It’s in the Detail

“A successful retail strategy is multifaceted and includes planning, product, place, people, profit and promotion.‘Retail planning is a science and designed to maximise sales opportunities and minimise risk.’ Yes… well that’s the official definition. The one you may hear in a lecture
or read in a textbook. While the concepts are rather difficult to wrap your head around, the innovative team at Retail Detail makes all the “p’s” come positively alive.”

Clean lines and shades of white characterise the Retail Detail offices, located in a quiet pocket of Mount
Edgecombe. The bright offices are akin to a blank canvas, ready to be splashed with brilliant ideas. At the
helm sits Brad Swanepoel, who – with a smile – tells of how the business was started in 2010. “I have always been
passionate about business and with a marketing background in wholesale and retail businesses it was an exciting project getting the business of the ground.”

Five years later, with a team that boasts a combined 50 years of experience – Brad recounts Retail Detail’s organic growth. “We have grown massively since we first started out – I have two partners in Les and Ryan and we have a planning team supporting them. But it has taken extremely hard work to get to where we are now. The success ultimately lies in our ability to guide our clients’ decisions by providing them with secure forecasting and an innovative, knowledgable approach to all aspects of retail. This is evidenced in Retail Detail’s impressive client list;
the business has grown to manage retail planning for 22 prominent companies including Nando’s – Culture Merchandising, NWJ, Keedo and The Space among others. “In the fi ve years we’ve been active, every single business opportunity we’ve had has come through word of mouth. Our reputation as an organised, dedicated team precedes us. This has given us the opportunity to work with people who want to work with us.”

Brad calls Retail Detail a one stop shop for planning, processes and procedures. “To begin with, we analyse our clients data and then work with sales forecasts. That’s the key to retail planning; the ability to produce forecast plans utilising the historical data and our knowledge of retail trends over varying locations and product types.” The Retail Detail team focuses on several core areas, including business plans, financial stock and sales projections, assortment buy plans, store allocations, buying and planning processes and consulting. “Each of the focus areas allows us to assist our clients to stock their product efficiently, design their stores well and train staff accordingly.”

Retail Detail partner Ryan Bloom, who has been in retail planning for all of his professional life, finds the process
inspiring. “One cannot get bored in retail planning. The environment is such that it commands creativity and flexibility. Each of my clients has different nuances, which requires me to approach each one individually, with a fresh mindset.” He emphasised the importance of retail planning, particularly for businesses that do not belong to larger retail chains. “Retail planning is scientific and the work involved is intense. Noncorporate businesses need
to step up that part of their operation and that’s where we come in – our role is to alleviate pressure by guiding you along a profitable path.”

Lesley Williamson, also a Retail Detail partner has accumulated a broad spectrum of skills in her career including
production, planning and buying. Her clients value her 360 degree view of their businesses and the practical
implementation of what is needed in their businesses.“I am passionate about giving people the business tools required to grow their brand and their business. Whether it be wholesale or retail, each business requires processes and procedures in their planning of sales and assortment in order to reach their potential in the market place. This is where we are at our best as we understand each business environment and adapt accordingly,” says Lesley.

In March last year, Retail Detail expanded to include a recruitment and talent management division staffed by
specialists in those fields. Placing the right people for the job is crucial to the success of a business and we have a broad spectrum of methods available to facilitate this. Based on testing we offer Skills and Behavioural based training to improve the results in their positions. This, says Brad, is just the beginning of Retail Detail’s growth. “We want to establish ourselves as leaders in our field. We are passionate about Business and Retail, and even more
passionate about giving these valuable tools to our clients.”

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