Guido Schild

Guido is a brand & retail manager who has worked for 25+ years for small and high profile brands in Europe, Asia, US and the Middle East. Throughout his career he has assisted entrepreneurs and managers to successfully grow their brand distribution. He currently coaches start-ups on their strategic growth path.

Partner Retail is Still the Smarter Retail and Here is Why

DTC became brands’ favourite distribution channel, but it is investment heavy. Partner retail is lighter and more profitable. VF, Pandora and Levi’s show how to grow both.

If you are like most premium and mid-market brands, partner retail is not an own distribution channel, but a strategic stepchild. If you want to determine where you are, allow me these 3 health questions:

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(Retail) Love in the Time of (Store Closure) Cholera – 8 Reasons why Retail Expansion will Prevail

There are store closure programs wherever you look. But online pure players and successful brands continue to invest in retail expansion. So why is this?

To start with, I’m a finance and control guy by origin, certainly not a creative that simply likes brand stores because of their looks. I love retail expansion, because with the right ingredients almost any product category and brand can operate profitable stores – but you’d better know how. Retail expansion strategies have been my most interesting assignments, because the store operations models behind the façade are as complex as they are colourful.  (more…)

Lululemon vs Under Armour: Is it Barbie vs Ken or about Qualitative Brand Growth?

In the competitive sporting goods industry, not many brands succeed in reaching the top, but Lululemon and Under Armour have.  We outline how they created brand growth and whether they have the potential to stay on top.

Over the last couple of years some sporting goods brands have managed to gain visibility and market share and two of them – Lululemon and Under Armour – have shown an outstanding brand growth development. (more…)

The Uber Way of Wholesale Buying – Tommy’s New Digital Showroom

Investing in wholesale buying processes was not a brand industry priority over the last few years. Tommy Hilfiger prioritized it though and created best practice.

The media is flooded with stories of new future stores and advanced consumer technologies. All brand investment strategies point towards direct-to-consumer, while digital wholesale transition is far from flavour of the month. Despite this, Tommy Hilfiger launched a new digital showroom in 2015 that has been piloted and is now being rolled out across the globe has all the ingredients for best practice wholesale buying processes. (more…)

Disarmament of Brand Performance Metrics – a Small Task Creating Big Impact

L4L, Share DTC, Mark Downs, Space Density, 4W-Contribution, … there were far too many brand performance metrics to manage brand distribution easily. And now with social media & the internet arriving, another set of 10 KPIs are supposed to be important.

Next year’s planning arrives soon with many new priorities for your business agenda 2018. It’s likely you have already far too many topics to focus easily, but allow me to suggest one more topic. I promise it will be done after a day, or will create you some enlightenment towards your true needs & priorities. All you have to do is ask 10 members of your team one question. Their answers will give you the key to a year with better focus, an increased performance and potentially 50% less management reports.

So what do you have to do?

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Abercrombie – the Beach Models are Gone, It’s All Down to the Business Model

If you are a great brand and plan to grow in international retail, make sure you have a competitive brand business model. It takes more than six packs to be successful.

As the beach boy six packs are no longer in action, what is the brand’s competitive edge? Can you remember any new store opening hype lately for Abercrombie? In 2011, at the height of Abercrombie & Fitch’s international expansion, we looked for the first time at the brand’s P&L and its retail KPIs (see retail intrapreneur). In 2011 alone, US$230m in capital expenditure was spent on expansion in Asia and Europe. The US management was counting on the success of the brand’s international expansion. We questioned whether the business model was ready for European growth.

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Kalashnikov – a Sterile less Authentic Brand Store

Russia’s global brand has gone into brand retail, at the Moscow Airport. Weapons on display are fake, but the retail ambition is true.

You can build a authentic brand store and fill it with coffee capsules from Switzerland, sandals from Brazil, paper notebooks from Italy, BBQs from the US, or water pressure cleaners from Germany. Whether you name your store Nespresso, Havaianas, Moleskine, Weber or Kärcher, the list of brands that have ventured into brand retail is already colourful. The moment you think it can’t get any crazier, along comes a new entry. (more…)

Units Per Ticket Below 1: Get Effective in Cross Channel

In times of decreasing store footfall and sales, brand retailers focus on driving L4L strategies. This article advises how to drive sales per ticket.

In the old days, higher average selling prices were a convenient strategy to grow competition. This often worked, even though the number of tickets came down. But over the last few years, many retail managers focussed on monitoring conversion rates and units per ticket when driving same store performances – now we may have to look for new ways to grow L4L sales. (more…)

Caine’s Arcade: A 9 Years old Global Retailer of the Year

There were many great and successful retailers in 2012, but Caine Monroy was probably global ‘Retailer of the Year’. Caine was just 9 years old, but his creativity & determination earned him more than 10 million YouTube views, as well as global TV stations picking up his story. Forbes magazine explained why Caine will be a future billionaire and Justin Timberlake tweeted “my new favourite entre­pre­neur”. If you haven’t come across his story yet, visit Caine’s Arcade online and get your own shot of inspiration. (more…)

Growing with Brand Distributors in Partnership

Global brands use wholesale & retail distributors to enter foreign markets. This article provides tips on how to avoid pitfalls and best manage distributors.

Jan 2014, Berlin: Three years earlier, a French outerwear brand* signed an exclusive partner store distribution agreement for southern Germany. Visiting the newest German store, the French CSO realises locations continue to be rather ‘cheap’ and off the High Street. The distributor argues that the brand doesn’t pay High Street rents.

May 2014, Dubai: The CEO of a Swedish womenswear brand* is on vacation in Dubai and realises his long-time Middle East distributor is also managing 10 other brands. The brand’s previously exclusive position is diluting as the distributor’s new favourite brands get the better locations in the new malls opening up. (more…)

Brand Retail Strategy: Retailers are from Mars, Brands are from Venus

Hundred fifty years of brand retail strategy, yet still many big brands trial & error to grow successful. We explain why experience is no guarantee for success.

A look back at around 150 years of brand retail strategy reveals a path paved with unsuccessful attempts to grow. Brand retail strategies were diverse, but annual reports tell a familiar story: none of the major midmarket brands have really made it. As Polo Ralph Lauren (retail launch 1971), Nike (1967), Levis (1983) or Esprit (1986) can attest, even experience is no guarantee for success in retail, nor does it offer exemption from crushing setbacks. And more recently Hugo Boss, Gerry Weber or Tom Tailor joined this list.

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10 Tips for Excellence in Brand Partner Distribution

Most brands use partners to grow their brand internationally. We provide 10 best practice tips to grow your international partner distribution successfully.

You think the biggest risk in partner distribution is to lose a partner and all local sales? Puma’s CEO Jochen Zeitz thought so too, until Puma’s Greek distributor filed for bankruptcy in 2012. Puma paid a high price when it had to inform the stock market that it might lose €115m; quite a figure, considering the entire Greek sporting goods market is less than €500m in annual sales. (more…)

Brand Restructuring in 20 Minutes

LEGO’s recovery from bankruptcy is a most convincing example of brand restructuring. In an excellent 20 min interview LEGO’s CEO explains how they did it. And more, you will find him somewhat singing at an investors conference.

If you believe Apple may have had the most convincing brand turn around of all time, then you should broaden your perspective by reading about LEGO’s recovery. The story is not as prominent, but has at least the same number of interesting brand strategy learnings. LEGO’s strategy mistakes and turnaround are a must-know for every brand executive. (more…)

KPIs is not All – Learn to read your Brand Retail DNA!

Brand retailers have many KPIs, but still can’t guarantee expansion success. This article shares how to read a brand’s retail DNA and lower expansion risks.

Imagine you are CFO or Finance Director of a successful wholesale brand – a brand that sells home interior items, chocolate, toys, or BBQ grills. You have a portfolio of more than 100 own and partner stores. You are a strong brand in your segment, but your forays into retail show mixed store P&Ls. Unlike wholesale profitability, the performance spread of your store is huge. Your organisation offers many explanations and excuses. But you can’t really ‘read’ why sometimes retail works and sometimes it doesn’t. (more…)

Multichannel Growth: Wholesale is our Favourite

Multichannel growth is the brand growth strategy of the century. We are creating a scenario where wholesale will experience a revival in 2020.

Multichannel growth has been the daily business of brands since the 1990s. In fact, multichannel competence was the key success factor for many best-practice growing lifestyle brands. But the term ‘multichannel’ became common when internet distribution entered the scene. Though 10 years before, many brands distributed via multichannel already; in wholesale, shop-in-shop, franchise stores, catalogues (all wholesale distribution), concession, own full-price stores or factory outlets (retail distribution). (more…)

Retail Conversion Rates: Made in Saudi Arabia

Retail conversion rates vary and are heavily influenced by the quality of traffic and consumer shopping modes. This post offers examples and insights.

It’s common retail sense that retail conversion rates vary from location to location. A store in a train station, with commuters & tourists often doing last minute shopping (in need-to-buy-mode), creates rather high retail conversion rates. The shoppers know what they want and they have little time to browse. Airport shoppers on the other hand check-in early, but have lots of time to browse around (impulse-buy-mode). As a result, airport stores report rather low retail conversion rates. (more…)

Bow Power: Retail Customer Service KPI of the Year

Retail customer service is measurable, most notably in Japan’s retail sector. The country has been known for its service culture for many years.

Its retail sales staff stand out when compared to their counterparts in other countries. Yes, department stores are dying off in Japan too and retailers are cutting costs, but retail service continues to be superior. As retailer managers we still look to Japan with great respect for their service culture. How can they afford to hire so many retail service personnel? (more…)

6 Ways to Engage Consumers to Drive Store KPIs

Store KPIs are going public in Times Square, New York. We share 6 creative ways to engage consumers in your store KPIs. Ideas on next generation reporting.

There are many ways  to report inventory turns and as New York is an expensive retail place, retailers there have to be more creative about how they do this. Nygård’s Times Square store for example, communicates stock turns on a live ticker (similar to those at the NY Stock Exchange) in their store window. “We sell a pair of leggings every 45 seconds!” tells consumers that stock turns fast and you had better hurry up if you want to participate. (more…)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – A Brand Future Store in London

California footwear brand TOMS launched its first London store, well balanced in brand and commercial needs. We assess the store and its specific features.

Future stores concepts are as old as electric cash registers. Whenever store technologies evolve, store processes and consumer experiences change ­and marketing hype is created for a new generation of ‘future store’. Possibly the first store that deserves the label is a hypermarket launched by Metro Group Germany in Rheinberg. The store was piloting a number of advanced technologies such as self checkout and RFID. (more…)