In preparation for a new selling season, take time to drive the maintenance of your store. Pretend you are a customer visiting the store for the first time. Make a list of what you notice then prioritize based on necessity and budget to create a master to-do list per department. Give yourself enough time to finish each item on your list factoring in customer service and stocking. If your store is large enough, give department managers their lists and encourage a little friendly competition. Reward the department that finishes its list first to your standards with a pizza party or other treat. It’s also a great idea to ask friends or family to perform this type of audit for you, so you’ll get a true sense of how a customer sees your store.
The following checklist can be used any time you are preparing your store for a new season:
- Dust shelves, sweep floors, repaint walls and replace lights. Start to prep seasonal areas to make the transition from holiday merchandise to outdoor living and lawn and garden.
- Make sure there are no sharp items, loose cords or boxes protruding from shelves.
- Check shelf labels and price stickers to be sure they are neat, clean, complete and current.
- Check displays for empty packages and items that are in the wrong place. Empty packages should be removed and inventory checked.
- Check displays for shopworn or torn packaging and remove it. Customers view damaged packaging as old or damaged goods, which contributes to a perception that the store is not current in its product selection.
- Make sure displays are full and organized. Review inventory order quantities and make sure displays are never empty. Assemble bulky items such as grills, mowers and hose reels, place them on the salesfloor and dust them regularly.
- Don’t forget to pay attention to your backroom, where clutter has a tendency to accumulate. When your spring merchandise comes in, you want to make sure there’s room to unload it and organize it before placing on the salesfloor.