Thursday, January 30, 2014

Common Hurdles of Operating a Retail Store

Thinking of opening a retail store or business? When it's done right, retail is a lucrative and rewarding field that allows you to build strong professional relationships with clients. Whether you intend to sell apparel, sporting goods, pet supplies, groceries, electronics, cell phones, convenience items, etc., you'll be able to communicate with clients on a daily basis. Of course, this is just one of the many reasons why so many entrepreneurs prefer the retail industry. Like all businesses, through, there are certain hurdles you must tackle if you wish to succeed in this ever-growing industry.

Customer Data Security

If you keep up with news and current events surrounding the retail industry, you may recall a massive security breach where 110+ million Target shoppers had their data stolen. Anyone who shopped at a Target store (excluding the company's website) over the holidays and used either a credit card or debit card are at risk for having their data stolen. Thankfully, Target quickly identified the security breach and notified shoppers, banks and financial institutions.

You can read more about Target's security breach, and the 17-year-old Russian hacker who's believed to have caused it, at this article. According to the New York Times article, there were six other retailers affected by the same software.

Customer data security is a subject that each and every retail store owner must address. With hackers being able to steal data from one of the nation's largest retailers, you shouldn't take data security lightly. Take with a security expert to determine which method is best suited for your business.

Seasonal Changes

Regardless of your store's particular niche, you're bound to experience some seasonal changes in the retail industry. It's difficult to determine exactly how seasonal changes will affect a retail business. Store owners should closely monitor their traffic and sales throughout the year so they can go back and analyze the data later. Doing so allows store owners to see when sales went up, and when sales went down.

If seasonal changes are negatively impacting your business, perhaps you should optimize your store for the new season. For instance, retail apparel stores typically offer more sweaters, jackets, long pants and thermals during the winter months. And once spring and summer rolls around, they shift their inventory towards lighter clothes. This is a prime example of how retailers adjust their operations according to the seasons.

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