How to Create a Retail Merchandising Plan

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Retail merchandising is the practice of acquiring stock that will generate sales and attractively displaying it to let customers find it easily and ecourage purchases. Managers and sales associates review past trends and consider current fads and market conditions in order to make sales forecasts for specific items. Clothing store managers near beaches, for example, order men's swimming trunks in varying leg lengths and stock shorts for women to wear over bikini bottoms based on such forecasts.

  • Make sales forecasts for specific items instead of overall categories of items. Look at the sales trends for walking shorts, casual shorts, running shorts, skater shorts and all classes of men's and women's shorts individually to decide what types to stock for a given season. Simply looking at the sales for men's or women's shorts as a whole fails to address the specific items that will sell this season.

  • Use the storefront and windows to attract your target clientèle. Place posters and mannequins in apparel out front that define your merchandise. Light front windows with an appealing glow from the center mall aisle or sidewalk. Allow different employees to change the storefront often to create a fresh prospective and constantly attract new customers.

  • Place the merchandise strategically throughout the store. Use the front and center location for your top selling items to ensure the majority of customers find this stock immediately. Place related accessories near the items they are made to accompany, such as ties near dress shirts and socks near the shoes. Put add-ons and impulse items near the point of sale desk for sales people to make quick selling suggestions.

  • Illuminate the store appropriately for the target market. Place spotlights on top selling items in any store. Use energetic lighting with colors and flashing or moving lights in a store selling casual clothing for young buyers to create excitement over the stock. Make the lighting bright enough for mature customers without loud colors or flashing lights in a store that sells dress clothes and shoes.

  • Play music that caters to your market. Use up-tempo pop music for the younger generation, and generation-specific pop music or elegant classical music for other adult markets.

  • Give the store an appealing fragrance as part of your retail merchandising scheme. Use a cleaner with citrus ingredients or spray a gentle fragrance. Light scented candles on shelves safely out of reach of customers and away from flammable products. Avoid heavy odors such as incense or perfumes, which may drive away some customers.

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