Putting together a retail store that starts selling in the front windows and continues throughout the interior space is a complex business. It’s easy to become so focused on visual merchandising as it pertains to store décor, fixtures and the way you arrange items on those fixtures that your floor gets short shrift. But the right retail store flooring can make an enormous difference in customer experience.Read More
Palmer Retail Solutions Blog
Using CELLMATE to Secure your High-Value Products
With the holiday shopping season about to begin, now is the time to reconsider the cell phone security in your store or kiosk.
The annual National Retail Security Survey reported total shrinkage in 2012 was $44.25 billion, a third of which was due to shoplifting. Even more appalling, almost 41% was due to employee theft. Forty percent of shoplifted items were electronics, computers and appliances, no doubt because small electronic devices are both valuable and easily concealed.
With prepaid cellular becoming more popular, the trend is toward smaller-footprint stores with fewer live devices on display. But security is no less essential.Read More
Effectively manage your retail store with these tips.
Whether you have one employee or many, effective retail management requires both delegation and oversight. You can’t do all the jobs yourself, and you shouldn’t try. Instead, the best managers organize and orchestrate, always with the big picture in mind. Success starts with building the right team.
Effective managers are constantly aware of what’s happening throughout their store and they know what to be on the lookout for. What can be corrected or improved upon in regards to a store’s appearance or it's merchandising displays? What should be corrected or improved upon in terms of employee-customer interactions?
Goal #1: Create an outstanding customer experience.
Retail management covers a lot of ground, much of it is behind-the-scenes training, planning and choosing the right inventory, but ultimately it’s your customer who determines a store’s success.
Is the checkout process smooth, without undue wait times? You may want to consider adding more cash registers or self-service checkouts lanes to alleviate strain during the heaviest times, or a small kiosk that shows entertaining promotional videos to customers waiting in line.
Do unexpected little things:
- Feature an unusual display fixture that triggers an instant smile
- Have your sales associates randomly tuck a thank-you coupon into customer carry-out bags.
- Text a heads-up to your best customers about an upcoming exclusive sale.
Customer-centric retail management builds rapport and loyalty that increases sales. It turns customers into valuable brand advocates who will post great reviews and promote your store to their online and in-person friends and followers.Read More
Tags: retail space, retail tips, retail management, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, kiosk, retail industry, retail solutions, retail, management, retail store tips, Retail Environment Industry
Considerations for your pop up shop location.
Pop up shops are increasingly popular among online retailers looking to add a physical sales channel to their customer shopping options without adding the significant costs of a permanent location. But a pop up shop can be equally valuable to help seasonal marketers and traditional retailers increase sales.
- A traditional shopping setting such as a mall, where your shop might be a stand-alone kiosk or other space in the center of the main aisle, or it might be in a vacant in-line space. Vacant street-level storefront space can sometimes be a great location, too.
- Shared space within an existing store that offers complementary merchandise or services. Joint promotions can drive additional sales for both stores. Storefront is an online resource dedicated to matching pop ups with retail locations in cities all around the country.
- Within a multiple-store shopping venue such as a farmers market, arts and crafts fairs, galleries and other marketplaces that provide ongoing space for groups of pop up shop retailers.
- Something entirely unconventional such as a special events venue, sporting events and music concerts or themed expos such as health and fitness fairs. An unusual location pairing can spark additional interest in your pop up shop.
The old saying “location, location, location” couldn’t be more appropriate. But since the entire point of a pop up shop is limited duration, it has one tremendous advantage over a permanent retail store. If the location isn’t what you’d hoped it would be, you can easily go somewhere else next time. Experiment with different spaces. to see which work best for you.
Nonetheless, you want to generate the most revenue and get the strongest return on your investment, so it literally pays to select the best possible location. Look for these specific attributes:
The right ambiance.
What are you selling? Not every “good” location is a good fit with every product or service or every audience demographic. Has there been a pop up shop here before? How successful was it?Read More
Take advantage of Pinterest for your retail store.
Retailers have discovered Pinterest, in a big way. Happily, there are several ways you can take advantage of Pinterest for retail, whether you’re a big name brand or a smaller niche enterprise. You want to do that, because Pinterest is now the third most used social platform, and the one generating the highest percentage of both traffic and sales.Read More
Choose the best cash wrap configuration for your needs.
Cash wrap configurations can be virtually anything you want, which means you can design them to perfectly match your functional needs and also the look and atmosphere of your store.
Exactly where you put your cash wrap counter and which configuration you choose will depend on the size and shape of your retail store as well as which activities you need to handle at the counter area. Cash wraps:
- Keep things organized.
- Give customers a place to set merchandise and pay for their purchases.
- Encourage a bit of last-minute impulse shopping.
- Enable employees to have a final personal interaction with customers, sending them on their way with a smile.
What shape do you want?
Cash wraps can be designed in three basic configurations:
- A single countertop or cabinet surface, placed parallel or perpendicular to the wall or as a free-standing “island.”
- A two-part unit – one section parallel to the wall and another free-standing unit placed in front, facing the customer.
- Three-part design that encloses the two-part unit on one side, creating horseshoe.
Two or three-sided configurations are best if you need more than one payment station, and a U-shape improves security by restricting access behind the counter.
You can build your cash wrap counter as a simple, level countertop or add a desk-type section, but you’ll also want a cabinet that contains drawers and shelving – with doors -- to keep extra supplies out of sight. Recessed top shelves are useful for hiding electrical cords, and adjustable shelves are handy for holding hangers, returned merchandise or wrapping supplies and bags.Read More
Tags: retail environment, retail tips, palmer, retail advice, cash wraps, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, Floor Fixtures, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, retail, Retail Environment Industry
Keep your store safe for employees and customers by following these tips.
Retail display safety is critical. The last thing you want to happen in your store is an accident of some kind. Customers or employees could be injured, and merchandise could get broken or otherwise damaged. In a shopping environment where creating an outstanding customer experience is your top priority, accidents can erase all your othper efforts in a heartbeat.
What can go wrong?
Fixtures and display units come in all types and sizes – from slatwalls and shelving units to mobile or fixed display cases such as counters, gondolas and tables, to free-standing racks, kiosks or sunglass racks. Displays can also incorporate digital signage units. These products can be constructed of wood, plastic, wire, metal, cardboard or glass.
The sheer variety of display options adds to the list of potential accidents:
- Improper assembly or overloading your display with too much merchandise can cause it to collapse.
- Uneven loading can also cause a display to tip over or collapse.
- Empty endcaps and low-level stacks of merchandise can cause shoppers to trip and fall, since they’re most likely focused on your products, not the floor.
- Display hooks with sharp ends can cut or scratch.
- Damaged display components can cause failure or injuries.
- Employees can fall as a result of using back room shelving or even lighting fixtures to climb up or brace themselves when retrieving merchandise.
Tags: retail environment, Store Fixtures, retail tips, palmer, display space, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, Floor Fixtures, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, merchandising, retail, retail store tips, palmer prs, Retail Environment Industry
Market to millennials successfully with these tips.
Older generations always seem to have difficulty understanding younger ones. But for retail marketers who are perhaps in one of those older generations, millennials present a true mystery. What’s so different about these young adults? And how do you strategize an effective plan for retail marketing to millennials?
Just who are these “millennials”?
They are men and women ages 18-33 – the first generation to officially reach adulthood in the new millennium. With more than 50 million of them here in the United States, so finding an effective marketing strategy definitely makes sense for retailers who want to thrive in the future.
A report just released the renowned Pew Research reveals some interesting facts about millennials, compared to earlier generations. They:
- Hold more liberal views on social issues than their parents.
- Are better educated than any earlier generation.
- Have more student debt.
- Are less likely to be married.
- Are “low on social trust” – in other words, they’re brand aware but not brand loyal.
- Spend about an hour a day on retail websites.
- Prefer brand interaction to traditional advertising – they’re happy to engage with you, but want to do that on their own terms.
- Rely on word of mouth rather than research to make buying decisions. Social media networks are their go-to resources, especially Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr.
They’re upbeat and optimistic about their future. A whopping 85 percent of those who responded to the Pew survey said they have, or anticipate having, enough money to live the way they want to. Admittedly, many of them are either still living with their parents (thanks to the recession) or are receiving money from them.Read More
Tags: retail environment, store layout, retail tips, palmer, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, selling tips, retail industry, retail solutions, retail displays, retail, retail store tips, palmer prs, Retail Environment Industry
It just makes sense to have customer friendly store fixtures. If you make it easy and pleasant for people to shop, they’ll stick around longer and buy more!
Customer friendly display fixtures are:
- Attractive – interesting enough to draw the eye toward your products without overpowering them, while showing off your products' best attributes.
- Changeable – components you can move around your store or place in different configurations are a smarter investment because they’re more versatile. They also help keep your store ever changing and fresh looking.
- Convenient – putting products within easy reach.
Tags: retail environment, Store Fixtures, display fixture tips, retail tips, display fixtures, retail advice, kiosk advice, palmer retail solutions, customer friendly, kiosk display, customer friendly store fixtures, retail solutions, retail displays, Retail Environment Industry
How to successfully manage your retail store.
Successful retail stores are compelling in their ability to attract customers, convenient in their interactions with those customers and consistent in how they present their brand and their merchandise. Effective retail management ensures all three of those goals are met, in ways that increase sales and protect profitability. It’s a tough job.
Physical presence and people both contribute to successful differentiation among retail stores. Clear, immediately recognizable brand identity is important for every business, but it’s critical for retailers who operate multiple locations. Effective retail managers ensure their store’s atmosphere is appealing and that their employees present a welcoming, responsive demeanor. Done right, it all says “buy from us.”
Customer-centric in every way.
No one has to buy from your store. These days consumers demand personal attention and product customization. Effective retail store managers ensure everything about their establishment makes shopping an easy, streamlined and simply excellent experience.
The latest display trends.
Good old-fashioned suggestive selling never goes out of style. Top-notch sales floor staff use it when interacting with customers. But merchandise displays and digital signage can set the stage for maximum sales success.
Modular furnishings and wall-mounted display systems facilitate refreshing displays. You can test new promotional ideas as well as keep your sales floor visually interesting. Thoughtfully designed displays help speed inventory turns and reduce shrinkage, improving your bottom line in both ways. And adding interactive kiosks can give your in-store marketing even greater dimension.
Well planned, creative displays allow merchandise to sell itself, showing off color, utility, versatility, etc. Beyond that, it’s people who make the sale.
Effective people management.
Employees who are well-trained and confident are positive, motivated and motivating to others. That’s the person you want on your sales floor, and it’s the person your customers expect to see. It falls to managers of retail stores to consistently provide:
- Clear communication of company goals and priorities. The more line staff know, the better they understand their role in accomplishing goals. They feel empowered, because they can see how their work affects storewide results.
- Conflict resolution support, especially when customers are disgruntled. A well-treated unhappy customer can become a valuable advocate.
- Encouragement and active solicitation of employee ideas, especially regarding selling and displays. Floor staff that interact daily with customers know what’s working and what could be improved. Are prospective customers slowing or stopping to look at window displays but not entering? When they do enter, can they immediately see what’s available and find their way around?
The best employees listen actively to customers, and they want to contribute what they’ve learned about customer wants and needs.Read More
Tags: retail environment, retail space, store layout, palmer, retail advice, kiosks, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, selling tips, retail industry, retail solutions, merchandising, store fixture tips, retail, retail store tips, Retail Environment Industry