What Is Retail Strategic Planning?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2019
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Retail strategic planning is a detailed process organizations go through in order to have the most successful operations possible. Steps in this strategic planning process include situational analysis, set objectives, and the identification of target markets. Once the initial set is complete, a second group of steps includes the use of specific tactics to meet objectives, controlled processes, and feedback. In some cases, the latter set of steps may not apply early on. Owners and executives are responsible for guiding the company through each step and ensuring success in the retail organization.

Situational analysis involves a review of the company’s mission, opportunities, and threats. These overarching goals ensure the retail strategic planning process has solid footing for the remaining steps. For example, the mission is the theme that guides the company at all times. Opportunities represent new options for increasing revenue and profit. Threats are any external factor that can reduce the retail business’s ability to succeed in its mission.

Objectives are the various goals a retail business has set for itself. Monetary goals include sale and profit levels owners wish to achieve during each year. Retail strategic planning may also include goals on presenting an image for the store to consumers. Product positioning is another possibility. This defines how a company places its products in the market in order to compete with other businesses and gain market share.


Target markets represent the demographic groups a company believes will be most apt to purchase its products. Retail strategic planning may also include information on how to best reach these target markets, often through the use of marketing and advertising campaigns. For example, a retail operation may start with a small, well-defined market and then progress out from there. Other times, a retail operation may start with a strong national campaign if it has a large, broad target market. The target markets of multiple retail chains may overlap, creating a need for strong strategic planning.

Specific tactics and controlled processes define how a retail company governs itself. These two steps in the retail strategic planning process ensure the company is both efficient and effective in what it does. Feedback is necessary to assess how consumers perceive the company and its products. Customer service departments are often the liaison between the general public and retail operations. Internal feedback represents information gleaned from operational managers and employees, which can help the business improve operations.


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