May 14th, 2018
OK – I have heard it for the last 25 years – Retail is about creating an experience. Then, in 2018’s Link Magazine article with Gifts and Dec’s Nancy Wolkow, she tells us it is the most important part of success in retail right now! But I’m are still confused about how to create an experience without spending millions of dollars on consultants and fancy buildings.
Almost 20 years ago, Paco Underhill, an environmental psychologist, showed us how to apply observations about human nature and our customers to the shopping experience. Mr. Underhill explains how we can increase sales by altering mood and atmosphere. You have been watching shoppers for years, let’s use that knowledge to create more sales.
One of my favorite observations that he had in the book was that when shoppers do not have room for more products, they tend to stop shopping. In one store, he increased the shopping cart size by 20% and sales increased 15%. Where I was working, we didn’t have money for new shopping carts but we could train our floor staff. So we created a dedicated shelf area by the register and whenever we saw customers with product in their hand, we offered to bring it to the front for them. This little change cost nothing, upped the retail experience, and increased sales instantly.
“Why We Buy” is a quick read and helps put you on the path to becoming a retail experience guru!
If you haven’t read it, I suggest you get it today! If you read it 20 years ago like me, it is time to reread it. It is well worth the time investment!
Why We Buy: The Science Of Shopping Paperback – June 2, 2000
by Paco Underhill (Author)
Click to get it at Amazon
May 7th, 2018
Many buyers will come to the show, buy a ton of product, and return to the store with the same problem: Where do we put all this new stuff? There is a fine line that retailers walk between having too much inventory and not enough product. Thankfully, there are easy solutions to the space issue, even for the smallest boutiques.
Merchandise jewelry on a wall above other items in your store. For example, if you have a wall taken up by a cabinet that rises to about waist-level, the wall space above can be used as an area to hang necklaces, earrings, and bracelet bars can be set on top of the cabinet. Multiple collections can be shown at once with this approach, and valuable floor space is not utilized.
Anju Jewelry display
Get Brand-specific Displays
Anju Jewelry is a great example of a brand that carries beautiful and inexpensive jewelry displays. They carry unique, free-standing boards for necklaces, small ring holders, bracelet bars, and spinners for an entire collection. Brands like Anju take the guesswork out of where to put a new line.
From Kameleon Jewelry’s Instagram
A unique display idea our leadership team saw at Market was setting jewelry up on faux grass. Many stores have utilized the display idea of a frame as a border with burlap or cork filling the frame, and tacking the jewelry with thumb tacks or nails. A new twist on this is using faux grass as the background. Even covering a small piece of wall with faux grass and using it as a jewelry display area is very on trend. Kameleon shows in this photo that they are keeping up with the trends and merchandising with faux greenery!
April 30th, 2018
Clothing sizes have changed dramatically throughout the years, even since the 1960’s. According to Time.com, Twiggy was a size 8 in 1958, and would be a size 00 by today’s standards! This rise is size is due to vanity sizing. Brands label garments with smaller sizes so that women feel better about their body type.
The good news for the average-sized woman (who is roughly a size 12-14) is that plus size fashion is on the rise, and one-size-fits-all clothing is no longer ubiquitous.
Our marketing team at The Link has found vendors advertising that they carry plus sized clothing at the most recent markets. Sizes 2X and 3X are now a part of many labels formerly XS-XL sized lines.
What does this mean for retailers? The trend forecast is telling us that one size fits all clothing is no longer an acceptable mantra. Customers expect specific sizing that addresses all sizes. Even mainstream denim lines are jumping on this train by offering curvy sizes in denim.
Coco and Carmen is one brand carried by Southern Link and Total Accessories that does offer a plus sized option. Many of the dresses, tops, and pant options come in a size XXL. Accent Accessories, available through Link2Sales, offers a 2X/3X size option. To stay relevant, retailers really need to consider increasing the size range within their stores.