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Merchandising for Independent Businesses

Scott works with a business owner in downtown Carlsbad, NM during a recent merchandising visit.

The workshop helps retailers determine the best way to manage their inventories, assists them in improving the floor plan of their stores so that customers see more of the available products, and helps merchants develop a visual image that is appropriate for the customers they serve. Many small independent retailers don't have access to these tools or to the systems that larger retailers use on a daily basis. The workshop will help retailers devise their own models and tools so that they become more competitive and present professionally polished business images.

Workshop participants will learn how to:

  • Develop a favorable first impression of their business by improving their window displays, and exterior facades as well as their in-store graphic images. 
  • Develop obvious floor plans that introduce new products to the customer.  This is accomplished by working with traffic patterns to make weak areas stronger and by improving the visual coordination of merchandise, ultimately increasing impulse purchases.
  • Inexpensively improve the visual appeal of the business with coordinated graphics.
  • Logically divide the store into departments and merchandise categories so buying decisions are easier to make.   These divisions allow retailers to discover what customers actually purchase, in what quantities, and when these purchases are likely to occur, ultimately improving profits.
  • Utilize existing space effectively to create greater sales with little financial risk.
  • Develop models that assign values to the visual or artistic aspects of merchandising, and how to use these models in conjunction with the inventory planning aspect of merchandising.
  • Measure true return on inventory investment.  This uses the concept of sales per square foot and gross margin return on inventory investment.   These indicators take into account the average daily customer counts for a store and typical sales figures in comparison to other similar stores.
  • Utilize basic principals of design display that are easily implemented.  Retailers will learn how to develop displays that are visually organized and simple, making selection and purchase easier.
Display Before Display Before
Original Display

Well-Designed Display:

This demonstrates a reset of a shelf fixture. The idea is to increase product density and to organize products in a way that makes it easier for customers to shop.
Click to download this example (PDF - 200KB)


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