Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

How to Control Big Crowd on Black Friday

Posted by Kathy Heil on Nov 13, 2014 5:33:48 AM

9 Tips for Store Safety on Black Friday

Photo Courtesy: Albuquerque Business Journal

This year, dozens of major retailers plan to kick off their holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Day, ahead of the traditional Black Friday frenzy, but you can still expect huge crowds on Friday as well. Above all else, you need to keep your store and customers safe. In the second article of our 5-part blog series on best practices for retailers on Black Friday, we offer five tips to keep your store safe and your customers happy.

Expect big crowds

Industry watchers say this year’s crowd could be the biggest in eight years. In a recent consumer survey, a full two-thirds of respondents said they plan to shop on Black Friday. That’s up from 55% last year. Expect to see more Millennials, experts say, and expect them to outspend their older fellow shoppers.

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Tags: holiday shopping season, black friday store safety, store safety tips, Black Friday crowds, retail store safety tips, retail stores, tips for store safety, managing black friday crowds, Black Friday best practices, retail store safety, holiday retail tips, Black Friday tips for retail stores, retail store, retail solutions, Black Friday, retail, Black Friday tips for retailers, black friday store security, Black Friday Retail Tips, black friday 2014, holiday retail stores

Types of Cash Wrap Configurations

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM

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.

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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

Retail Display Safety

Posted by Kathy Heil on May 2, 2014 5:00:13 AM

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.
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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

Retail Marketing to Millennials

Posted by Kathy Heil on Apr 29, 2014 10:00:58 AM

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.

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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

Five Tips for Effective Retail Store Management

Posted by Kathy Heil on Apr 22, 2014 5:00:42 AM

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.

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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

Leveraging the Shopping Behavior of Millennials

Posted by aderby on Jan 9, 2014 6:52:04 AM

Create a retail environment that attracts millennial shoppers.

If your retail store is looking to target millennial shoppers, it's worth your time to customize the environment to suit their needs and spending habits. Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, were the first generation born into a truly digital society. Don't underestimate this tech and Internet savvy group; they continue to spend 81 percent of their retail dollars at brick-and-mortar stores. This spending will reach nearly $2 trillion for offline stores by 2015. If you think you can't compete with online stores for millennial's attention, think again. It's worth your time to invest in this highly sought after demographic. While a majority of millennials shop in-store at least once a week, stores still face competition and struggle with customer loyalty. Millennials have the lowest conversion rates out of all the generation groups. This requires you as a retail store to cater to the desires and tendencies of millennials. Translate these opportunities into purchases and revenue by following these tips to attract millennial shoppers.

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Tags: retail environment, retail space, store layout, millennial shopping habits, retail tips, millennials, palmer, retail advice, millennial, attracting millennial shoppers, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, selling tips, retail solutions, retail displays, retail, retail store tips, Retail Environment Industry

Increase Holiday Sales with Digital Displays

Posted by aderby on Dec 13, 2013 11:44:21 AM

Use digital displays this holiday season.

Clear, concise, and compelling signage can be your greatest asset to drive customers to your retail store this holiday season. Signage gives customers a reason to choose your store over the endless line of competitors. Signage should facilitate the shopping process by clearly conveying your retail store message and should be front and center in your window display. Good retail signage tells customers what or why they are looking at a selection of merchandise. Use digital signage to your advantage this November and December to highlight your most attractive seasonal items.

Ways to Use Digital Displays

Proper signage usage can drive customers to your store and increase brand awareness. Use these tips to create digital displays that engage the customer and improve store sales during the competitive holiday season.

  • Highlight your most profitable items. Kiosk Marketplace reports that sales on items advertised on digital signage displays can skyrocket over 15 percent.
  • Share special promotions and deals. Make your shopping incentives known to the world by showcasing them in easily noticed digital displays.
  • Advertise your loyalty program. Turn passersby and new consumers alike into return customers by giving them a reason to come back with your loyalty program.
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Tags: retail space, holiday sales, retail holiday, retail kiosks, digital displays, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, retail signage, holiday retail tips, retail solutions, signage, Retail Environment Industry

Holiday Marketing Stats for Retail Stores

Posted by aderby on Dec 4, 2013 1:01:07 PM

Numbers to know this holiday season for retail stores.

The holiday season is here and as a retail store, there are some numbers you need to know in order to make marketing decisions. How should you reach your customers? How soon should you start promoting holiday campaigns? Are shoppers buying in-store or online? HubSpot compiled some of the most necessary numbers and statistics for retail stores so you can make wise marketing decisions this holiday season.

Holiday Marketing Statistics for Retail Stores

The holiday season holds selling opportunities for B2C and B2B companies alike. Everyone is buying gifts and gadgets for Christmas and preparing for the upcoming year. If you market your retail store right, the holiday season is an opportunity to take advantage of the influx of customers. Here are some numbers and statistics that will help along the way:

  • Timing is everything, and successful stores realize this. You can't wait until the holiday season starts to advertise your promotions. You need to build awareness before so when the holidays hit, your retail store is top of mind. In fact, 49 percent of marketers created and launched a holiday campaign before Halloween this year (2013).
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Tags: retail environment, retail space, holiday marketing, retail tips, holiday marketing statistics, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, holiday marketing stats, holiday retail tips, retail solutions, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Retail Environment Industry

Signage Tips for Your Retail Store

Posted by aderby on Nov 7, 2013 5:14:39 AM

Create compelling signage for your store.

Clear, concise, and compelling signage can be your greatest asset to drive customers to your retail store. Signage gives customers a reason to choose your store over the endless options of competitors. Signage should facilitate the shopping process by conveying the message of your retail store. Signage should be front and center in your window display. Good retail signage tells customers what or why they are looking at a selection of merchandise.

Signage Tips for Your Retail Store

  • Keep it short and sweet.
  • Choose fonts that are easy to read. Simple and clear font characters will attract customers to your message, followed closely by the product. If the sign can't be read in one glance, customers will move on.
  • Make your sales pitch. Why should the consumer buy your product? What benefits will it give them?
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Tags: retail space, signage tips, store signage, retail tips, retail store signage, palmer, Palmer Retail, store signage tips, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, selling tips, compelling store signage, retail solutions, Retail Environment Industry

Tips for Retail Store Success

Posted by aderby on Oct 31, 2013 6:36:45 AM

Create a successful retail store environment.

Elements combine to create a successful retail store. Store fixtures provide the building blocks for an effective layout, but employees, location, and inventory are just as important. Follow these tips for retail success.

Elements of a Successful Retail Store

  • Location. Choosing a successful store location is the first step towards establishing yourself as a dominant retail store. No customers means no sales! Keep shopping habits of your target demographic in mind before leasing a space. Independent stores should choose space in high traffic areas since many consumers will be unlikely to venture to find a store they have never been to before. Keep rent prices in mind as well. Too high a price and you’ll be charging more than the market can bear for your products. If you’re a high-end store, don't choose a location in an outlet mall where savings and low prices are stressed.
  • Stock your shelves. Dismal, empty shelves won't attract customers. Stocking your shelves is the biggest initial cost to opening a store. Visit other stores to get an idea of the merchandise you would like to carry and the typical mark-up price. Narrow down your choices to a general theme for the store.
  • Stick to a theme. Shoppers enjoy the process of buying when they are presented with a well-rounded experience. Distinguish yourself from competitors by using a distinct theme throughout the store. This includes interior design and decorations, store fixtures, and inventory.
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Tags: retail environment, successful store tips, mall management companies, retail tips, retail advice, palmer retail solutions, retail stores, retail solutions, merchandising, retail store tips, Retail Environment Industry

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