If you’re looking to boost revenue in the new year, you should consider flipping the design of your store. While it may be time consuming, this act can help maintain your store’s role as a competitor in the industry.
“The most flexible retailers have the ability to manipulate store layouts, fixtures, merchandising, lighting and other elements of the store’s appearance and its product offerings to keep the experience fresh, interesting and relevant,” according to Dr. Raymond R. Burke of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
As 2014 comes to a close, mull over a few reasons to rearrange your store, and how to begin making the switch.
Why should you flip your store?
One of the most compelling reasons to rearrange your store fixtures and merchandising is to cater to repeat customers. When you have loyal customers who visit your store regularly, it’s best to present them with an updated design every now and then. This can lead them to notice different products and have a more engaging experience in the store.
There are certain times that naturally lend themselves to rearranging the way fixtures are laid out, such as promotional events and seasonal displays. When a selection of your merchandise is on sale, it makes sense to place it in a prominent location, which may involve flipping the store around. Additionally, you have the perfect opportunity to try a new arrangement during the transition to a new season. Instead of simply switching out products on the same store display when your summer inventory arrives, move the shelves or tables to different locations on the sales floor.
According to the Retail Doctor, if you have merchandise that isn’t selling, it may be more successful in an alternate area of the store. Before you send a shelf full of products to the clearance section, give them one more chance with refreshed displays.
Professor Burke explained that stores should strive for “shopability,” which is essentially how easy it is for a business to convert desires into sales. One way to achieve this is with transparent retail design. This doesn’t mean outlining every internal decision that went into the rearrangement, but rather describes what customers see when they peruse the shelves. If your merchandise isn’t grouped and set up in ways that make sense, it may be time to flip your store. In addition to a logical layout, transparency means shoppers don’t have to strain to see all of the products and it only takes common sense to find what they’re looking for. AllBusiness.com suggested looking at your store from the front door. If the overall design appears unclear or cluttered, cleaning it up might be your first step.
What can you switch around?
Ultimately, you can rearrange any of your display fixtures or merchandise to give the store a new vibe. However, there are a few key places to start.
The Retail Doctor suggested stocking your most eye-catching fixtures with items that people to want, even if it’s not necessarily what they’ll buy. Instead of displaying the most affordable version of a product, showcase top-of-the-line models that draw attention.
You may want to take a stroll through other stores in your industry and market to see how they arrange their merchandise and fixtures. It can give you a better idea of what works – and what doesn’t – plus inspiration for your upcoming store flip. Don’t forget to keep all of your aisles wide enough that customers can maneuver through the space, including people in wheelchairs.
Once you’ve rearranged a section of your store, make sure you update the signage so your repeat shoppers aren’t left wandering around the new setup.