Competition mapping

I was recently reprimanded and asked to delete couple of casually clicked fruit and vegetable display photographs at a French retailer’s hypermarket in Muscat.

Can a retailer keep a secret as innocent as fresh produce display that, as a customer, I wanted momentarily to capture for posterity. How much this retailer would have gained (as free publicity) or lost  (trade secret) through those photograph of beautiful display by local staff is anybody’s guess.

Someone has rightly said – ”Retail is combat sport”. The biggest problem with retail is lack of transparency of the business. Sam Walton spent thousands of hours inside his competitors’ stores. It’s virtually impossible to have any trade secrets in retailing. Your competitors can walk into your stores and, in about 15 minutes, understand your entire business-model advantage and how to replicate it. There are very few industries that are as openly transparent, and that’s problematic for retail business.“Location, location, location” and “retail is detail” does not seem too much of a competitive advantage. Perhaps, because of this, retail is a low margin business with little margin for error.


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