Have you ever encountered the "Oops" situation in your retail store? Ever said "Oops" when the customer received a damaged or non-working product, when the price rang up incorrectly, when the bonus wasn't included in an employee's check, or when a quarterly insurance payment was missed? We have all experienced an "Oops" situation, and we know how that feels as well as what it costs. Using checklists can help to reduce the number of "Oops" moments.
As a retailer, you're faced with managing a number of areas that directly contribute to your profitability, including sales, operations, inventory, marketing, administration, and personnel. By managing each of these areas carefully and attentively, you can derive maximum profits out of each. Effectively using checklists can help you better serve customers, process sales, direct and control operations, manage costs, and achieve increased profitability.
Checklists are a key component of a successful retail business operation. Utilizing checklists leads to higher profit, more efficient and productive operations, satisfied customers, and a better quality of life for you and your employees. Let's take a look at some of the major functional areas of a retail operation and see how checklists can be applied to improve overall profitability.
Sales: Writing and recording sales can often be a source of errors and mistakes such as information omission, incorrect data, inexact calculations, return processing errors, inaccurate product numbers or payment mistakes. Each of these errors and mistakes can be reduced, if not eliminated, through the use of carefully designed checklists. Using a checklist will serve as a reminder to follow all procedural steps and ensure conformity with your business practices and policies for all your employees.
Operations: Everything required to run the store and not mentioned elsewhere, is typically called operations. This includes accounting, advertising, banking, budgeting, cleaning, opening and closing, handling money, ordering products and supplies, and reporting. Using checklists is important to ensure this work will be done in the correct manner and that nothing will be missed. Checklists can be especially useful in planning your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual To Do lists. When you must trust someone else to complete the work in your absence, a well designed checklist ensures all the work will get done and in the correct manner.
Inventory: Paying close attention to inventory means controlling costs and having enough products on the shelf to sell. Excess inventory has a carrying cost associated with it while no inventory means lost or delayed sales. Checklists can help you manage inventory, record stock items, receive shipments, and re-order; all necessary functions to maximize sales.
Employees: Turnover is an ever-present issue in the retail business as are the numerous government reports and regulations regarding employment. Checklists can be utilized to minimize time spent on reporting, maintaining files, hiring and training new employees, and dismissing employees. Doing it correctly and efficiently avoids problems later, problems that can be time consuming and costly.
Using checklists in your retail store gives you the ability to operate productively and efficiently, keep costs low, and make a profit. Checklists can be used in all facets of a retail operation, helping to organize tasks, manage time, operate more efficiently, avoid excess costs and wasteful ways, and ensure compliance with laws, policies and procedures. Checklists can be developed internally, can be purchased through a commercial source, or purchased and modified to meet your specific requirements. Purchasing a professionally designed checklist that has been tested by many other retailers can save you a lot of time and money and is an option that should be considered.
While there are numerous chain retail stores located in malls, strip centres and more across the country and beyond, there are some charming, interesting and altogether unique shops that are independently owned and that provide consumers with an alternative to the chain store shopping experience. Opening a new retail store can be challenging as well as exciting. You may be taking every step necessary to physically prepare your store to open for business. However, before you open your doors, you should also consider taking steps to promote your business and encourage potential customers to stop by and take a look around. There are several ways you can best accomplish this.
Using The Signage to Your Advantage
Many people who walk or drive by your retail space are naturally curious about what you will be selling long before you open your doors. You can put that curiosity to work for you before your grand opening with the right signs. Purchase a grand opening sign that announces your opening date and store name. Encourage new customers to drop by your store for the grand opening for great sales, special offers, free promotional merchandise and more. An additional sign can be used on your grand opening day and after to announce that your store is open for business.
Promoting Your Store's Opening Around Town
Those who drive by your store on a regular basis are sure to see the sign announcing your grand opening, but not everyone drives by your storefront. In order to promote the maximum amount of business to your store, you should consider using the services of a graphic design company to create signs and marketing material that can be placed strategically in other locations. For example, some restaurants, recreational centres and more actively invite you to place your business card or flier on a marketing board. With permission, some stores may allow you to place an announcement about your store in their window or to place a stack of marketing material next to their cash register.
Promoting the opening of your retail store can take a lot of time and effort on your part, but it is necessary to do if you want to enjoy the best results on opening day and beyond. While setting up your retail store, consider using signs, business cards and more strategically to attract new customers to your store as soon as you are ready for business.
There are no guarantees in any economy. However, making a reasonable investment in quality, painted, retail store fixtures certainly wont hurt. Store owners who do this will immediately see the difference it makes in their showrooms.
Products will stand out better when merchandised on superior retail store fixtures, and shoppers will be more drawn to displays that are attractive in and of themselves. This can make the difference between a person staying in a store for only a short period of time or staying just long enough to buy some expensive items.
Retail store fixtures help place the most valuable items in positions of prominence so this is more likely to happen.
When Christmas sales are at full speed ahead, there are all sorts of special displays that managers are creating to generate this impulse buy response. The dilemma many have, however, is that the retail display fixtures currently in place are hard to move around and lack adjustability. The prospect of buying more fixtures in an economy like this appears daunting, to say the least.
The solution is to invest in retail store fixtures that are highly versatile and that will adapt to a number of uses.
This involves a little strategic planning when it comes to space management. Store owners best serve themselves when they study (or have an analyst study) their floor plan to see what areas are currently being wasted on empty space.
Then, fitting adjustable, compact, and highly adaptable retail store fixtures into these areas allows retailers to transform empty space into displays in virtually no time at all, giving themselves the best possible chance at high dollar success.
This can all be done with only two basic retail store fixture designs.
These designs are double-sided and single-sided display racks. Double-sided racks are most commonly used for making aisles up and down the floor, while single-sided racks are used to create displays along walls and at the end of aisles.
Because every single fixture we sell, regardless of double or single-sided build, is only 48 inches across, these display fixtures are remarkably easy to move around. They can be used as standalone fixtures, or they can be combined together to create custom displays. This allows the storeowner to let the interior of the store define the layout, rather than trying to force a layout onto the interior.
Retail store fixtures range in vertical size from 48 inches to 84 inches allowing the retailer further merchandising power in the form of varying heights and multiple dimensions to differentiate distinctive product groupings.
Taller double-sided units, for example, make better aisle fixtures down the middle of the store than do smaller store fixtures. However, many larger grocery stores and pharmacies will have several sections of aisles, some shorter than the others for special products like magazines and books.
Being able to adjust the individual shelves within store fixtures makes it possible to get more cubic space out of fewer physical display units.
This saves on procurement costs and offers two additional advantages. Shelves that can be moved can allow for larger items to be placed near the top of the fixture where they can be more easily seen by shoppers. Also, changing the depth of the shelf makes it possible to ensure that light falls evenly throughout the display and not just the top portions.