Every month in the magazine Gifts & Decorative Accessories asks three of our retailer advisors a topical question regarding store operations, customer service, employee management, rep relations, merchandise management or some other such matter of relevance to the success of their — and your — business. It’s our way of helping retailers help other retailers. By posting the monthly “We Ask” question online you too can participate and contribute answers that might be of help to other retailers.
Do you have any constraints in your store that prevent you from displaying/merchandising your product the way you would like? How do you get around it?
This month's We Asked Board members shared their problems and solutions.Alison Anderson of A. Dodson's:A. Dodson's is an old cottage that's been renovated into a shop. Although it gives us lots of charm, it also gives us some constraints. One in particular is low eight foot ceilings in our Garden Room. Always looking to turn a negative into a positive, we covered the Garden Room ceiling in hanging... Read MoreComments (3)
Steven Lora, MOTIF Modern Living, Austin & San Antonio, TX MOTIF Modern Living participates in the 3/50 Project, and we love the concept, although I’m not sure that we fit the mold. My partner and I never wanted MOTIF to be seen as a "mom-and-pop shop." We consciously cultivate an image of slick sophistication through merchandising, marketing and technology, but that does backfire on us when it co... Read MoreComments (5)
Steven Lora, MOTIF Modern Living, Austin & San Antonio, TX We have supported local sports teams, beauty queens and band camps, donated to countless silent auctions and fundraisers, but in our experience supporting charity has no impact on sales. The reality is that most people soliciting donations have never set foot in our stores before, much less bought from us — they are just going door-to-... Read MoreComments (2)
Stephanie Fleishman Stephanie Fleishman, 2910 on the Square, Canton, MD I am continuing to bring in reasonably priced gift items — less than $50. And I am still contemplating whether or not I’m going to the gift show or save the money on travel and just order from the huge consideration pile on my desk. Also in light of the economy we have picked up a lot of consignment artists. My consignmen... Read MoreComments (4)
Debbie Dusenberry Debbie DusenberryCurious Sofa Kansas City, KS To stimulate midweek business I send out an email blast to hit sometime on Tuesday. We follow through by keeping the shop blog updated with pictures of fresh merchandise, store events or a discount coupon to encourage customers to come in and shop. Mentioning other businesses or happenings in your area works well too as it gives... Read MoreComments (2)
Stephanie Fleishman2910 on the SquareCanton, MDWe recycle for our shipping: all boxes, bubble wrap, popcorn and peanuts that come in, we actually send back out when we send out orders from our website or anything else we ship. We haven’t gone to the CFLs [compact fluorescent lightbulbs], but we use halogen lights that get lots of hours. Our customers aren’t asking for bags as much. Some of them ta... Read MoreComments (4)
Debbie Dusenberry, Curious Sofa, Kansas City, KS It would have to be antiquing for merchandise, because that has been a passion and interest of mine since I was a child. To be a buyer, collector, artist or designer (whatever I am) and have a venue to use it is huge. I can buy most things I desire to put in the store (within financial reason) instead of taking them home or leaving them for someone... Read MoreComments (2)