To have the right product for customers, you may have to leave your comfort zone.

Last week, I was on the phone with our publisher, Matthijs Braakman, whose wife has recently opened an arts and crafts store in their hometown. We were discussing the various issues that confront retailers these days, and he said, “The bottom line is that if you don’t have product that people want, you’re not going to last long.”

It’s true: if you don’t have your product mix right, all the money and cool showrooms and genius social media strategies in the world won’t help you.

With that in mind, we bring you an issue chock-full of new product for show season. In our annual trend report, we show you the latest trends alongside comments from our Brain Squad regarding each style. 

But what will you do with this information?

I hope you’ll consider taking on some new product this season; something that doesn’t qualify as a “staple.” Sure, reordering top sellers is a must, but how do you keep clients coming back for more? You give them something new to look at and enjoy.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are more innovative, affordable lines than ever before as fine and fashion have merged into price points under $500. These are the lines that could provide sales growth for 2018.

You don’t have to go in blind. Read the experts’ advice and ask your fellow retailers what’s proven successful in other markets. Make an educated decision and ride it through the end of the year. Get your staff excited, market your new product and see what happens. 

Hope to see you all in Las Vegas!

FIVE SMART TIPS YOU'LL FIND INSIDE THIS EDITION

1. Conduct “stay interviews” to find out what makes your employees most happy and productive. (Ask Instore, page 97)

2. Close your store for a week so that everyone can vacation at once. (Brainstorm, page 92)

3. Hire an employee to call past clients with an incentive to update their information. (Best of the Best, page 87)

4. Use questions, not talk, to control the sales process. (Shane Decker, page 98)

5. If a client is intent on a bargain, offer a discount on an older item. (One-Minute Mentor, page 96)


This article originally appeared in the June 2018 edition of INSTORE.         

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