Retailers are busy! There are always more things to do in a day than there is time to get them done.
There’s stock to replenish, employees to manage and customers to serve. You know you’d like to spend time on merchandising, but who has time? You plan to work on merchandising when it’s not so busy. When there are not so many urgent tasks that need your attention.
Right. Let’s just face it. That time never comes. There will always be something else that needs your attention.
Don’t wait for that mythical ‘enough time’ for merchandising. Turn merchandising into a daily routine. The best way to do this is to review the store every morning and make a list of all the tasks that need attention.
Separate the list into two categories: tasks to be done today, and tasks to schedule later in the week. Write down all the tasks and assign them to a staff member to complete during the day.
Include these 10 actions in your daily merchandising tasks:
1. Review window displays. As you unlock the front door in the morning, take a look at the windows. How are the products selling? Is there a sold out product that needs to be removed from the display? If there are products in the window that aren’t selling, make a note to find out why. Check for dust bunnies and burnt out lightbulbs.
2. Clean glass: Wipe fingerprints, smudges and dust from front doors, display cases and glass counter.
3. Tidy merchandise: Put away merchandise that was put back in the wrong place. Repair hang tabs that are broken or missing. Straighten products that are hanging crooked. Make sure rows and columns of merchandise are straight and orderly.
4. Replenish stock. Fill spaces where merchandise has sold down. If there is more merchandise on lower shelves, and gaps in the middle, move merchandise up. Make note of products that have sold down and need to be re-ordered.
5. Refresh product displays: Make adjustments to displays that are no longer effective. Replace merchandise displays that have sold down, with new displays that have more product. Move slow selling merchandise to more prominent feature areas or focal points.
6. Check lighting. Look for lightbulbs that are burnt out and need to be replaced. Are lights aimed properly? Do they highlight merchandise well?
7. Review ‘shops’, departments, and fixtures. Take a look at each section of the store. Ask yourself if the merchandise presentation is still effective. When products sell down departments or shops look empty or tired. Decide if you need to do a major move within a department. Schedule it for a slower period within the next week.
8. Review top selling products. What products sold well the previous day? Think about what made those products a hit. Was it the product quality, displays, efforts of sales staff, a special promotion, the placement within the store?
9. Review poorly selling products and returns. Why are these products not successful? Is there a problem with product quality or pricing? Are they placed in the wrong location? Perhaps the customer has questions about the product that isn’t being answered. Ask your sales staff and customers for feedback on the product. Move the product to a prominent location, or create an enticing display with detailed product information. If all else fails, mark the product down, and get it out of the store.
10. Clean up the cash desk. The cash wrap area is one of the most important areas of your store. This area leaves a lasting impression of your store. The customer may spend a significant amount of time standing at the cash. Waiting. Waiting for service. Waiting for their purchase to be processed. Make sure this area is tidy and free of non-selling clutter. Try to keep tape dispensers, phones and pen holders below the counter. Remove notes to employees that are visible to the customer. Put away customer holds, papers, binders.
Each of these tasks may only take a few minutes at a time.
Together they make your store customer-ready. Ready to make a great impression!