“If You Can Lean, You Can Clean!”

shirtsHow many of you have heard that line one too many times? I know I have. It was the first thing I learned as a 16 year-old hawking T-shirts over the summer. But have you ever stopped to consider what that phrase actually means? Why does it matter what the floor of your store looks like, if customers are going to dig through your displays anyway? What is the point of re-merchandising windows and straightening shelves at the end of every day? Does what your store looks like truly affect how much you sell?

The answer is a resounding: YES! You may not realize it, but the layout of your store has a profound psychological impact on your customer.  Cleanliness, order and well-stocked shelves can do more for your sales than advertising or merchandise selection combined.  Think about it.  Imagine your reactions to the various stores you frequent in your neighborhood.  When you’re out shopping, do you stop by the sale rack that looks like it’s been picked over and plowed through all day?  Do you reach into the dump display that’s almost empty?  Of course not!  You want to imagine that you’re getting the first pick of sale merchandise, even if you’re the last customer of the day.  You can’t help it.  We were born consumers before we became vendors, and we’re wired to react positively to appealing design.

Don’t believe me?  Try this simple little test:  Compare the two displays below.  Both contain the same merchandise.  Both have the same number of pieces.  Both have been on our showroom floor for the same amount of time.  But I’m willing to bet you a dollar store that you prefer one image over the other. 

         Would you buy from this display?                Or this display?
                                                           
Why? Because one looks better than the other! Now you know what your customers are thinking when they see a well-tended display versus one that has been neglected for days. People are drawn to things that look appealing, no matter what setting they’re in. The same rule I learned at that T-shirt store in high school still applies to the massive amounts of merchandise I work with today. So here’s your assignment from Kole Imports: next time you find yourself alone in your dollar store, take a look around. Are the shelves straight? Is the floor dusted? Did you change the placement of at least one item that day? Make some simple changes in your daily routine and before you know it, you will see an increase in daily traffic and sales. That’s the beauty of merchandising.

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