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Ready, set, show and grow: What you need to be doing this month

By Jennifer Robison

I keep reading good news regarding retail sales growth; 20 months consecutively, the U.S. has grown sales. All be it, it’s by small percentages, but it’s still positive growth. Is your store participating and working toward growth?

The time is now. This season is key for many dealers. This year could be the season of all seasons for many powersports retailers to make significant profits, and you must participate in the following elements for that to occur.

Evaluate your stores now, before you miss the boat.


Look at your management skills – Are you leading your people or holding them back with rules and ideas that don’t work?

  • Do you lead or get in the way of efficiently running your store’s P&A department?
  • Do you have the right staff in the right positions for their skills?
  • Have you provided any sales, P&A or service training?
  • Have you evaluated staff to determine if the skills they have make your store a profit?
  • Do you believe your staff can sell and provide a valuable service to customers and store operations?


  • Have you strived to stock up-to-date products?
  • Are your products biased (to you or your staffs’ opinions of style, price or use)?
  • Is every helmet black and in a mid to low price point?
  • Do you only purchase closeout products?
  • Do you rarely mark down obsolete or stale merchandise?
  • Have you updated the merchandising and displays of products?
  • What is the store’s product turn ratio?
  • Do you rotate products regularly each season?
  • How do you promote new products in your store?
  • How often do you communicate products to your customers?
  • Do you provide incentives, education, or launching of new products to customers?
  • How do you recruit new customers?
  • How do you stay relevant in your marketplace?
  • Do you have products at multiple price levels?
  • Do you vary styles, colors and grades?
  • Do you order products that scare you a little?
  • Have you talked to customers or vendors or looked at what people wear and or use?
  • Is your store more of a gift shop than an outfitter?
  • Have you stepped out of your comfort zone?

Your showroom

  • When is the last time you did a deep spring cleaning?
  • When was the last time you washed down all surfaces, shampooed carpets, replaced broken fixtures, repaired floors and counters, etc.?
  • Have you painted your store’s interior in the last 10 years?
  • When was the last time you cleaned out your stockrooms and updated the organization of products and display items?
  • Do you ever clean under the tire rack and put the tires into proper order?
  • Have you removed old, unsafe tires?

If your store is clean but stocked with dead product, you should:

  • Run a 12-month no sale report.
  • Remove all products that will be unlikely to sell in the next season.
  • Box the stale products and see if there is enough to have a garage sale.
  • If there’s a small amount of obsolete product, put a bin together and fill it with stale parts and hang clothing on the round sale rack. (Never put sale items on a table.)
  • Semi-current products with a reasonable selection should be put on sale for a markdown of 10, 20 or 30 percent off.
  • Very old, non-current items that will not to be reordered and need to go should be put on clearance! This is 50 percent off. Get rid of it.
  • Never put clearance products up front. Always show your newest and best products first and in the best showroom real estate.
  • Update fixtures and displays and improve product showcasing.
  • Remove old signs, graphics and banners that are out of date.
  • Attend any training offered for merchandising and display.

Help! I need you

What topics do you want me to blog about for upcoming merchandising blogs? I tend to bring up the same topic in a broad way. The reason I do so is because in my travel in the field, I run into the same issues over and over. Please tell me what you want to know more about.

Do you want to hear more about …

  • Fixtures?
  • Displays?
  • POP/promo?
  • Sale and clearance?
  • Products?
  • Launching products?
  • Categorization?
  • Appealing to shoppers?
  • Or something else?
Jennifer Robison’s career began in 1987 when she served as a service writer/parts sales for a high-end import auto dealer before becoming one of the first generation of Harley-Davidson Motorclothes managers at a Northwest dealership (1991-2000). From 2002 on, Jennifer has been with Tucker Rocky Distributing. ennifer has educated the Tucker Rocky sales force and dealers about the powersports apparel business and powersports retailing. Jennifer’s expertise is in powersport retailing, merchandising and display, promotions and in-store marketing. She has lectured and written about powersports retailing and continues to perform dealer educational workshops and seminars across the United States.
Contact: jrobison@tuckerrocky.com
Website: www.tuckerrocky.com 

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