I was fortunate enough to attend the WiRN (Women in Retailing Network) breakfast lecture yesterday morning with speaker Gemma Giovanazzo. The topic was the customer experience and how do we inspire our staff to deliver the best in customer service every time?
Gemma is the customer experience manager for Ford of Canada and spoke with lots of experience on how big business develops and ensures the customer experience.
After the lecture was over, I and the two lovely women at my table discussed how employee engagement can translate to small business. In my experience as a store manager, here is what I can share on employee engagement.
There are lots of big expensive steps to employee engagement and lots of large companies invest millions of dollars into ensuring it happens. That’s not always necessary. As a store owner and manager, follow these six steps and the result will likely be happy employees who treat the customers as beautifully as you treat them.
Big thanks for Kendall and Kristi for their great company and conversation yesterday!
This week’s Flourish Tip was all about looking to large chain retailers to find out when to display seasonal merchandise.
Think of every holiday or end of season as a big expiry date looming over the merchandise. After that date passes, the merchandise is no longer profitable to you. You either need to sell it at a large discount or pay someone to pack it up and then have it take up storage space which you are also paying for! Not to mention, it eats up inventory dollars for that holiday or season during the next go-around!
With that being said, earlier is often better when it comes to seasonal merchandise and your profits. Obviously, this is within reason, as you don’t want to have Christmas merchandise in your store in July or Valentines merchandise hanging around in December, but you want to make sure that you’re giving your merchandise ample opportunity to sell before it’s “expiry date”.
This is where large chains come in handy! They have the research and experience behind them and it’s worth checking them out for a cue as to when to put out yours! Visit a nearby mall for stores with similar offerings to your store and make notes about when merchandise is going out!
Here are some guidelines that will help you in the next few months. If you have fall merchandise, it should be out for customers to view starting in August. Even when the weather appears nice, people are thinking ahead to upcoming seasons and many want the newest and latest buys! Christmas related merchandise should go out by November 1st. If you are a retailer that doesn’t sell much Halloween related product, then once Canadian Thanksgiving is over, it’s your time to get Christmas in place! Yes, many customers will comment that it’s early, remind them that it’s only a couple of months away! And many will balance those customers out and start purchasing gotta-have-it items right away.
If you’re still not sure when to get things out, hire an expert! And remember; adjust your ordering according to when merchandise needs to be in-store after your reconnaissance mission to the mall. You’ll be happy you did!
Happy Selling! Need help creating amazing seasonal displays? Call or email us today!
Melissa Mainville is the owner and operator of Flourish Design & Merchandising. She has a passion for retail and tons of experience in the industry. Learn more here.