Every other week we feature a short post here by our friend, Anne Cecil, founder of ONO-Made in the 191. Anne has over 30 years professional experience in retail merchandising & management, product design, coaching, public speaking & consulting. Her posts focus on helping retailing maximize profits, floor space & creating impactful merchandising.
CONSIDER YOUR OVERALL FLOOR PLAN
We've talked a lot about the individual sections of your store. Let's zoom out and take an overall view.
Transitional seasons are a great time to make some major floor changes. Creating a new look, flipping tack and apparel is a wonderful way to give your customers a "new" store. Before jumping into a major change, check your numbers. Run a report that shows you the% to total sales each of your categories represents to your total sales. A good rule of thumb is to devote the same % of floor space as the % of total sales. This won't always work for you, as some of your products are large, while others are tiny, but it is a good place to start.
As noted previously, most people will turn right when they enter your store. This is an excellent place to put new merchandise. As noted, build the adjacencies to build sales. Remember we are trying to get more share of wallet with every sale.
As you get to the back section and wall of the store move into necessities, the items customers come for. A supermarket puts milk in the back forcing the customer to move deep into the store. You want to use this same concept in your store. This draws the customer deeper into the store. Remember the deeper into the store and the longer the customer shops, the more likely they will be to purchase.
The best place for fitting rooms is at the end of the apparel section. This should be convenient to the clothing and easy to find. As noted previously make sure this space is clean, flatteringly lighted with a good mirror.
A great place for the cash wrap is at 9 o'clock. Your customer will have moved through 3/4 of your store and hopefully taken a trip to the fitting room. It allows you to have good site lines throughout the store and is not too close to the door, so it is safer. While many of you are not in a high crime location, you should still consider how easy it might be for a robbery while you wrap is unattended. Place the wrap so that customers can't get behind it.
So what do you do with with that from left space? Test. Any product you are testing for any reason should go in this space. Watch customer reaction and sales closely. It will provide valuable information.