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Why Retailers Should Use A Non-Traditional Strategy

Retail Category Consultants at CACDS

If you stand still in today’s competitive landscape, you’re dead. Retailers should use a Non-Traditional Strategy to drive growth and satisfy evolving consumer needs. But, like David from the story of David and Goliath, you need to be prepared to fight—and fight using different tools in order to win. Retail Category Consultants presented at the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores (CACDS) Annual Conference 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Center on why a Non-Traditional Strategy is imperative for retail success, and how retailers can successfully capture both Baby Boomers and Millennial shoppers.

Here are the four steps to winning customers using a Non-Traditional Strategy:

1. Play to Your Strengths

Look at what you do well and marry that with what consumers want.  Redefine the way you do business. Understand when, where and how consumers want to shop.

  • Remember, 1 size doesn’t fit all!
  • Watch global trends to find new markets and ways to get consumers to push two baskets.

2. Build the Battle Plan

Don’t accept the status quo.  Store formats, products and services and merchandising are all ways to add non-traditional strategies into your business.  Use your understanding of the consumer to build a strategic roadmap of where you are going.

3. Bring the Customer Along

It’s an iterative process to get from today to the future and you need to ensure that you don’t lose relevance because the consumer can’t figure out who you are.  Take baby steps to stay relevant.

  • Build an implementation plan with a communication strategy.
  • Use your stores to test your ideas rather than focus groups.
  • Sometimes traditional communication plans are a critical piece of the non-traditional strategy implementation.

4. What if…?

Be flexible. You can’t predict the future so you need to learn as you go and be prepared to adjust: iterate, iterate, iterate!

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt

Don’t always expect to get it right.  Someone is always working to mess-up your strategy.

“Innovation means constantly testing assumptions.” — Chris Styles, Deputy Dean of the Australian School of Business


Non-traditional retailing is not a might do, if you want to grow, evolve and beat your competition on your terms. It’s a must!

Will you start to behave like David or suffer the fate of Goliath?

To learn more about how we can help your retail business achieve success, visit our retail services page or contact us for further information.