Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

Ways to Achieve Greater Profitability as an Independent Retailer

Posted by Kathy Heil on Mar 23, 2017 4:18:40 PM

One of the first things you have to learn as an independent retailer is that sales and profits are not the same thing. If you’re selling more merchandise but not seeing an increase in your bottom line, you need to concentrate on increasing your profit margins. Luckily, there are several ways to do that.

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Tags: retail tips

7 Things to Know about Buyer Behavior

Posted by Kathy Heil on Feb 9, 2017 10:31:20 AM

Customers have preferences – the stores or online sites where they shop, the types of products they buy, and even the specific brands they look for. That’s why retailers have long focused their advertising and marketing efforts on getting shoppers to “pick me!” But success in 2017 depends on a more sophisticated approach. In order to attract customers, you need to know not only how buyers behave, but why.

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Tags: retail tips, Buyer Behavior

Getting Started with Retail Store Displays: What You Need to Know

Posted by Kathy Heil on Dec 22, 2016 4:16:49 PM

Getting started in retail is an exciting process. But it can feel overwhelming, too. Fortunately, there is a wealth of sound advice and ideas out there to help. Here are four recommendations to help get your retail adventure off to a strong start. Read More

Tags: display fixture tips, retail tips, display fixtures

What Should You Display on Your Slatwall Fixtures

Posted by Kathy Heil on Nov 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM

If you’ve been thinking slatwall fixtures are only for certain types of stores, you might want to think again. Slatwall fixtures are so good-looking and versatile, people are even using them in their homes. So, would adding these display units work for your store? How could you use them?  

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Tags: slatwall, retail tips

5 Retail Promotions Hacks to Implement Now

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jul 5, 2016 2:11:34 PM

Sometimes retailers need more than fabulous window and interior displays to sell merchandise. That’s where retail promotions come in. They bring shoppers into your store, where they can zoom in on promoted items and browse the rest of your store as well. Thankfully, you don’t have to invent new retail promotions from scratch.

You can save time and get great results by adapting already-proven ideas to fit your merchandise and customers. Some retail promotion ideas work best for a particular type of store or product, but most have universal appeal. Here are five retail promotions hacks that can boost your sales right now.

1. Coupons

Whether you offer them in-store, online, in traditional advertising, or via direct mail, coupons work to get people in your door. Limit quantities (first 10 customers) or time (expires August 1st) to instill urgency.

2. Contests

Who doesn’t want to enter to win? The prize could be a shopping spree, a particular item, or something else. Provide entry forms in-store and/or online, and post links via social media and email, to promote your contest and get customers into the store to drop off their forms.

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Tags: retail tips

What is a Planogram?

Posted by Kathy Heil on Feb 2, 2016 3:19:22 PM

 AdobeStock_64542047.jpegIf you’re new to the retail world – or new to the management side of the business – you may not be familiar with planograms. What is a planogram? It’s simply a clever name for a diagram that shows in detail how you want each merchandise display to look. Once you’ve decided on a layout for your store and designated where all your fixtures will go, creating planograms is the next step in retail planning.

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Tags: retail tips

How to Start a Retail Business

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jan 28, 2016 1:26:50 PM

Budding entrepreneurs often ask us how to start a retail business. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has lots of excellent resources – everything from writing a business plan (yes, you do need one) to obtaining licenses and permits to understanding your responsibilities as an employer.

If you want to know how to start a retail business online, the SBA can help you with that, too. (More and more retailers are combining online and storefront operations to reach a bigger audience and better serve customers.)

You can also check out this step-by-step guide that discusses how to start a retail business. It will help you sort through the key decisions you’ll need to make:

  • Selecting the right merchandise.
  • Understanding your competition and “market position.” Remember, just because you like some product and it appears profitable on paper doesn’t mean there’s a market for it. Or that there’s room for yet another store selling it. Uniqueness is your best bet for success.
  • Finding the perfect location.
  • Budgeting. The number one reason small businesses fail is money. It takes a greater investment of time and money than you expect to start a retail business.
  • Paperwork. What are the laws and local regulations that govern retail businesses in your area?
  • Hiring sales associates. Even if you plan to go it alone at first, your business cannot grow unless you hire help at some point. Choosing the right people is as important as choosing the right merchandise.
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Tags: retail tips

7 Tips for How to Deal With Rude Customers

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jan 26, 2016 2:54:00 PM

AdobeStock_65788383.jpeg

Retailers love their customers. After all, customers are the people that keep you in business. But sometimes they make it difficult to love them. Really difficult. There is an art to dealing with rude customers, but if you master it, you’ll be better able to take the negatives in stride. You can even transform rude customers into some of your most loyal fans.

What’s the problem here?

Customers can be rude – or downright angry – for lots of reasons. Maybe someone is crabby because they’re not feeling well or having a bad day. Give them a break – you’ve had those days yourself. What should concern you is customers who are unhappy because of something directly related to your store, service, or merchandise.

Sadly, many upset customers expect an adversarial experience and a poor outcome. This is one time you do not want to meet their expectations – it's important to have a plan in place on how to deal with rude customers. 

These 7 tips will help you determine what’s wrong, so you can devise a positive outcome:

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Tags: retail tips

Tips to Showcase Clearance Merchandise

Posted by Kathy Heil on Feb 26, 2015 6:16:56 AM

Store Layouts to Move Clearance Merchandise

Every season, every retailer winds up with some items that fail to “speak” to shoppers – at least at full price. The key to effective clearance merchandising is to identify these items early enough to unload them while there is still some seasonal interest. The longer you wait, the more out-of-date seasonal items become, and the more they encroach on valuable territory where you could be displaying fresh, full-price items.

As we come to the end of our 3-part series on store layouts, it’s time to talk clearance. Your store layout can help you say goodbye to under-performing items in a timely manner and in a way that does least damage to your bottom line.

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5 Tips to Make Your Storefront Stand Out

Posted by Kathy Heil on Jan 22, 2015 12:15:37 PM

Store Design to Bring In Customers

On the street or in the middle of a mall, if your storefront doesn’t stand out from your neighbors, that’s a problem. Your prosperity depends on attracting customers, so your storefront design has to capture attention and inspire prospective customers to step into your shop or restaurant. But especially if you’re a smaller face in the crowd, how do you make that happen? Follow these 5 tips to make your storefront stand out.

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