I Believe That Children are the Future … of Your Dollar Store
onday morning: it marks the beginning of a brand new week for all of us. It’s the opening day for new challenges, new solutions, and new opportunities to make positive changes to your business. I’m not trying to sugarcoat the inevitable dread that comes along with the end of the weekend. I am just as prone to a debilitating “case of the Mondays” as the next person. But I am trying to point out that Monday mornings are a chance for us to re-examine the issues we faced during the previous week with a clear head and refreshed point of view.
With this in mind, I try to use my Monday mornings for brainstorming. Marketing relies heavily on creative thought, and my Monday morning brain is usually just empty enough to allow new ideas to flow right in. I typically start by checking all the major news sources for business and media developments. In order to stay ahead of the competition you’d better at least stay on top of current events, right? Whether you are a dollar store owner, a wholesale distributor or a closeout buyer, in this age of instant communication there is a salient news source for any industry, including yours.
And so, in the spirit of Monday morning, I’d like to share a brainstorming tip with you: Sometimes the most unexpected places lead to the most useful wisdom. In my case, that unexpected place was the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times. Now, before you accuse me of confusing “brainstorming” with “reading for my own pleasure,” give me a chance to explain. The article I found was called, “Three Merchants Beat the Recession by Selling to Kids,” by Michael Winerip, and the stories it told are applicable to all of us: suppliers and distributors alike. Here’s what I learned:
“Adults who stop spending on themselves in bad times will still spend on children.”
Parents want the best for their children, even if it means scrimping on items for themselves. Most parents would rather see their kids have decent school supplies and clean clothes than spend money on personal items. Spending on children can even be a pleasurable experience for adults. It feels good to be able to make your child smile or keep your baby warm, even when you have been hit by bad economic times. This is especially important for dollar store owners to note. Dollar stores are in a unique position to provide school supplies, toys, educational games, and other children’s items at the best value possible. And by increasing stock of children’s merchandise, dollar store owners can simultaneously raise sales and profits.
Spending on a child’s talents or interests is viewed by many consumers as an investment.
The article cites the example of a business owner who says he ‘can’t afford not to work,’ but makes sure to send his college-aged children on trips to Puerto Rico and Europe. On a smaller scale, the same concept can likely be seen in your very own dollar store. You have probably seen customers who will pass on items for themselves, but still purchase items used to benefit their child. In general, parents place nurturing a child’s education over other spending because they see it as an investment that will bring future returns, not a waste of money.
How does this apply to your dollar store or wholesale business? Simply put: children’s merchandise is the New Necessity. And in the dollar store and wholesale businesses, we thrive on stocking necessities for less! Every dollar store and wholesaler alike should keep this fact in mind when ordering new merchandise. Re-evaluate your current stock to see how much of it is geared toward children. Are you lacking in crafts or educational hobbies? Do you supply enough toddler apparel and school supplies? Try adding more children’s items like those pictured here. Not only can these items increase your sales, they can also revitalize the future of your business.