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Featured Post | Retail Know-How,

Successful merchandising relies on good hierarchy

We often meet retailers who have poorly organised data, whose product is grouped together based on their organisational structure or in a supplier facing way. It is often a mix of attributes and hierarchy; and is rarely consistent.   This lack of structure is holding their business back; it is limiting visibility which means it is […]

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Retail Know-How,

Successful merchandising relies on good hierarchy

We often meet retailers who have poorly organised data, whose product is grouped together based on their organisational structure or in a supplier facing way. It is often a mix of attributes and hierarchy; and is rarely consistent.   This lack of structure is holding their business back; it is limiting visibility which means it is […]

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Retail Know-How, Transformation & Change,

Why are Assortment Planning Systems so challenging to implement?

Assortment or Range planning is the majority of a buying and merchandising team’s purpose. All of the other work done is related to building the range for the next phase, the next season, the next year.   From strategy to trading, from WSSI to supplier relationships, from competitor shopping to catwalks – it’s all ultimately about […]

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My journey to consultancy. Interviewing Victoria Ward
Retail Know-How, News & Events,

Victoria Ward’s journey to consultancy at First Friday

The latest in our series of Retail Careers Interviews sees us talk to Victoria Ward, our strategic transformation consultant, who shares her journey from Merchandising to Consultancy at First Friday. Retail Careers: An Interview with Victoria Ward First Friday’s team all have strong roots in Retail. Tell us about yours: I began my career some […]

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Interviewing Jean Spencer: Why I love working for First Friday
Retail Know-How, News & Events,

Jean Spencer reflects on 21 years (and counting) at First Friday

This is the first in a new series of interviews where we explore the careers of our talented retail, change management and training consultants. First up, we hear from Head of Systems Transformation Training, Jean Spencer, who shares with us how she first found her way into retail, some of her earliest memories, and why […]

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Assortment Planning. What is it? Why is it important?
Retail Know-How,

Assortment Planning: What it is, and how to plan a basic fashion range

With my experience in buying, merchandising and planning, I am often asked to help retailers improve their Assortment Planning. From the CEO to the most junior member of the team there is an opinion on the assortment or range in store/online today; what there is too much of, what there is too little of, what […]

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Ganny Gbadebo MSc, Cert IHRLP - Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Training, News & Events,

Introducing our partner for training on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace

  Aware of the recent negative media coverage of a number of businesses, here at First Friday we saw a real need to invest in supporting organisations with high-quality, engaging training around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. As a business, we specialise in the provision of training solutions, but we’re not subject matter experts in this […]

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What does a merchandiser or planner need to be successful in the retail sector?
Retail Know-How,

A Beginners Guide to Retail Merchandising and Planning

Maybe you have just started your career in merchandising or planning, or perhaps you are a training manager wanting to know more about the role so you can put together a training programme. In either case, you need to start by understanding the roles and responsibilities of merchandisers and planners. Let’s begin by explaining the […]

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What does a buyer need to be successful in the retail sector? thumbnail image
Retail Know-How,

A Beginners Guide to Retail Buying: Understanding retail buyer basics

When people say they are a Buyer, or they want a career in buying, most of us have a picture of what that might mean. They are the people who buy the products that we in turn, as customers, buy from retail shops and websites. Simple, right? But is it..? The reality is that beyond […]

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Bespoke vs Off-the-Shelf Training Courses - article by First Friday
Training,

Choosing between bespoke and off-the-shelf training

When it comes to business systems, most organisations will ask themselves the question of whether to choose between a standard ‘vanilla’ system or a custom build – and software vendors can readily describe the pros and cons of each. But what about training?  Does the same choice exist, and how and when do you know […]

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Essential merchandising processes, tools and skills article from First Friday
Retail Know-How,

Essential merchandising processes, tools and skills for retailers

Essential merchandising processes, tools and skills for retailers Retail has always been an incredibly vibrant and exciting sector to work in. It has always been fast-moving and ever-changing as it has had to evolve to meet the evolving consumer and competitive environment. But boy, things have changed a lot in the last couple of years: […]

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The right way to implement a WSSI or MFP system
Retail Know-How, Transformation & Change,

Implementing a new WSSI or MFP system: How to do it right

The WSSI (Weekly Stock Sales and Intake) is the engine that powers the decision making of Buying, Planning and Trading teams. Installing a new engine – while keeping the business running – might seem a daunting task, but, done right, it could transform your business.  You may not have a WSSI system to speak of, […]

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What is a WSSI? - article from First Friday
Retail Know-How,

What is a WSSI and why is it so important?

You may not currently have a WSSI, and, having survived without, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. Or you may be wondering why you’re under pressure from your team to replace that old Excel WSSI which has been around for years… But if you’re a retailer who needs to manage the risky […]

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Merchandise Planning in uncertain times article from First Friday
Retail Know-How,

Merchandise planning in uncertain times

There is an old joke that when asking someone for directions the response is “but if I wanted to get there I wouldn’t start from here”. Planning 2021 is going to feel very much like that, I suspect. This year is going to be a heck of a place to plan from. We’ve always had […]

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Sustainable business change: foundations for success - article from First Friday
Transformation & Change,

Sustainable Business Change: Foundations for Success

Having been involved in many transformation and change projects over the years I wanted to share some of my experience of what I’ve learnt actually makes change not just successful, but sustainable too. So over a series of 4 posts, I’m going to share my experience about the approach I’ve seen work in the real […]

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Business change programmes: balancing capabilities and design - article from First Friday
Transformation & Change,

Business Change Programmes: Balancing Capabilities & Design

Delivering sustainable change requires a number of steps to work together. Last time I talked about the importance of agreeing and sharing the vision for the future. I discussed how critical it is to place your people at the heart of the change and support them to develop the vision into more tangible steps. In […]

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How to effectively communicate business change - article from First Friday
Transformation & Change,

How to Effectively Communicate Change Across the Business

In the first 2 posts from this series looking at the key steps to delivering successful change, we have so far discussed: Putting people at the heart of change – teams and stakeholders Creating and articulating a high-level vision for the change Agreeing benefits Building capability Addressing challenges Ordering the design process effectively Designing the […]

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Want system success? Focus on the people! Part 4 of 4: Training
Transformation & Change,

Using Training to Land & Embed Business Change for Long-Term ROI

Once you have the appropriate capability and organisational structures in place, you’ve designed the new process or system and you’ve communicated the changes and the impact it will have on both the business and the individual, the change needs to be trained out. It is no good just telling people to do it, they need […]

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Making the right choice for digital and distance learning - article from First Friday
Training,

Choosing the Right Digital Learning Method for Your Business – Now and in the Future

Once Covid is behind us, will the world of learning and training return to the way it was a few weeks ago, or will the current constraints we are having to work under have fast-tracked us to a digital world? Along with many other things, we all know that there is a trend away from […]

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