Seven tips for retailers wanting to survive a tough spring

11 tips for surviving a tough Q1

It's not just the athletes in Sochi who are suffering a chilly time of it; worldwide retail's undergoing a serious cold snap following icy sales and frosty forecasts. So, what are you going to do to survive what's set to be a pretty brutal Q1?

Well, as the St. Bernard dogs of retail, we've pulled together seven easy-to-implement tips and strategies to keep the wolves from your door and the icicles off your nose. All of these activities can be implemented within weeks, not months, and if you follow our advice we'll guarantee you a positive outcome.

There. That's better already, isn't it?

1. Experiment, experiment, experiment

Same-old-same-old just doesn't cut it anymore. Just look at the retailers who had a bad Christmas this year - they all relied on tedious old tactics like generic across-the-board discounting thinking that what worked in the past would work in the present. The ones who thrived (John Lewis, Next, Ted Baker, Ryman) were the ones who didn't even discount at all but, instead, tried new, engaging tactics to capture the public's imagination. The trick is not to spend months and months over-thinking your experimetns but just to start doing and learning_. _As Dell's


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HMV's £50m social-commerce turnaround plan

HMV’s £50m Social-Commerce Turnaround

It's not often we're treated to a bona fide good news story in retail, but Hilco's rescue buyout of HMV most definitely qualifies. First, Hilco have an excellent track record with these things and, secondly, hopefully some of HMV's amazing team will be retained to help paddle the boat back upstream. I worked at HMV for a short time and, take it from me, some of the people there are the most extraordinary, passionate and gifted folk working in retail today. We wish them the best of luck.

But - and you knew there'd be a "but", right? - if HMV wants to rise from these ashes, some pretty critical things have to change. And we're not convinced that refocusing on music and entertainment is the be-all-and-end-all solution some people are suggesting (remember: HMV was forced to trade in tech and other lifestyle items because entertainment was effectively being sold as a loss-leader by its rivals). Nor is some mad dash to catch up with old technology the answer. It's easy to say that HMV missed the boat with ecommerce and downloads, but that's not strictly true: for every Spotify, HMV had an HMV Jukebox. For every Blinkbox, it had


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