During a massive growth slump in the retail market, VITA increased turnover by £5.2m by using Maze and focusing on sales.
VITA is Norway’s largest retailer of personal hygiene goods with 111 stores and 400 in-store employees.
VITA was not struggling by any means before getting in touch with Maze, but they knew they weren’t achieving their potential.
“We were ambitious”, says Arnstad. “We wanted the whole chain to boost its performance, and we knew we needed a new operational management tool to help our stores become more involved with our employees on a regular basis.”
“Maze’s focus on transforming best practice activities into employee training programmes convinced us that it was the right tool for the job. Some of our stores were, frankly, underachieving”.
“But by allowing us to transfer the best practices from our top performing stores to the rest of the chain, increasing the focus of our staff, Maze has helped us to achieve our goals.”
The results are first-class. Despite the retail slump, VITA’s turnover has increased by £5.2m, with £2.3m coming directly from the massive improvement in sales.
A determination to focus on sales has led to the number of items per transaction increasing from 1.96 to 2.01, moving closer to the optimum potential of 2.08. There is still some way to go before they achieve their targets, but Arnstad is confident it can be reached and is delighted with their achievements so far.
“Is all of this down to Maze? Without jumping to conclusions, the numbers prove that it works. It’s clear that Maze was a major contributor to this increased turnover. Their help in focussing our staff was instrumental to our growth.”
The Maze way at Work
After making the decision to go ahead with the Maze project, VITA undertook a best practice survey of the top seven stores in the chain. They were looking to find out exactly how these stores conducted sales, and how this translated in to the number of items sold per transaction. The survey provided them with a concrete picture of how the best practice activities led to higher sales.
During their first year with Maze, VITA focussed all their attention on increasing sales:
“Before we went ahead with the survey, we held a meeting with our store managers. At first they weren’t convinced, but it’s natural for change to be met with scepticism. However, since then they look at the changes positively. They are surprised with how easy Maze’s tools are to use, and did not expect it to engage with our store employees so closely. It’s been a great contributor to the smooth running of our stores.”
The Operations department, a team of five regional managers working closely with Maze, manages the project. The regional managers talk through the weekly goals with store managers, giving them achievable expectations and providing them with store-specific training to guide them forward. These store managers then take what they have learned to their store’s staff, involving them closely in the process of reaching the target.
The only way is up
“We’re going from strength to strength!’ says Arnstad. ‘We’ve reinvigorated our sales in just one year. We are safely capitalising on increased sales, and our goal now is to increase from £13.1 to £14m in turnover. If we achieve this, our profits will grow by about £4.3m in the coming year. To ensure this, we are focussing on improving our customer service by conducting biannual surveys. We are extremely happy to have started working with Maze.”
“Within a year of working with Maze, our focus on sales has yielded great results. We’ve increased the average number of items per transaction from 1.96 to 2.01, which has led us to increase our turnover by £2.3m in one year alone”.
Managing Director VITA
Increased turnover first year with Maze
of turnover increase coming directly from improvement of sales