Do you make sure there’s so much choice that no one can leave without something? If that’s your merchandising strategy, perhaps you need to rethink about how you want to merchandise your store.
Think about your own experiences when shopping. If you are presented with too few options, you’re not satisfied, but if you’re presented with too many options it can be overwhelming and just as negative as too few. So, packing in merchandise to make sure you please everyone will not work in your favor.
You want to have the right amount of merchandise to support your sales and give you the turn rates that will insure your profitability. In order to do that, you will need an open to buy (OTB) system to guide your planning and buying. More about that later.
Many retailers feel they need more selection to fill up the store, but stand outside your store sometime and ask customers as they leave, what they saw inside. Very few will remember more than a couple of items, as it’s difficult to focus on more than that. Everyone has their taste level, but sales personnel and your best sales person – displays, can mold that!
Retailers seem to be willing to forego display space for more merchandise, but it should be the other way around. Your customers walk into your store and immediately begin forming their opinions from your displays. So, your displays should be well thought out and strategically placed, and… plentiful. I have told so many retailers to reduce their inventory and increase their displays. I’d suggest it for you as well.
Your displays allow you to put your merchandise in the best possible light and the merchandise will never be more appealing (even when it is on the customer). So make sure to put some effort into your displays to make the customer relate to the merchandise and want it. Of course, you will need to back up the displays with some inventory, but that will be taken care of with your OTB plan. Your displays should change often and highlight the merchandise that you want to move.
If handled properly your OTB will support your displays and visa versa. So as new merchandise rolls in new displays will replace the displays of the inventory that’s been sold down. And with more attractive and more frequent displays, you will find your sales improving and your inventory staying more in line. It will all be controlled with your OTB plan as you continue to raise your turns and maximize your sales.
It’s easy and it gives your store a constantly changing look and a reason for your customers to stop by and buy frequently.