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Great Deals 205: The Opening and Operations of a Retail Store

Updated on January 24, 2017

Neat & Organized

Always keep your displays clean, neat and organized.
Always keep your displays clean, neat and organized. | Source

From the Get-Go!

Getting started with a retail store, is fun and exciting! You are your own boss! You set your hours! There is a lot to do so, let's get started! Sit down and make a list of things to do

You will want to check your credit score to see how much of a building that you can afford. I would prefer one level and a back stockroom and an office area (or just a place to put a desk).

The first thing is a location. You want to have a good location with lots of traffic flow. This can equal lots of potential customers. Which means an increase in sales.

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Correct Signage is Important

Always have prices easy to see on each item that you have for sale.
Always have prices easy to see on each item that you have for sale. | Source

Stocking and Signage

Store Signage

It is important to start out not only with a great location but, also have a great sign for your store. A light sign that you can cut on at night, would be preferable.

On the clothing, you will want to use price points. Price points such as if the item is $10, put the signage as 2 for $20. This is trying your best to increase sales and it has been proven to work.

Stocking the store

All of your shelves should be full at all time. You constantly have to look at the inventory and make sure that nothing is missing and needs to be replenished/restocked. Get the merchandise out of the backroom and onto the floor as soon as possible. The merchandise can not sale in the stockroom. Even if you have to run back and forth between helping a customer and stocking the store, you must get the items out.


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Clean As You Go

Always clean up any spills or debris as some as they become apparent.
Always clean up any spills or debris as some as they become apparent. | Source

Clean and Friendly

Clean and Organized

Keep the floor clear of debris and get whatever has spilled up as soon as possible. If you are fortunate enough to have a glass store front, it is nice to keep them looking clean and spotless.
Always keep the garbage cans clean and smelling nice. Always keep all fire exits unblocked at all times for safety and to avoid large fines.

It is a good idea to cross merchandise your product. An example of this would be, hanging a strip of shoestrings down the side of the shelf full of shoes.


Customer Service
Customers will remember you if you treat them with respect and kindness. Word of mouth is the best advertisement or it can be the worst advertisement at the same time. Usually if you have a bad experience, it tends to out way the good.


Profit

Sales

Only New Profitable Product

It is a retail store, not a thrift store. We sale new items not, used ones. No offense. We are trying to be more than just a thrift store. It stands to reason that the nicer the items, and the quantity of items you sale, will make you more money.

If you have an item that sells well, restock that item by buying it in bulk. This way your cost is lower and your profit margin is higher.

Have the check out counter full of impulse items such as candy, gum or friendship bracelets. You can also appeal to the occasion. If it is raining outside, you could put umbrellas at the counter. For Valentine's Day put some pencils with hearts on them or a teddy bear with a heart.

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P & L statements

A P & L statement will show you controllable and uncontrollable expenses.
A P & L statement will show you controllable and uncontrollable expenses. | Source

Monthly Inventory/Profit and Loss

Profit and Loss Profit and loss statements have controllable and uncontrollable expenses. Below are the controllable expenses in which you can control the outcome.

1. Payroll This is the money that you will need to pay your associates. Make sure you schedule employees for only the peak hours of operation.

2. Shrink Loss of inventory. This can happen from items being broken by accident by an associate or customer. It might even arrive on the truck broken. When an item arrives to the store and it is broken, this will always be credited to the account from the vendor who brought the item.

3. Cutting Costs Always search for areas that you can cut the cost in. The easiest way to cut costs is to not let any associate get overtime. Also, send associates home early if the store is having a slow time. Do not over order. If you only need one case of toilet paper don't order three. While you don't want to run out of supplies, you don't want to over order. A bad stock room is a bad sales floor.

Shopping Center

Shopping centers as well as spots right off of the interstate are perfect, high traffic areas fit to start a business.
Shopping centers as well as spots right off of the interstate are perfect, high traffic areas fit to start a business. | Source

Location is the Key

Of course, the location of the store that is picked, will determine the success of the business. Below are 3 of the most important tips for finding a location.

1. Right off the interstate. This is for the purpose of high traffic whether people are pulling off to get gas, getting something to eat or something else, these are people are driving by as potential customers.

2. Upper class area/Rich city

3. Large shopping center with big box store such as Wal-Mart or Target. This will once again allow lots of patrons that will likely drift over from the bigger stores. There are people who still love to shop at the locally owned stores.

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Daily Bank Deposits

Be sure you count your register down at the end of each shift and make a deposit to the bank everyday.
Be sure you count your register down at the end of each shift and make a deposit to the bank everyday. | Source

Store Closing Procedures

Before you leave every night. Make sure the store is mopped and swept. Be sure all of the items are put back and has a nice presentation for the next day's opening unless, your store is an overnight store.

Take your cash deposit to the bank once a day. Have an associate walk out with you to your car.

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© 2017 Buster Johnson

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