I walked by LA gift store Zipper last week and it wasn’t there. Closed. A victim of a poor economy. Or was it?
One will never know. Regardless, I’ll mourn her loss as Zipper was my go to gal. I could walk in and always find something that I wanted – it was great for gifts (for others as well as for myself).
Their merchandise offered interesting diversity, and played in a number of different categories. But (and that’s a big but), I found myself visiting less and less in the past few years. And that’s simply because the store got funkier and funkier, and also started showing a lot of me too items I had seen elsewhere.
And if I wasn’t even stopping in anymore, then I’m guessing other customers weren’t either.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Staying current doesn’t mean changing your brand, it means flexing your brand.
Too often, stores find themselves in troubled times, and they panic. They start playing with price points, with the merchandise mix, and do anything to try to get the sales in the door. But by tampering, versus having a well thought out plan, small retailers end up harming their brand. A changed merchandise mix impacts the main reason customers shop. And most of the time, that means fewer customers in store.
So how do you do the right thing with your merchandise mix?
You analyze! You look at what’s selling, then do more of it. You bring in the types of brands or products that your customers want. And that’s classic buying that’s part of retail 101. If you’re not analyzing what’s selling, how can you effectively grow sales?
How are you protecting your business by bringing in the right merchandise?
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