Such a review would help retailers identify their goals and the potential fallout of not accommodating changes to the trading environment once the UK leaves the EU, which is scheduled for March 2019.
“There are going to be some bumps in the road ahead and it is more a question of how large and far apart they are, rather than whether they are coming or not. And yes, some are going to hurt,” Crow told kbbreview.
He said: “Rather than adopt the brace position, I recommend we learn from the car industry and simply work out how to be more efficient and create new opportunities from within to make ourselves more appealing than other choices consumers have to spend their money on.
“Knowing where you fit, and want to fit, requires a clear identity and an even clearer vision of how to maintain this identity.
“You need total clarity on what type of customer you are targeting, what products you will sell them, the price point, the systems and methods you will be using and even the type of employees you do and don’t need to achieve these goals.”
Crow said that a “ruthless” focus on margins, products and supplier deals, would be required for future success, suggesting that there might be certain underperforming areas of business that retailers should work out whether they are “worth bothering with”.
“I’ve heard of very large bathroom retailers doing significant volumes with suppliers and being treated well as a result – rightly so,” Crow said.
“But ultimately, the supplier is often the biggest beneficiary in these arrangements. If you are the 20 in their 80:20 sales split, it is time for you to renegotiate – and negotiate hard.”
Crow’s comments come as the UK Prime Minister Theresa May has underlined her commitment to her deeply unpopular Chequers proposals, despite them being roundly rejected at an EU summit in Salzburg, Austria last week.
The next EU leader meeting will be in October, which European Council President Donald Tusk has said will be a “moment of truth” for Brexit talks.
Crow said a defensive strategy will be important to navigate the continuing uncertainty.
He added: “You will need money in the bank and to hold on to your cash for as long as possible.”