Parfetts, Sugro and the Association of Convenience Stores will be among the first to launch an online training tool for managers and staff members.
Retail Detail is designed to help independents increase productivity, attract more customers, motivate staff and stay one step ahead of competitors. The package has been developed by the Retail Academy, a business support service formed and funded by retail employer groups, education organisations and the European Social Fund.
The simple programme includes a margin calculator, HR information, visual merchandising techniques and induction programmes for new and casual staff. The package is also linked to existing retail qualifications and a cashflow toolkit will be added in January.
“It helps independents at the moment of need, when they have a specific problem, as well as with long-term development,” said Retail Academy marketing manager Dawn Ritchie.
Nisa retailer Kishor Patel has tested the programme and says it has been interesting and educational. “It’s the language and format today’s younger generation understand and they find it user-friendly. The product has huge development and application potential, as it can be tailored to specific branding and criteria in future,” he said.
Retail Detail costs £95 a year for 10 user names, although associations and companies will be able to set their own charging structure.
Meanwhile, Spar has launched its own online training and information service after a pilot proved successful.
Spar Virtual Academy is to be available to all retailers from the end of this month. “The Virtual Academy provides every Spar member with a vast library of information,” said Spar MD Jerry Marwood.