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Ten commandments for my retail year

Victoria Suffield

My staff are capable and motivated and they don’t always need me

This is really the time for new year’s resolutions, but I worry that they might be an ongoing, and rather demanding commitment to keep up so I’d like to opt instead for a top 10 of things to do at work this year:

1. Introduce more fashion in my store. The perennial problem for womenswear retailers outside big cities is mixing up bread and butter labels with more edgy brands. We want to sell [commercial] things but we want to be selling the cool things too.

2. Pay more attention to [buyer] Lucy. She is the voice of volume and turnover where I am the voice of the bank manager and cash flow. We will not take enough money if we haven’t enough to sell and if there is no good stock on reorder.

3. Do the boring jobs first. Organise the electrician before the VAT man takes all the cash.

4. Smile more.

5. Spend a moment reflecting on a good day’s work before berating myself that it wasn’t as good as it might have been/didn’t beat last year/doesn’t count because £1,500 was from the sale of a cupboard and not a dress.

6. Don’t pick favourites. Having more than one shop should be like having more than one child. You love them both but they annoy and reward in different ways.

7. Look at the numbers. Just enough to know what’s going on and what might be going out before the rent is due.

8. Watch Are You Being Served? It’s more of a how not to do it, but Captain Peacock does a thorough store walk and I should definitely get around the building more.

9. Have a bit of time off. My staff are capable and motivated and they don’t always need me.

10. Smile (a bit) more.

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