Rocky Mountain Retail Camp Brings a Great Group of Retailers Together
I’ve been doing a fair bit of reflecting on our first retail training session that launched last month in our hometown of Boulder, CO. We were lucky enough to have a great assortment of some of the top retailers in the US and Canada under one roof at the same time to share ideas, learn a lot and inspire each other.
It’s always interesting bringing a group of strangers together, from very different sized businesses with different philosophies and personalities. For about 3 minutes, people are shy around each other and then, as people open up, the fun begins. By the end of the workshop, it’s like we all went to college together!
There’s something that happens in this sort of a setting…when people are taken out of their normal routines, with different people, away from their regular daily responsibilities and are focused on one thing…how to improve the retail experience they’re providing and to realize that everybody there shares these same challenges. It pushes everybody out of their comfort zone, to step back and look at the habits that have formed over the years and to be open minded to new feedback and ideas.
Our training session focused primarily on visual merchandising and store layout best practices, with just the right amount of general good retail training. We shared about a million photos throughout the session, including an opportunity for the whole group to assess each other’s challenge areas from photos that were sent in ahead of time. The whole crew did some hands on exercise in a local retailer based on all we had learned along the way.
Everybody left inspired to make their store a better place and to share what they had learned with the rest of the staff. We all made some new friends, ate great food, shared loads of ideas and opened our minds a bit more than we had in a long time. We didn’t sing Kumbaya together, but we did form a great bond with each other and created a resource that will be helpful for years to come as retail needs and consumer expectations continue to evolve.
Great merchandising always sells more product and by the end of our workshop, this message had become loud and clear to all who attended. I have clients tell me all the time that they know they should be merchandising better but they just don’t know how or where to start. Our next session of Rocky Mountain Retail Camp in October is the perfect starting point…come ready to get inspired (and have some great snacks along the way!) We hope to see you there!