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Best merchandising helpers — Part 1

By Jennifer Robison

JenniferRobisonI find it’s the basics that always need to be addressed with regards to tools we need to run a brick-and-mortar store. Here’s a simple list of what should function with your merchandising needs.

  • Mirrors. Mirror, mirror, where are you? Please remember that a mirror is a silent salesperson. If your store has a set of mostly unused dressing rooms, you need another mirror near the jackets and possibly one with the helmets too. You will not do well with a simple hardware store mirror for under $10 located in a tight and possibly dark corner. The mirror should be 18 inches wide by 60 inches minimum, so the customer can see a good full view. It’s not pricey to have a local glass shop cut and come hang one for you. Also, make sure you have multiple accessible mirrors.
  • Proper hangers for each garment. I have said it so many times, but I still find retailers using the cheap plastic hangers from big box stores. Stop it! They are flimsy, ugly and make your garments look bad. Do not use them for T-shirts either. You know who you are out there! The proper hangers vary to the types of garments.

black top hanger

There is the 17-inch dress hanger in black, white or clear pictured above. They have slots in them for handling straps and are strong to make the shoulders of shirts look good. A box of 100 run you $40-$50, so don’t let the cost hold you back. Many suppliers of retail goods all carry them. Wood hangers are great when your store has an outdoor theme, or you want to sell high-end goods. Again, make sure they match in color and shape and you get quality ones from retail suppliers — not the big box stores. The big box stores sell cheaply made versions. Another option is the 17-inch wood top hangers that cost about $125 for 100. Rain gear and light pants need clip hangers.

black bottom hanger

The 14-inch pant hanger (pictured above) box of 100 comes at $50 a box. Also, check that your pant hangers are the same color as the shirt hangers. Consistent color will make your garments look good on the racks.

  • Hanger stacker or hanger rack. When you toss hangers into a cardboard box, they get tangled and damaged. Always strive to organize them at point of sale to make your life better when you want to reuse them. At $30-$60 a rack, it’s a no sweat expense.

wooden hangers

Stay tuned for next month’s Part 2 list of must-have basics! Your foundation is everything. Your tools, organization and preparation give you a huge advantage. Don’t let the details derail your success.


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.

Contact: jrobison@tuckerrocky.com
Website: www.tuckerrocky.com 

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