Creating the Right Merchandise Assortment
Tip #411 - Do You Have the Right Stuff
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
Your choice of which items to carry in your store – and just as importantly, which items not to carry – is what makes your retail store different from every other store on the planet.
In essence, your merchandise assortment defines your store.
If you carry bikes, then you’re a bike store (and not an auto parts store.) But it is the exact assortment of bikes, accessories and services that makes your bike store different from all the rest. If you offer shoes for sale, you’re a shoe store (not a gift store.) And the exact assortment of shoes, accessories and services you offer makes your shoe store different from every other shoe store.
It sounds so basic, but the implications are huge!
If you do not have a strategically planned assortment, but rather pick your merchandise on a whim and a wish, the success of your store will reflect that basic lack of focus.
In the words of Pete Townshend, "Who are you? Who? Who?"
Without a great merchandise assortment your retail customers won’t have any reason to visit your store, let alone leave some of their money with you. The more on-target your merchandise assortment is, the more likely they are to come into your store and the more they will buy from you while they are there.
But getting your assortment right is not only a sales issue, it’s also the most basic customer service issue. The more often you have what your customer is looking for, the better service you are providing. If you don't have what they want and need, that's bad customer service.
Planning your best assortment is a constantly evolving process. It’s always a work in progress. The right merchandise mix last season, last year, or last month is probably not the right stuff for today.
Do you have the right stuff?Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,