Don’t you just love this brilliant weather we’re having? The sun is wonderful but if you are a shop owner, it shows up all the dusty, neglected corners that seem to have just appeared. However, good retail standards are not just about having a clean shop – although that’s a very good start. Here are five top tips for a sparkling shop that will entice your customers to come inside even when the sun is shining!

#1 Not just a clean shop – high retail standards

This is about having a clean shop and a lot more. Doing a blitz every now and then when you notice the dust is not good enough. The best way to overcome this is to have a morning routine. When I trained with Marks & Spencer back when dinosaurs were roaming Ireland, we were taught to do a morning inspection with a checklist. Starting at the front door we worked our way through everything from the windows to signage, merchandising and hygiene. Having a checklist ensures that nothing gets overlooked, there’s a reason why pilots and surgeons use them! The dinosaurs are gone now but there’s a lot to be said for having a critical look at your shop every morning. Getting the duster out is a good way to be busy during quiet spells.

#2 Does your layout make sense?

Your shop layout can evolve over a period of time when new stock arrives, the seasons change or a supplier gives you a new fixture for their stock. Take a look to see whether it still makes sense to the customer. Is like merchandise next to each other? This is called “adjacencies” in retail speak. The big supermarkets usually get this right. For example, all the breakfast goods are together and essentials, such as milk, are always at the back of the shop so that the customer has to pass all the other tempting displays to get to it. It’s a good idea to draw your shop layout on paper. This can often reveal poor adjacencies and allows you to play around with your layout before you have to move all the stock.

#3 Get the de-cluttered look

The big M – merchandising. There are as many views on this as there are retailers. The current trend is for a clean uncluttered look. Less is often more. Even those retailers who crowd the displays with stock will have a good space between them allowing each display to stand out. There are many blogs (not just this one!) you can follow as well as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook to give you ideas of what works well. Pinterest is particularly good for this as you can be specific about which topics you want to follow so your feed can be focussed on what you want to see. If you are a small retailer you may have always done your own merchandising. Ask a creative friend or colleague to come and look at your store to give you some new ideas.

#4 Can they find it? Signage and lighting

You know your way around your store and where everything can be found, but do your customers? Signage may be very obvious to you but to your first time customer it may not be so clear. I was always surprised when I would be standing beside the socks display and a customer would ask me where the socks are! High level signage can also give your customer an overview of what you sell.
Lighting can be used to highlight what you want the customer to see. As well as good general lighting you also need some type of spotlighting to pick out key focal points. This applies especially to window displays.

#5 What does the customer see?

Hopefully they will see a clean, tidy shop where it is easy to find what they are looking for. Your shop is like a stage and you’re on show from the moment you open. It’s important that every customer sees the shop at its very best. View your store as a customer rather than as the shop owner/manager and the change in perspective can be a revelation.

High retail standards are what we all aspire to. Attaining a sparkling shop is a combination of all your retail and creative skills in each of the five areas outlined above.  It also requires a bit of effort and hard work – but that goes with the territory of being a retailer.

Happy retailing!

© Retail Renewal 27/06/18

Retail Renewal offers practical solutions for the ever-evolving challenges of running a retail business today. If you’d like to get in touch with us about your shop or business project please give Linda a call on 086 8146949. Let us help you to support and grow your business.

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