Dos and Don’ts for Opening a New Store in 2019

Dos and Don’ts for Opening a New Store in 2019

By Handy Store Fixtures
Posted in Retail, Store Management
On December 12, 2018

Can you believe 2019 is just a few short weeks away? The new year has many people thinking about their accomplishments over the past year, as well as their goals and plans for the future. If you’ve been toying the with the idea of opening a new store in 2019, this new store guide is perfect for you. Keep reading to learn the most important dos and don’ts.

Entrepreneur Commitment

Do: Be prepared to work significantly longer hours, especially when you first open your store. You’ll need to learn every aspect of your new business to sustain a successful competitive advantage in your marketplace. It's the best way to manage your business and attract the appropriate employee talent who share your same goals.

Don’t: Think that because you’re a business owner, you can come and go as you wish. Being a retail business owner is not a traditional 40-45 hour a week job. It takes hard work and a tremendous amount of dedication to ensure a successful and profitable business.

The “In-Store” Customer Experience

Do: Instantly create a memorable “in-store” experience for your customers. This includes considering how merchandise is displayed on store fixture units, keeping merchandise consistently in stock, and providing friendly sales assistance at all times. Take advantage of end cap displays and merchandise them with products that generate the highest profit margins. The overall objective is to provide customers with outstanding service — something they can't get from online retailers.

Don’t: Expect to succeed in retail by simply putting up signage, placing unprofitable merchandise on the gondola shelves, or running digital or print advertisements. In today's changing retail environment, it's highly likely that the products or services that you provide can be bought online or from another retailer. Therefore, it’s essential to exceed expectations the moment a customer walks into your store.

Related: How to Set Up Your Retail Store Layout

Customer Service

Do: Train your sales associates as to how you expect customers to be treated, whether in-store, online (email & social media) or on the telephone. As the business owner, proper examples of how customers should be greeted and treated should be a top priority. Run monthly meetings with your team and discuss what can be done to increase the consumer experience effectively. Trust us — it’s worth it! There are also plenty of articles on the Internet regarding customer service best practices. Read them carefully and apply what you think will work best for your business.

Don’t: Have the mentality that because you have a well-designed store, in a fantastic location, with high prices, you are assured retail success. Bad customer service can poison any business, and in the mobile technology world we now live in, with online review sites such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google, your online reputation is significant. The last thing you want as a new store business owner are negative reviews surfacing before you can make a positive impression within your community.

Effective Usage of Merchandise Space

Do: Work directly with your Handy Store Fixtures Store Designer to effectively take advantage of retail merchandise space. Since you are paying rent on the entire area, take appropriate action to make sure you are getting the most out of your store. This includes increasing the heights on your gondola and wall shelving units to allow more products to be displayed, which will impress your customers.

Don’t: Forget to take advantage of natural interior building features such as windows, brick walls, or columns. Products like see-thru wall units allow windows and brick to be seen at their best advantage, while slatwall panels can be cut down to size for retailers looking to merchandise products on columns.

Foot Traffic

Do: Carefully analyze the amount of foot traffic that will be in the general location of your new store. It’s imperative to conduct a market research analysis of the geographic location and determine if your store will be a good fit for the community. Also, keep in mind the number of competitor stores in the same industry and the proximity of those competing businesses to your store location.

Don’t: Choose a store location because you "love" it, or because you negotiated a fantastic deal on rent. For example, if you are looking to open a pet shop but are choosing a location that’s not in a suburban area with many young families, that may not be the most strategic business idea.

Related: Brick and Mortar Stores vs. Online Stores: How to Increase Foot Traffic

There’s so much to think about and do before starting your own business, but many small business owners don’t know that without a proper store design and layout, your hard work will go to waste. The team at Handy Store Fixtures has over 60 years experience designing and creating successful store layouts for businesses in every industry. When you’re ready to open your retail store, our store designers are here to help.

Take the First Step to Open Your New Store

Speak with a store design specialist today.

Handy Store Fixtures

Handy Store Fixtures

Headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, Handy Store Fixtures is a United States leading store fixture manufacturer producing the highest-quality retail display fixtures. We provide independent retailers with a variety of shelving and display options and services designed making the store shelving layout process easy.