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On Display: Maximize Case Space

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On Display: Maximize Case Space

A simple formula tells you a sales goal for every case in your store

BY LARRY JOHNSON

Published in the April 2013 issue.

Industry reports will tell you that the average independent jeweler has about 2,000 square feet of store, of which 1,300 square feet or so is selling space. The same JA report puts the average sales volume at $750,000.

Simple math tells us that this mythical average store thus sells $577 per square foot of floor space. But perhaps a more telling test of the efficiency of a store is sales per square foot of showcase space. The showcases are where the action occurs. Let’s adjust these numbers to reflect more specific selling areas where we can develop a selling strategy and track its results. It is easy to do with just a few calculations:

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1) Calculate your store’s actual selling space. If our store has 12 showcases, each about 5 feet long, then the store has 60 feet of cases. If the showcases are an average of 17 inches deep, that 60 linear feet will translate to 85 square feet of selling space. Add in wallcases and any other areas where merchandise is displayed to get a working total.

2) Now, if we divide the $750,000 of merchandise sales by our 85 square feet, we see that we are selling an average of $8,823 per square foot of selling space!

3) We can now start to factor in our selling trays. Imagine an average seven-ring tray that is 4 by 8 inches, or 32 square inches. So the tray’s footprint works out to be about 22 percent of a square foot. The sales target for this tray is therefore 22 percent of $8,823, or $1,941. An average tray this size must sell $1,941 worth of merchandise each year to justify the space it occupies. If your trays are not meeting this goal, neither will your sales.

Obviously, the $8,823 is only an average of all the cases in the store. To really make informed decisions about your cases, you need to set different goals for different cases based on merchandise mix and price points.

Sales volume is only part of the story. You can go further and look at gross margin to determine how much you are making on that space.

You need to set different goals for different cases based on merchandise mix and price point.

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By now your head is swimming with sales and margin calculations, and the obvious question bubbles to the surface: What do I do with this information?

HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS:

Evaluate your purchases in light of your sales-per-square-foot requirements. Before you decide to stock any piece of jewelry, consider how much you will net and how much space it will require. If it doesn’t provide the profit target you require per square foot, don’t buy it unless you are willing to make up the shortfall elsewhere in the store.

Add more selling space. Additional case space gives you more room and reduces the sales requirement per square foot.

Consider display trays with smaller footprints or that hold more capacity. You do not want to get carried away and diminish the appearance of your store, but a tray that holds nine rings instead of seven can help your cause. Avoid overly large trays that do not justify their size in sales volume.

Keep your trays full. When a ring slot goes unfilled, you divert the sales burden to the other pieces in the case.

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At the end of the day, you only have x amount of selling space in your store. If you are to make your overall sales goals, it has to happen in that space. Do not leave it to chance. Develop a strategy to maximize your use of that space and track your results.

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