Global Perspective on Retail

Academic Day

14 May 2015, Thursday
Koç Üniversitesi Rumeli Feneri Kampüsü Sarıyer İstanbul, TÜRKİYE

Industry Day

15 May 2015, Friday
Conrad Hotel Beşiktaş İstanbul, TÜRKİYE

Representatives of the retail world came together at the KÜMPEM Forum 2015 Retail Conference which was held for the fifth time in cooperation with Koç University and Migros.The conference, which lasted for two days on May 14-15, and hosting internationally renowned speakers, started with the opening speech of Deputy General Manager Demir Aytaç. Emphasizing that 98 percent of Migros’ growing staff for 60 years, consisted of people from internal sources, Aytaç said that Koç University-Migros Retail Education Center (KÜMPEM), the first university-business cooperation model focusing on retail, contributed significantly.

At the conference, the renowned academician Professor at the University of North Carolina, who gave retail courses to MBA students. Dr. Saravanan Kesavan shared his views on labor management in retail with the participants.

Dr. Kasavan shared the results of his current research on the impact of customer traffic in stores on sales, stating that “Brands want to increase traffic in the store. Up to a certain level it means more customers, more sales. After a certain level, however, heavy customer traffic cannot be managed and sales are falling. The customer who goes to rehearsal rooms is closer to buying, more intentioned. When the store is very crowded, the customer enters with 5 products instead of 3. Because if his body doesn’t fit, for example, he can’t afford to lose his room to find a new one. In these rooms, there is a stock of expensive but not purchased products, and brands can struggle with these ghost stocks only if they manage the workforce well. ”

Established in 1999, Turkey’s first university-business focused on the retail at Koç University as an example of cooperation established with the support of Migros, Kümpem has brought the retail world together once again in the Retail Forum Conference.The two-day conference was attended by representatives of the retail sector, who had the opportunity to hear about the latest technologies in the sector in the sessions attended by internationally renowned speakers.

Demir Aytaç: ’98 percent of Migros’s growing cadres are from its internal resources and KÜMPEM has an important contribution in this.”

Demir Aytaç, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Migros made the opening speech of the fifth Retail Conference, which was held this year in cooperation with Koç University and Migros.Aytaç reminded that this year’s theme of the conference was “Global Perspective of Retail” and pointed out the contribution of KÜMPEM to the retail sector.Aytaç emphasized that 98 percent of Migros’ growing staff consists of people who grow from internal sources and said that KÜMPEM has an important contribution to this.Speaking at the opening KÜMPEM Forum Director Asst. Assoc. Dr. Meltem Kayhan ,while noting that retail is one of Turkey’s most important areas of employment,she added that the most important change in this sector, where the figures are developing rapidly, is due to the consumer’s relationship with ‘screens.“Our lives pass across the screen.” said Kayhan, adding that customer requests, complaints and sharing in retail are now more widely and directly expressed through smart devices, and all approaches in the new period are designed by taking this change into consideration.

Prof. Dr. Gürhan Kök:“Global retailers are expanding their partnerships with the academic world and developing net return projects”

Academic Director of KÜMPEM Dr. Gürhan Kök, also pointed out in his speech,that the partnerships developed between academy and retail sector provide important benefits for both sides. Although multi-channel retailing creates a potential, Prof. Kök added that it also created new problems in demand forecasting, supply chain and operational areas that are waiting to be solved for retailers.“The solution of these problems requires a more systematic and more scientific approach than the previous one.As a matter of fact, global retailers increase their academic partnerships and realize projects that create value.The successful projects not only return to companies with 3-5 points net profit increase, but these expansions also shape the retail practice in the long term.” Prof.Kök said that KÜMPEM is also working for such transformative projects and ultimately to be a center that produces new technologies, and invited retail companies to cooperate with Koç University in research projects through KÜMPEM.

Prof. Dr. Saravanan Kesavan: “The US clerk’s work schedule is determined 3 weeks in advance, and the employer pays a fine if it does not comply.”

            A renowned academician, a graduate of Harvard University, who gives retail courses to MBA students at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Saravanan Kesavan was also a speaker in the 5th KÜMPEM Forum Retail Conference.Professor.In his presentation titled “Workforce Management in Retail”, Kesavan drew attention to the fact that in the USA, where 16.1 percent of the GNP is formed by the retail sector, there is a great mobility both by the state and non-governmental organizations in order to protect the work-life balance of the retail sector employees. He said: “2 million retail employees out of 16 million, work part-time or as a temporary.The employer’s determination of their working hours 3 weeks in advance is now enacted.For example, if the employer changes the working hours of a clerk against his will, he must pay a fine.The New York Prosecutor’s Office is following this very closely.Therefore, with these new legal practices, retail labor management now requires a more rigorous approach than before.” 

Prof. Dr. Saravanan Kesavan: “More expensive products goes to the rehearsal room, pay attention to the customer going to that room, she might buy them!”

Professor Dr. Saravanan Kesavan explained the results of a recent research which he participated in his presentation.According to the results of the survey, which measures the impact of store congestion on customer buying behavior, intensive customer increases sales at first.For example, in a store with 16 rehearsal rooms, when all the rehearsal rooms are full, sales starts to increase at first. After a while, sales remain stable and then fall.

Kesavan continued: “The research focused on rehearsal rooms. A customer entering the rehearsal room is more intentioned to buy than other customers. Furthermore, the products entering the room are more expensive and more complicated than the others, not a t-shirt or a scarf.In our research, we see that a customer entering the rehearsal room while the store is full, goes with more products. When the store is too crowded, the customer goes to the rehearsal room with 5 products instead of 3. Because if her body doesn’t fit, for example, she can’t afford to lose her room to find a new one.While the customer buys a single piece of product, inside the room waits a stock full of idle clothes with a high average price.These rooms contain expensive but not purchased items.When the stock in the rehearsal room does not reach to the customer waiting for that product on time, this is reflected directly in the sales.”

Professor Dr. Kesavan stressed that to manage this ghost stock, retailers have no other way but to manage the workforce correctly. Kesavan: “We call the brands pay attention to rehearsal rooms.Because if the customer who goes there tries and likes a product, the salesperson can give an advice and create an additional sale at the moment. Correct management of the workforce in the rehearsal rooms is critical, especially in times of enormous circulation.”

Multi-channel management in retail was discussed in the ‘Multi-Channel, Multi-Display, Multi-Brand’ panel.

At the KÜMPEM Forum Retail Conference, a multi-channel management panel was also discussed.With the participation of Migros Virtual Market Manager Rıza Gürler, in addition to conventional channels, new applications in multi-channel management were shared with the participants, especially online channels that entered our lives and triggered a rapid change in retail.