I was recently admitted to the hospital.
One night I was feeling pain in my back, which I knew was because the day nurse wanting to get me to sit up, adjusted my bed like it has never been adjusted before by the other nurses.
When the night nurse took over, I asked her to place me back into a lying position.
She managed to lay me flat, but there was still bump in the middle of the bed that was causing my back to ache.
I asked her if she could please remove the bump.
She tried fiddling with the buttons.
When she could not find the right button to do the adjustments, she lied to me that the buttons were not working.
I knew she was lying because I had been in the same bed from the time I became conscious after the surgery.
I have been moved from ward to ward on the same bed, along the way the bed has been adjusted by different nurses.
Instead of asking a colleague to help her, she chose to lie to me.
That same night, when the nurse responsible for the patient opposite to me went on break, she asked my nurse to keep an eye out on her patient.
The patient for some reason chose the time her nurse was on break to ask that her bed be adjusted.
There is no need for a million dollar prize for guessing the outcome.
Like in my case, she went and fiddled with the buttons, when she could not get the adjustments rights, she informed the patient the buttons were not working.
At least I was mobile enough to sit myself up.
But the lady was completely immobile, as a result of the adjustments made by the nurse, she was in excruciating pain.
She kept screaming the entire night, ‘sit me down, I am going to die’ and no one understood what was happening to her.
When her nurse returned from break and her patient was screaming, she did not know the reason.
She thought the patient was screaming because of her conditions.
I sat in the hospital that night thinking to myself, this woman could die and no one will know that it was the inability of the nurse to simply adjust her bed that would be responsible for her death.
So, What Does Hospital Bed Have to Do with Retail Bankruptcy?
Two big brands in the UK Toys R Us and Maplin have today called in the administrator.
Every retail expert asked about the reason for their demise have pointed to ‘difficult trading conditions’.
Not a single one of them mentioned the fact that those retailers failed because they had business models that were fit for 19th Century retailing.
As long as five years ago, in my books, I had alluded to the fact that Toy R Us was operating an old business model.
Retail success in the new retail environment is about strategic positioning and operational efficiency.
Those retail brands with the chance of surviving the new retail environment are those that understand the meaning of those two concepts.
Operational efficiency in retail is about being in the position of adjusting their equivalent of the hospital bed well.
However, like that nurse, many retail brands lack the ability of adjusting their hospital beds, which is the reason they get into trouble.
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About the author
Romeo Richards is an experienced retail trainer and consultant with knowledge of retail marketing, store performance and retail loss prevention.
He has the ability to choreograph the customer journey, boost store conversion and enhance in-store experience using store design and visual merchandising.
Specialises in increasing retail profit through shrinkage reduction.
He is the author of 23 retail and marketing books including:
• How to Increase Retail Sales
• How to Make Profit In Retail
• Store Design Blueprint
• Visual Merchandising Display
He is the creator of five retail home study courses.
Frequently presents webinars on shoplifting prevention and boosting retail sales.
Featured in Professional Security Magazine, Retail Week & Retail Technology Magazine