Color — Make sure you communicate with color to create an interesting space. A good 87 percent of the powersports stores I have been to have grey or dull white interiors. You NEED color — in the bikes, the graphics, the products — to be well grouped to capture shoppers’ attention. Create a grouping of bikes with color in a feature display in a couple places in the showroom. Color with a bit of space around it makes a statement.
Simple — Don’t make displays too elaborate with too many details. Some displays can be so busy that the customer misses the point of what you’re trying to sell. Keep it focused on the products or products that make a statement.
Branding — Always use brand identification with the product. Don’t assume customers know what you’re trying to showcase. They likely only see about three or four items in a store, and the rest is a blur.
Balance — Make sure products showcased fit shoppers with different needs, while keeping some of the wants on hand too. Customers can be impulsive; be ready for any shopper situations, and strike a balance. Balance also speaks to customers that want to see a good selection but not so much inventory that it turns them off from over merchandising. For most stores too little is not good, and too much is worse.
Cutting edge — Is your store the kind of place I can get technology? Those who like to go where it’s not so easy to go on a vehicle really are into these products, such as GPS units, cameras, heated clothing and tracking devices. Guess what? They take up little space for merchandising. One 4-by-8-foot wall or 8-by-8-foot wall could be all it takes to make customers shop you for these items. Don’t shy away from tech just because you may not think it sells; you would be incorrect. Group a tech product zone near the parts and/or accessories counters, these items do well when employees know how the product works.
Dress the part — I can’t say it enough; still a good 55 percent of stores don’t have a standard look for employees, and you watch customers approach the best looking people in the store thinking they may work there. If you look like you mow lawns, you may be turning of customers
Communicate — Signs sell! With shelf talkers, labels, signs and sign holders, there is no excuse for taped hand written signs today! I recommend Southern Imperial, Inc. at www.southernimperial.com; they have a great selection of sign solutions, and you can afford them. The slow season is coming, and you will have time to find the solutions and install them into your stores before next spring’s big kick off!
Props — I get this question a lot, “Where do I get mannequins?” I prefer torso-only unbreakable full round plastic male and female forms. They are affordable; they are easy to dress, and they do a great job without the silly hands and feet that you will NEVER get gloves or boots onto! Go to www.altplusmfg.com for the Duraplas or www.retailresource.com for unbreakable torso forms. I know you can find them cheap on craigslist with creepy heads and plastic hair, but yuck!
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. Jennifer has educated the Tucker Rocky sales force and dealers about the powersports apparel business and powersports retailing. Jennifer’s expertise is in powersports 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.