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Monday, June 4, 2012

Where you gonna put it?

Where you gonna put it?

Retail is all about merchandising. A big part of merchandising is having enough variety of merchandise squeezed into the space you have without making the space so crowded that customers can’t find what they are looking for.

You see it all the time in the lower budget stores. They have a lot more merchandise squeezed into the store than will reasonably fit and still make a good display. Sometimes merchandise will be stacked two deep on a shelf with different types of merchandise stacked on top of each other. It is mayhem.

In the mom and pop stores it is even worse. The space is limited, but every customer has something different they want. Mom and Pop have to try to squeeze it in where they can.

The vendors make it worse. The store will get a discount if they will set up a display of the item. Pop saves 3¢ on a can of Spam if he sets up a display of it just inside the front door. The cigarette companies will give a rebate check to the store if they will put up certain signs. The result is a store that is littered with visual noise.

Every energy shot company out there will give a store a counter rack and a check for $30 if they will put their counter display on the counter by the register and leave it there for six months. Then, you have the beef jerky people, the cigarette lighter people, and soon the whole counter is taken up with so much “junk” that none of it stands out.

It got to be kind of a joke when vendors would come into some of the stores I work with and want to set up a display. I would always ask, “Where you gonna put it?”  The owners would say, “I am going to get a barrel to put cans of soft drink in and then I can sell three cans for $1.” And I would have to answer, “Where you gonna put it?” In time, things get so squeezed up that there simply is no more room for anything else.
Finally a merchant has to say enough is enough. “Where you gonna put it?” 

A retailer has to draw the line. Yes, you can probably sell it. But, if there is too much stuff piled up, nothing can be seen and less is sold than otherwise would be. Sometimes in retail less is more.

If you are in retail, take a look around your store. How much of your signage is really necessary and how much of it is noise? Noise can be visual, too. When you have so many signs or flashing lights that nothing stands out, then you have noise. The more noise you have, the less merchandise you can sell.

The key to merchandising is making things stand out. A neat display will attract attention. A cluttered store will distract your customers from seeing your merchandise.

Tell the old redneck, can you think of any situation in business where you had to ask yourself, “Where you gonna put it?”

The opinions or advice listed in this blog or website should be used as a place to start only. It is not a substitute for the use of a professional.
Please be sure to consult your attorney and/or accountant with any specific questions.
There is no one right answer to any business question that will cover all circumstances.
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