The Good Guys targets growth opportunities
Having just opened its milestone 100th Australian store in North Lakes, Queensland, The Good Guys’ focus is now on innovation and investment rather than store numbers. And the retailer is not short of growth opportunities.
Over the past few years, the electrical appliance retailer has rationalised store locations and standardised its merchandise presentation instore. It now consists of 29 stores in NSW, 26 in Victoria, 21 in Queensland, 14 in Western Australia, five in South Australia, three in the ACT, and one each in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
It also has an integrated online offering across desktop, mobile, tablet and eBay, allowing it to service customers 24/7 when, where and how they like.
“While we have no immediate plans to rapidly expand the physical store network, we will continue to pursue the right opportunities for new store openings and store relocations,” The Good Guys CEO, Michael Ford, told Inside Retail Weekly.
No future consolidations are planned, nor are any offshore expansions, said Ford.
“Our focus is on continuing to build the business in Australia, and there are plenty of opportunities for growth here. We are always exploring opportunities for growth. Earlier this year, we introduced Miele dishwashers and washing machines to our range, which increased our footprint of premium brands.
“We continue to work with existing suppliers to secure exclusive products or ranges. And we have established exclusive strategic partnerships with the likes of Hoover and Whirlpool.”
From October 2015, The Good Guys became the exclusive Australian stockist of Whirlpool’s kitchen, refrigeration and laundry appliances. And it is now working closely with the US appliances manufacturer to identify and develop new Australian-specific appliances relevant to consumer needs.
“We view this strategic partnership as an opportunity to take the traditional supplier/retailer relationship to the next level, through a more collaborative approach to operational activities, such as product selection and sourcing, assortment planning, forecasting, product road-mapping and service levels,” explained Ford.
“We will be looking to develop more of these types of strategic alliances over the coming years.”
The Good Guys are also actively working to expand and revitalise its private label product ranges, again by securing exclusive brands and sourcing partnerships. Ford said that there are a number of private label launches in the pipeline for the next 12 months.
“From a services perspective, we continue to expand our installation services offering and our kitchen cabinetry offering,” he explained. “Furthermore, in early 2015 we launched Concierge, a new service program that provides customers with convenience and instant value from day one.
“Concierge is all about cementing an ongoing relationship with the customer post purchase and looking after the lifetime value of the customers, rather than the lifetime value of the product.”
Fail fast, win big
The Good Guys has embraced a culture of “fail fast to win big” which, according to Ford, has created a lean and agile team willing to trial new initiatives. It then invests in those that succeed, and jettisons those that don’t.
It is currently investing in its core merchandising capabilities, as well as strategies to improve store performance, optimise productivity, improve the customer experience and foster relationships with customers.
It has also developed a clear understanding of what customers are using its website for and how they are using technology in their shopping journey.
“We have utilised these insights to create a responsive website that delivers a consistent brand experience over multiple devices and is specifically optimised for our core customer,” said Ford.
“The web is playing an incredibly important role in the shopping journey, influencing half of our total sales. However, the majority of our customers tell us that while they are using our website to do research, they still intend to visit a physical store to make their purchase.
“So in order to ensure customers are satisfied at every stage in their shopping journey, we need to ensure we deliver a consistent experience and provide superior service both online and instore.”
Powering on in multichannel
Ford said The Good Guys’ multichannel business model is powered by data and analytics to ensure the retailer understands its customer at every stage of the shopping process.
“Our strategy is also unique and innovative, because we have created a customer initiated business rhythm from researching online, to buying on or offline, then re-visiting online to complete their transaction whether in the form of a bonus redemption or other data related initiative.
“Our multichannel strategy also sees digital commerce working hand in hand with all other external interactions we have with our customers. Our website provides customers with rich content to use for researching purposes, multiple channels to interact with us, and the opportunity to do it on their own terms when, where and how they want.”
Ford noted that multichannel selling had also changed instore interactions for the business.
“Our customers and their behaviours, both on and offline, have changed the way we approach everything from customer service, to conventional and digital marketing tactics, to merchandise and assortment planning.
“The changes in the way that customers are shopping have inspired us to build a capability and culture to move us from having transactional-based contact with our customers, to a deeper relationship.
“As a result, over the past few years we have been developing and implementing a transformational customer engagement model that focuses on building a relationship with the customer, exploring their lifestyle needs and helping them solve their problems by recommending a total solution in an effort to deliver customers a unique instore experience.”
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