Retailing-a brutally demanding trade with some fundamentals that you must repeatedly deliver 

Hart’s Corner, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, 1986

Retail is a brutally demanding industry.

The commitment and time required to succeed with a retail business are things I am completely familiar with, having been involved in start-up retail businesses for about 25 years.

The day in, day out, 7 day a week demands in most cases, wears you down and tests your commitment. Especially when you see friends or family having weekends off, regular shifts in apparently ‘handy’ jobs, and bags of annual leave.

I am reminded of this now that students are gone back to work and certain retail businesses with which I am familiar struggle to maintain their regular standards and opening hours.

People are creatures of habit and when they get into the habit of stopping off at your store as part of their daily routine it is a powerful win for your retail business.

But when you disappoint them by a drop in standards or failing to open when you are supposed to then retail can be brutal and your customers will simply move on.

If you are experienced in the retail trade or if you are born into it you just know, understand and accept that this is the way things are. It does not have to be explained to you.

Not coming from this background, however, may result in you failing to entirely grasp this central tenet of retailing.

If you don’t learn it fast your business will suffer irreparable, irreversible damage. And you only have a limited time in which to address any of these failures to consistently deliver your products or services to those you have come to serve.

Back to school, back to college does create significant problems. Your success may depend on being able to sort them out fast.

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