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In retail, working capital and cash management are key. Leon Merkun, MD Working Capital Solutions at ING, explained the ‘Store Development Wallet’; an innovative total supply chain financing solution tailored for the retail store development space.
With this unique financing solution, ING and Caliber are facilitating a sustainable and efficient supply chain that also has consideration for the smaller suppliers. The solution leverages Caliber’s IT-system to automate the so called three way match between the purchase order, the invoice and the receipt.
The retailer pays for all the store materials, on one consolidated invoice, only when the store opens. Next to a working capital advantage of up to 270 days, they don’t have to administrate the separate invoices from their materials suppliers.
Suppliers themselves can decide when they want to get paid by entering their preference – per invoice - on the ING portal. The discount costs are shown to them immediately, which are typically low since financing conditions in this setup are based on the financial strength of the ultimate buyer.
Karlijn Visser – head of operations of ‘The Seafood Bar’ - explained how they manage their ultra-fast and ultra-fresh supply chain. Thanks to good relationships with their suppliers they can adjust supply levels within hours. Their ability to predict demand accurately comes from capturing and analyzing vast amounts of data. With product freshness being key to their success, they have no problem informing customers when product is sold out. Together with an ability to vary the content of menu items this means they can successfully deliver against their ‘no-waste’ philosophy.
Desiree Struijk from Senta explained why a multi-sensory approach to attract customers is essential and how it can be used to influence the customers’ buying behavior. We learned there is too much focus on vision in store designs while hearing, feeling and tasting/smelling are underestimated. Desiree also claims stores can be more successful if the differences in shopping behavior between men and women are considered more.
It is important for retailers with brick and mortar stores to protect the ‘DNA’ of their brand without creating identical shops everywhere. 80% of a store should express the core values of the brand while 20% of the store-experience should be changed regularly to ‘reward’ customers for returning to the store.
The last trend Desiree discussed is ‘blurring’. This is easiest to do when you have a very strong brand DNA. The concept of blurring can apply to many aspect like the senses, the design or for instance the supply chain. Making combinations with other brands or offerings that are mutually beneficial is an interesting trend that offers retailers many opportunities for growth.