The Lean Retailer is a place where the retail community can come together and share best practices, exchange updates on the latest retail technology trends and get inspiration from other merchants and tech entrepreneurs. Inspired by the lean methodologies of the technology startup community (and in particular by The Lean Startup), the site is dedicated to building a community of forward-thinking, tech-loving, independent retailers that are looking to embrace an agile, data-led approach to their decision making.
So, What is Lean Retail and How Can You Get Involved?
Lean Retail is a new way of thinking about brick and mortar business that’s inspired by the methodologies and philosophies of the technology startup industry.
Born out of an environment where time, information and money are often severely limited, technology startups are often under enormous pressure to avoid waste and be smart about how they use their resources. Despite this, in the rush to innovate, these companies sometimes find themselves taking months and spending a fortune to bring a new product to market, only to find out that nobody wants to use it.
There’s a saying in the tech community, ‘if you’re going to fail, fail fast’, i.e. if your whole concept is going to fail and all your assumptions are going to be proven false, better it happens quickly and before you’ve spent all your money. In a nutshell, lean methodology is a process to ensure we are failing fast, i.e. we’re learning what works (and doesn’t work) quickly and without overcommitting. It’s about building quick, cheap, even scrappy tests of our key business ideas, measuring the results and changing our plans accordingly. It’s my belief that this methodology can be of huge benefit to the retail community.
If you navigate over The Lean Retailer now you’ll be able to find a whole bunch of articles from merchants like Ike Escava from The Bean in NYC and from experienced entrepreneurs like Jed Kleckner of Delivery.com. You’ll also be able to sign up for a completely free email course on Lean Retail, called Lean Retail 101. These emails will be delivered once a week for 5 weeks. They are short, easy to read and provide actionable advice to help you make smarter decisions. If you’d like to contribute an article to The Lean Retailer, you can get in touch via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.