Part 2 on the topic of creating a unique customer experience is “Maximise the use of your space.” God knows you pay an absolute fortune for the 4 walls your goods sit within…. so lets make it work, work, work, work, work.
If you’re like the majority of fashion and general category retailers, between 20% – 30% of your sales go towards your rent, often referred to by the big bad landlords as “Occupancy Cost %”. We’ll explore this concept and big bad landlords (yes I’ve been one of those too) more in later posts. But in the meantime let’s get straight into some thoughts on the topic – and we’ll start with a couple basics.
- Walk your shop – yes i know this is a suck eggs comment. But I’m talking about not just walking inside your shop itself but inspecting out the front of it daily. Walking past the shop from every direction and side possible on the outside, just like all your potential customers would. When you walk it – what does each angle say about your shop? Is it portraying what you want your brand to show to your customers? PLEASE get other people to do the same walk. (staff is good, non employees who you can bribe to do so is better). I guarantee despite the best intentions you and your staff will have their blind spots or “blinkers” on…..!
- What sales $psm are you generating from each of your fixtures, categories or product ranges? This will help you manage what products stay and which go AND will help you understand why some items sell or not – I guarantee there’s a useful trend in those numbers for your future range planning and visual merchandising.
- Visual Merchandising – ah yes I do fancy myself quite the merchandiser, but I’m sure my ex team/colleagues would say otherwise. Get a Visual Merchandiser together in your shop/s with the most commercially minded staff or manager. I generally don’t recommend allowing Visual Merchandisers free reign without commercially minded staff present (or if you’re lucky enough to have a merchandiser with an acute handle on the commercials, even better!). This will ensure you are maximising every sales and/or brand opportunity.
These are just a few basics, let’s continue this chat soon….