Kill your range as less really should be more for retailers

Brought to you by Retail Insider and K3 Retail

Many craft beer bars have a focus on offering an incredible array of beers but in some cases they go so far over the top that mainstream consumers find it rather off-putting. They cannot cut through the dizzying array on offer in order to make their selection. It’s akin to rabbits in the car headlights.

Other Half brewery tap room in New York City

Such an issue has led some food and drink operators to rationalise their ranges including even the mighty Starbucks. It recently stated that it would be removing 200 items (equivalent to 30% of the goods it sells on its counters). It wants to simplify its operations and focus on its better-selling lines that it knows will bring more efficiency to its supply chain and also help reduce waste.

Reduced selections is likely to become an increasingly important part of the retail sector too as consumers continue to choose to shop with specialists and direct-to-consumer brands who in some cases have nothing more to sell than a single product with a number of variations. This combination of simplicity and the suggestion of quality are proving intoxicating to shoppers.

The high-end of the fashion industry has known this for some time and it is noticeable how sparse the ranges are when compared with the more mainstream brands. It is also refreshing just how uncluttered the stores are of the leading luxury brands. This is almost the polar opposite to the likes of Pep & Co that seek to have as much stock as possible and sell it at low prices.

Clearly the luxury brands are operating in a high margin, low volume part of the market so have wholly different models to more middle-of-the-road brands but it is clear that consumers are appreciating a greater editing of ranges by all types of retailers and brands. They are shifting their interest away from the larger ubiquitous brands towards smaller specialist brands.

This is part of a growing trend and some of the statistics from the US are telling. Between 2011 and 2015 as much as $18 billion of spending was diverted away from big brands and into the coffers of their smaller rivals. The Toys R Us collapse is a case in point, with its overwhelming range.

For retailers these underlying trends have to be taken into consideration when devising their strategic objectives for the future because it seems clear that we are moving into an era when less is definitely more.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider

K3 Retail partners with businesses to provide connected technologies based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 so retailers can reach their goals now and in the future. In a size that best fits future plans wherever you need it – Cloud, Hybrid or On-premise. Our solutions drive more than 800 international retail brands from Charles Tyrwhitt and The White Company to Ryman and Sue Ryder, Hobbycraft, Wasabi and Ted Baker, K3 Retail is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and the UK’s leading Microsoft Dynamics retail partner.