Miriam helping small businesses to thrive

THE retail industry has been seriously impacted by the Pandemic, with nonessential retail being closed for 18 weeks in 2020, and all of 2021 so far. A grim start to the new year. Miriam Simon, founder of retail strategy website pto.ie, has made it her mission during Covid to ensure that small to medium retailers flourish during these challenging times with the creation of The Retail Powerhouse, a subscription based forum that gives smaller and independent retailers access to retail supports, and expert trading advice, for a nominal monthly cost. 

This trading focused group includes a weekly live session covering retail topics that the members determine, nimble focused business and strategic advice as the Pandemic evolves, retail experts as guest contributors and speakers, as well as access to relevant retail content, IP documents and tools to help retailers plan and build for their businesses.

Miriam has been consistently working with CEO’s and Business Owners prior to and during the pandemic as a mentor and strategic support, delivering external trends, advantageous information or introductions, and inspiration and advice to help them future proof and grow their businesses.

Miriam Simon said: “To ensure small to medium retail survives and thrives during these challenging times, they must use this opportunity to really connect with their customers, have clear consistent business as usual messaging, whilst ramping up on social media and use video to bring their brand and products to life. 

“Remembering that whilst retailers doors may be closed they are still able, and can recalibrate – so that they end this pandemic in a stronger market position.” 

Miriam’s usual focus is on commercial strategy alongside organisational structure and operations. Her extensive experience includes senior roles within brands such as TKMaxx, Monsoon Accessorize, LifeStyle Sports, and B&Q amongst others. Currently with all nonessential retail closed and click and collect not permitted, this means that unless retailers have a fulfilment system – It is now extremely difficult to trade. 

This has particularly impacted SME and local retail that are either new to E-Commerce, or don’t yet have an E-Commerce offer. Miriam wanted to support smaller retail business by guiding them through these unprecedented times with her years of knowledge.

Across the arteries of the Ireland – there has been opportunity for the smaller retailers to be more agile and realise a new market of ‘no longer’ commuting customers. More support is required to help SME retail to realise and make more of this opportunity.

Seven key pieces of advice from Miriam to ensure local retail survives these times are:

1. Have clear, consistent ‘business as usual’ messaging.

Ensure customers have clarity on how they can get in touch with you. Including;

– Clear window signage (well sized so that it is visible from across the street) – Regular reminders via email and digital channels that you…


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