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News

ARE YOU READY FOR THE SEASON?

Does your retail store give the visual image of ' fun…exciting…professional?'

Customers of the 00's rely on a visual image, an appearance, in making those critical decisions about where to shop. They look for a store that's clean, contemporary, and above all, "professional". Like it or not, your store does project an image, - good, bad or indifferent - and now is the time to take a good, hard look at that image. Let's review some 'customer sensitive' factors that you should consider as you review your store.

Exterior

Exterior

  • The exterior of the building must be clean, neat and in good repair. If it's dirty, wash it or repaint; if repairs are needed, do them.
The parking lot and landscaping around the building should be kept tidy, and exterior lighting must give a feeling of safety and security to your customer. Ask yourself the question, "Would I like to drive up and ship in this store?"

Signage

  • The exterior signage with your business name and/or logo often gives the first impression of your store to customers.


Signage
It broadcasts loudly, 24 hours a day, how you feel about your business. As a "silent salesperson", your sign must be neat, clean and very visible. Does it say that you're proud to be a retail professional, or does it say that you couldn't care less?

Entrance

Entrance

  • The entrance to your store is a psychological barrier as well as a physical one. Your customer is coming from his own comfortable "bubble" and entering your space. Your entrance should invite and welcome a customer with open, easy access doors, good lighting, and slip/skid-proof walkways. Your customer should be able to see into your store to give him an idea of what's inside, so keep sign and stickers on the door to a minimum.

Interior

  • Your store's interior is where you make or break your image. You need to maintain an inviting shopping atmosphere at all times to attract and hold those elusive customers.
Interior
Is your store's interior clean, neat and organized? Are you fixtures in good repair? Are the floor coverings and walls clean and bright? If you have any hesitation about answering "Yes, absolutely!" to any of these questions, there's work to be done.

Layout

Layout

  • The layout of your store should be organized into departments, with like products placed together in areas where they make the most sense to customers.
Use a well thought out, smooth-flowing interior traffic plan to direct customers to where YOU want them to go. Place your demand merchandise or departments in the rear of the store, so customers will walk past the other "goodies" you have to offer. Place your "convenience" merchandise near the center of the store, and your impulse items near the check-out counters. Never block the aisles with boxes or merchandise. If your customers can't see and reach your merchandise, they're not going to buy it.

Monitor Your Store

Much of this review seems like simple common sense, but the fact is many retailers don't follow up on the basic necessities. You need to continuously monitor the condition of your store, with a sharp eye on cleanliness, neatness, and organization.