How to Prepare Your Retail Store for the Fall Season
While most people are still enjoying the warm summer temperatures, the fall season is fast approaching. With the official start of fall almost here, retailers should use this time to prepare their stores for the change of season. The beginning of a new season offers the perfect opportunity for retailers to add new inventory and optimize their layout. So, what steps can you take to better prepare your retail store for fall?
Mark Down Summer Products
One of the first steps to preparing for the upcoming fall season is to mark down your store's current summer goods and apparel. As summer begins to wrap up, fewer shoppers will be looking to buy things like bathing suits, beach towels, suntan lotion, etc. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should pull them off the shelves, but rather you should mark them down to encourage shoppers to buy them. Even if a shopper doesn't plan on using the product this year, they may go ahead and buy it for next year, especially if the price is right. A $40 bathing suit that's been marked down to $20 is sure to generate some sales, allowing you to make room for products that are more appropriate for the fall season.
Adjust for Daylight Savings
Keep in mind that daylight savings will take place on November 1, 2015 at 2:00 a.m., meaning you'll have to adjust your employee scheduling and IT systems to account for the loss of an hour. As noted by Wikipedia, however, retailers and other businesses that “exploit sunlight after working hours” tend to benefit from daylight savings, simply because it eliminates an hour during which the business is closed while adding another hour for shoppers to spend money.
Create a New Window Display
There's no better time than the start of a new season to change your store's window display. Shoppers grow tired of seeing the same displays time after time, at which point they will begin to ignore the display on a subconscious level. This is the same phenomenon associated with Internet users who are exposed to the same advertisement for a prolonged length of time (known as banner blindness). To keep your store fresh and shoppers interested in what it has to offer, create a new fall-themed window display.
So, what's the best way to create a fall-themed window display? It really depends on the type of store and what it offers. For a general retail apparel store, an effective window display may consist of several premium mannequins wearing business casual attire that's appropriate for the fall season (e.g. sports coats, slacks, long-sleeve button-up shirts). Remember, your store's window display should reflect the season and what it represents. If you need help setting up an effective window display, check out some of our previous blog posts here at MannequinMall.
Of course, you should also perform some basic inventory management before the fall season begins. Go through your store and make a note of which products you have in stock and how many are in stock. If you find your store running low a particular product, you may want to re-order it now rather than waiting until you are completely out. With the holiday season fast approaching, product manufacturers and distributors will be struggling to keep up with the increased demand of retailers.
Get Ready for the Holidays
It should come as little-to-no surprise that the months of November and December are the busiest times for retailers. According to the National Retail Foundation (NRF), Americans spend more than $3.19 billion on retail products during the holidays – a number that's expected to grow even larger in the years to come. Retailers should use this to their advantage by preparing for the holiday rush.
Here are some tips to prepare your retail store for the holidays:
• Launch aggressive marketing campaigns to spread the word about your store.
• Be conscious of which products are “hot” and which ones aren't, stocking up on trending products.
• Analyze your competitors' pricing strategies, beating them with a lower price.
• Use a loyalty rewards program to encourage shoppers to choose your retail store over your competitors.
• Consider launching a mobile app to attract an even broader audience. Even if you lack the skills necessary to code/develop an app, you can always outsource the project to a professional company.
• Hire additional “temp” workers to balance the increased workload of the retail holiday season.
Clean it Up
When was the last time you cleaned your store's floors? If it's been several months, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and clean them. As we progress further into the year, more shoppers will be coming out to purchase those early holiday gifts. This can make it difficult – sometimes impossible – for retailers to clean their floors. So, use this time now to give your store a thorough cleaning.
What else are you doing to get ready for this fall?
- George Blitzer