And today, seemingly more than ever, third party organizations, more than individual entrepreneurs, seem to be drawn to retailing. Consider:
- Vendors and manufacturers who decided that they would rather open their own stores than continuing to deal with “failing” retailers. It would be so much easier.
- Online-only operators choosing to offer customers a hands-on experience with their product. (And then, those pesky customers were in their stores, but "Just looking, thank you." Who knew?)
But, retailing is not their core competency; they are manufacturers or direct marketers, or wholesalers, or importers, or whatever.
Hmm. We think they are likely to discover that there is more to retailing than meets the eye.
In fact, we think that opening and successfully operating a retail store is a lot like assembling Ikea furniture.
- It takes a lot more time than you expected.
- It requires a lot of attention to detail.
- It has an amazing number of small parts.
- It has no written instructions.
- There is no shortage of opinions of how you should be doing it.
- Having a picture of the finished result is sometimes not all that helpful.
- It is highly unlikely that you will be successful on your first try.
- It can seem a bit rickety even after you think you are finished.
Let us be perfectly clear. Ikea furniture is terrific. Loved and used by millions.
But so are stores! Especially those run by dedicated merchants and real students of retailing.
Successfully going from a vision to its accomplishment? The pros make it look sooooo easy.