School is back in session and fall is officially here, so why not take some time to spruce up your retail space before the holiday season arrives?

Spruce Up Your Exterior

Start outside, and look at your business the way customers do. Your windows and window displays should be used to get people’s attention — those walking by, and in some cases, those driving by. Make sure people can see the display by having it well lit, especially if people tend to see it at night. Also, wash the glass, vacuum up the dead flies and remove faded items (that Wyoming sun fades inventory quickly!).

Avoid using your doors and windows (prime display space) for advertising all the local fundraisers, high school team schedules, and so on. It’s great to support those activities, just do it at a separate location (bulletin board, etc.) within the store.

What about your signage? Can it be seen by those walking by your store? Blade signs that are perpendicular to the building, or hang from the awning, are more effective at this than a sign positioned flat against the building 15 feet off the sidewalk. Sandwich boards can work too, if your community allows them.

Spruce Up Your Interior

Once they are in the door, the space should smell good. Not overpowering, but pleasant. Soft, appropriate music can also help. You want to create a welcoming, enjoyable ambiance. How about a fresh coat of paint?

Use small signs near the merchandise to help customers find what they are looking for. If you can do this in a fun way to make them smile, even better. Consider using large format photography to help highlight various lines. Lean on your suppliers for this as many have some large posters they will give you if you simply ask.

Remember, your merchandise should be displayed from the knees to about 6 inches over the customer’s head. They don’t want to, and usually won’t, bend over to get items off the floor or they simply won’t see them.

Spruce Up Your Sales

Now, the two biggest ways to improve sales. Most stores don’t have enough light. People won’t buy it if they can’t see it. Replace burnt out bulbs. If possible, use track lighting to light up the merchandise, not the wall or the floor.

And finally, get your customers to touch the product. They are much more likely to buy it if they pick it up and look at it, smell it, feel it and fall in love with it.

Help Is Available

Let us know if you would like another set of eyes to help spruce up your retail space. One of our experts can swing by and give you some ideas to consider. Click here to get in touch with your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance.

About the Author: Bruce’s experience as a former banker and Economic Development Finance Professional helps him to assist clients with all things numbers: loan applications, financial analysis, business planning and projections, and crowdfunding ideas. When he’s not in the office, Bruce loves travel, good food, and an occasional round of golf!

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