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Profits through my eyes

By Jennifer Robison

Jennifer Robison 2011It’s been too long since my last blog for PSB. I can easily say I have been slammed with work and projects with retailers. Retailers that are on the gas are keeping me busy using my eyes and designs to create a new kind of in store experience. I love it; they love it, and wow, the industry is letting new ideas in, and it’s great to create sales growth.

What is it that my eyes see? They see space, reuse of space for products, lifestyles and brands. I see a space and how it can complement a brand and relate it to another brand and create a space that sells more goods. Reworking a space for retailers using brands has gained some substantial positive effects for the retailers.

How do we do this? I think you really need a strong understanding of the industry, consumer shopping habits, the region the store is in and the lifestyles that are relevant for their sales. You need to understand space and the products that will fit in the space. There are many factors that make a recipe for success in boosting in store sales. You also need a strong in-store sales team including a savvy buyer. This team will maintain the space and honor the brands and products in a way customer can sense. It’s not simply good enough to pick a strong brand, put it in your store, hang it on the wall and hope customers come and buy it at full retail. Stocking brands and products is an art. It takes a great plan, great maintenance with consistency, promotion of the products outside of store displays and keeping it fresh each season by not letting it sit season after season hoping it will sell.

The future is bright for brick and mortar retailers that embrace the idea that retail is more than hang and hope and securing margins. If products are not engaging, relevant, fresh, available and supported, don’t expect to make good money.

Here are my questions to ask yourself and your team:

  • Why do you stock what you do?
  • Is what you stock relevant to today’s shoppers?
  • When is the last time you took a deep look at your accessories business?
  • Can you make your eyes and opinions neutral?
  • Do you understand that some products and brands are not your cup of tea but relevant?
  • Do you understand customers want to see new and fresh products and brands in stores, too?
  • Do you understand that customers have money to buy things you don’t think they will?
  • Do you stock your store only with black jackets and under $200 helmets? This may be hurting you
  • Do you think that customers only buy online? This is false. They buy online because retailers online bring products to market that stores won’t try.
  • Are you running a real store that is really competing, offering products and brands that bring in a variety of shoppers? OR are you babysitting a space that has not changed in too many years?

Fresh eyes may be just what you need. Find a way to get a new set of eyes on your store, and see if they see a different vista.

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 

One comment

  1. I stocked more product 30 years ago prior internet . A small shop can make a larger profit on service rather than the latest and greatest . Young kids look at your parts get # and now punch in their I-Phone . Service sells , more models more inventory that is obsolete more vendors selling on the net . {MAG} A 5$ per hour employee now costs $18 per hour . A small sop is much better off with service and hard parts , how many auto parts stores ,hardware stores , etc. have you seen close in the last 10 years ? There has never been a large margin on cycle parts and why should I compete with the Mag group or motorcycle wharehouse or clients purchasing out of statee and not paying 7% sales tax ? Do you want us to sell @ 10% and make our profit on S&H ? Norman Gross Sussex Hills

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