The Holidays are a busy time for many retail businesses, and they will be here soon, so you want your first impression to be a good one.  Let’s start outside and look at your store from the customer’s perspective.  Your window displays should be used to get people’s attention – those walking by, and in some cases driving by.  Make sure people can see the display by having it well lit, especially if people tend to see it at night.    Avoid using your doors and windows (prime display space) for advertising all the local fundraisers, high school team schedules, and so on.  It’s great to support those activities, just do it at a separate location (bulletin board, etc.) within the store.

Once they are in the door, it should smell good.  Not overpowering, but pleasant.  Soft, appropriate music can also help.  How about a fresh coat of paint?  Use small signs near the merchandise to help customers find what they are looking for.  If you can do this in a fun way and make them smile, even better.  Remember, your merchandise should be displayed from the knees to about 6 inches over the customer’s head.  They don’t want to, and usually won’t, bend over to get items off the floor or they simply won’t see them.

Now, the two biggies!  Most stores don’t have enough light.  People won’t buy it if they can’t see it.  Replace burnt out light bulbs.  If possible, use track lighting to highlight merchandise, not the wall or the floor.  And finally, if appropriate, get your customers to touch the product.  They are much more likely to buy if they pick it up and look at it, smell it, feel it, and fall in love with it.  Of course you need to have excellent service as well, but that’s a topic for another day.

What have you done to spruce up your retail location?

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