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The question retailers need to answer this year

The question retailers need to answer this year

As I work with retail stores to define their strategy, one of the key questions that surfaces time and time again is: What makes you you?

What is it about your store that makes it unique and different? What sets you apart from other stores that your customers have access to? Why should they choose to shop with you?

That is something that is always worth considering, but maybe more so than usual at the beginning of a new year.

A recent article looks at the success and momentum Target stores are enjoying. The article does a good job not just recounting the sales and increases, but talking about what Target has done over the past year in terms of store locations, pricing decisions, merchandising and messaging strategies, and more that has led to these increases. In sum, it recounts what Target has done that makes Target “Target.” While carrying similar items, Target is neither Wal-Mart nor Kroger, and it has focused on doing things to emphasize that point to shoppers and potential shoppers leading to the increase in its sales that is gaining media attention.

The increase in the fruits, however, did not come without attention and effort being paid to the company’s roots, its mission, its identity, it uniqueness.

Take some time in the early part of this year to be sure that your store is staying close to its unique identity and value proposition. A slogan used often in motivational circles is “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” That is true for stores, as well as for people.

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