As a retail consultant, I get a wide variety of challenges to help retailers make more sales, attract more customers and become more profitable. I'm sharing ten case studies from some of the largest brands to some of the smallest mom and pops with lessons on your physical location, merchandising, branding, marketing to your target customers and of course, intense retail sales training - all of which you can use in your stores.
First up, leveraging your location; one of several examples of how to make your business unique featured in my book, The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley.)
Aron Lieberman of Rockland Window Fashions purchased a historic home in a prime neighborhood to showcase his products.
After the purchase closed, he learned that conventional signs would not be allowed on the front lawn.
Traffic was slow even though the road in front of his business was one of the most-traveled roads in the town.
He wasn't getting any bump in sales from his location choice.
Solve the question, how to attract customers into the store?
Come up with a way shoppers could instantly understand what he offered, pique their interest and leverage his prime location. We decided to create a series of custom fake window curtains to affix to the outside of the windows with an understated banner along the front identifying the name of the business.
Aron, the owner was excited by the project, designed the faux window coverings, selected the right paint, the shading - the works. He worked on them for several weeks in his off time in the basement and had a helper put them up on the house - even though it was winter!
Traffic to his store increased by 50%. And this all happened during the middle of the recession!
Aron has gone on to put this landmark image of the house on all of his emails, invoices - wherever and whenever he can to leverage the visiblitily his status his house enjoys.
Lesson for you
Creativity is what is needed to look at leveraging your location. So many times the thing that can most attract a customer - or make them drive right on by - is the exterior of your store.
What can you do to be noticed that compliments your business?
Aron could have just painted his house bright pink and be noticed but that wouldn't compliment his business, would it? If you are a window fashions store, just putting faux blinds on your building won't lift traffic if your building doesn't lend itself to the treatment.
What can you do to make your store stand out?
Could you put out a red "Welcome" mat in front of your door as a start?
If you are a florist, could you scatter flower petals on the concrete in front of your store?
If you are a motorcycle store, can you find a way to highlight your best bike so any guy cruising past will stop and look?
Of course you can do that! But why don't you?
Change can be tough - especially if you ask your employees or shoppers what you should do. That's because they will say they don't like change either - until they see it completed and can see the value.
How could you modify your building to draw customers in?
About Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor
Companies from some of the very largest, to some of the smallest, from luxury brands to startups, from franchises to regional chains work with me because they are looking for results.