.
  2. When you get a store’s compliance and loss on track, be consistent with governance and follow through so they don’t return to their old ways.
  3. Invest in technology that helps you track a store’s progress and manage their activity – currency management is an area that helps you address many of the challenges in bad stores.


Bad stores don’t happen overnight, and neither does transforming them into good stores – but it is possible to rediscover the potential they once had. Learn more about how to recognize a bad store, how to address each of the indicators, and how to improve your lowest-performing stores in the new eBook,  Bad Stores and How to Fix Them.




Image: iStock