K’s Denki is a nationwide consumer electronics chain known for their large-scale stores offering reasonably priced goods. Since its founding in the 1970s, K’s Denki has grown to over 3,000 outlets and was awarded “Japan’s Most Respectable Company” earlier this year.
This steady and continued success is attributed to K’s Denki’s original style of retail which includes principles such as, “The customer is not king,” and “Don’t work too hard.”
■ Don’t work too hard
As of 2012, K’s Denki was ranked fourth in the consumer electronics industry. However, they openly encourage staff not to strive to be first. They feel rushing to the top often ends in a short business life. A slow and steady growth is the key to longevity.
That’s not to say working at K’s Denki is a laid-back party. Employees are discouraged from ever touching any of the fun electronics around as there’s no way work gets done when that’s happening. Also, there are reportedly 425 different arrangements of shifts at the stores, but only around 60 of them are actually used. This is to minimize too many staff members working together on overlapping shifts.
The general rule around K’s Denki is to work smart rather than work hard. This philosophy can be found in their hiring policies as well. Rather than actively searching out the best workers, managers focus on avoiding terrible workers. The belief is it’s better to get a solid group of reasonably above-average workers rather than trying to build a team of perfect staff.
■ The customer is not king
While K’s Denki thinks the customers are swell, they feel that they’d be better served with lower prices than over-attentive staff. Salespeople do not work on commission, which means that there is no danger of them feeling pressured to sell or being overly pushy with shoppers. They are also instructed that in order of importance; staff come first, then the suppliers, and finally the customer.
To further increase their value to the company, the employees are offered stock options, which if taken allows them access to their own employer’s stockholders’ meetings. On the other hand, K’s Denki is also one of the very few electronics stores that doesn’t issue its customers point cards. Instead they hope their shoppers will appreciate consistently low prices.
■ Aggressive with competition
K’s Denki can also be rather vicious against their rival retailers. Their idea of strategic placement is to set up a new store as close to an existing competitor as possible. Not only that, they design their new store to be 1.5 to 1.7 times as large, simply to give the appearance that they offer a wider variety of goods, even if they don’t.
With all of these strategies in play the company boasts that their profit margin exceeds that of their nearest rival Yamada Denki by minimizing the cost of management and passing the savings on to customers.
So if you’re willing to sacrifice service for discounts this might be the place for you. But don’t go there too much, or you might make them number one.
Source: Naver Matome
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