There is a retail boom in India, but there are just not enough training schools to create the necessary Retail Force. Sadly retail is too big a word and too confusing. Let me explain. When a customer wants to buy bread or grocery he/she is only looking for good display, big and clean trolleys, quick billing – and thus a quick exit.
However while buying something like a diamond set, the expectations are – a young boy or girl will show the ware, explain the design, justify the price, play to the client’s ego…
When the customer is trying to buy say a Trek or Canondale bicycle – she may be looking for the shop to just let her alone! She may try to take a test ride, change gears, speed,…she may find the salesman a pain. However if she is trying to buy a cycle for the first time, she may need the help of a salesman. At this stage the salesman may also be able to sell her cycling shorts, helmet, gloves….etc. So how much to talk and when to leave the customer alone is not so easy.
Far more importantly for shops selling cars, cycles, mobikes, etc. you need to have very good people who know the vehicle and good drivers (riders) who may be called for help.
Upmarket cycle companies like Canondale and Trek do not consider India to be an important market, alas. This means you still need to buy high cycles in low end shops, and with poor tech support. At least these cycles are available in India, some high end watch manufacturers like Garmin do not have a presence in India! And there are more Garmin watch users in Mumbai than in many other countries!
Now when people recruit they make the cardinal mistake of saying ‘retail experience’. Yuck.
When a person who has been in retail business like say Reliance Retail or Subhiksha and he is asked to run a specialized store, he needs training. You cannot move a guy from Titan watches to a car showroom.
We desperately need a RETAIL TRAINING company so that each category can get a nice set of trained people…is anybody listening please?
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