6 Merchandising Tips for Any Type of Retail Store
Every type of retail store has its own unique aspects to merchandising, customer service, etc. But there are some commonalities, as well. The following six tips should be useful to any type of retail store and are meant to give you some ideas on how to effectively improve your merchandising.
- Replenishment – The key to selling more merchandise, not matter what kind of merchandise you sell, is to have it on the shelves at all times. That means ordering new product before you run out of the old product. Establish your replenishment trigger based on an average number of sales per time period (for instance, per week). If you sell 15 widgets per week on average at 12 stores in your regional area of responsibility, automate your replenishment when your store inventory reaches 10. That way, you can order and receive your product before you run out. Adjust these numbers to fit your unique retail culture.
- Organize by Vendor – Yes, you want to know how many of each type of product as well as size, color, etc. you sell each day, week, and month. You’ll also want to track sales of merchandise by vendor. You want to do this because it will improve your relationships with vendors and customers alike. Some vendors offer discounts based on volume. By tracking your sales by vendor, you can save on your purchases and pass that savings to your customers or increase your profit margin.
- Calculate Costs Accurately – You want to calculate your costs based on criteria that makes sense for your retail chain. You’ll likely make more buck per dollar spent if you calculate based on multiple factors simultaneously. You can calculate costs per order, by the month, or by product type and brand name. Choose your own criteria, but know what it costs you to order your merchandise. Otherwise, you’ll have a hard time figuring your profit.
- Allocate Your Merchandise Wisely – Customers at different stores within the same chain often are interested in different items. For instance, if you run a sports equipment store, your tennis customers at one store may like Wilson tennis balls while customers at another store may purchase more Dunlop. Your job is to know your customers. You can keep both Wilson and Dunlop on hand at both stores, but allocate your inventory in a way that makes sense for each store in your chain according to your customers’ purchasing habits.
- Drill Down to SKU – If you have a lot of inventory broken down by size, color, other customer preferences, track your merchandise by those categories, but track is also by SKU. You’ll get a more accurate inventory count.
- Set Up Special Displays – A part of the fun of running a retail store is setting up merchandise displays. Use your endcaps wisely, and set up special displays throughout your store to draw attention to particular products you want to move.
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