Here at Handy Store Fixtures, we know it can be hard running a retail business. We’ve learned some lessons during our over 60 years of business, and we’re happy to share our tips for retail success.
Location, Location, Location
A good location is a critical key to success in retail. You can have all of the other pieces together, but if you don’t have a location customers will visit, it’s all for nothing. If you are an independent or small business, a good location is even more important, since new customers don’t already know your business.
Choose a location with a high traffic count, and ideally, other non-competing retailers nearby. Having successful retailers close by will help drive your walk-in traffic up. Be sure to do some research on the demographics of your potential location, too, to ensure you’re not opening a high-end store in an economically depressed part of town.
Keep a Theme with Merchandise
Make sure you stick with your theme when it comes to products for your store. Don’t go crazy and try to sell too many different things at your location. For example, if you run a women’s clothing store, don’t suddenly start carrying men’s items. Sticking to your store’s theme helps you build loyal customers who know what to expect when they visit.
When it comes to merchandise, make sure you are staying current and on trend, no matter what industry you’re in. There are new products every day, and you can draw in new customers by being the only local vendor to carry the new “it” item.
Show off your Items with Effective Displays
Your customers can’t buy merchandise they can’t see, so it’s imperative to effectively display all your products. Invest in retail displays and shelving units so all of your products are out on the sales floor. Don’t overstuff merchandise into a small space, and be sure to leave plenty of white space around your products, so the eye is drawn right to them.
Hiring and Management
You can’t be at your store every minute of every day, so be sure to hire great employees to help out. Make sure to interview all potential employees, and try to find people who are interested in the business you run. Someone who is really interested in fashion may not be the best fit for your auto parts store.
As a best practice, be sure to check all your employee’s references, and for management employees, make sure they have retail and customer service experience. You want to hire people who will be friendly and helpful with customers.
We know every industry has different best practices, so post your tips and retail success secrets below.
If you’re a small business or independent retailer just starting out, check out our new small business and independent retailer resources site, www.handybusinessguide.com.