Some Sage Retail Assortment Planning Advice
Tip #417 - Diversification Dilemma
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
This week's Tip is an answer to a reader question. Doreen writes...
"We are a struggling Interiors store. We handle furniture, window treatments, rugs, lamps, wall art, and accessories as well as gift items. During this recession, gift items (women's accessories in particular) have been our biggest sellers. How do I decide if and how much we diversify into other areas in order to be more profitable?"
Doreen, it's a common question, and I'm going to answer you with one of my favorite quotes from the Assortment Planning Kit in the Retail Mastery System,
"Your customers vote with their wallet."
It’s absolutely critical to keep the customer at the center of your assortment plan. Without your customers, you’ll have no store and no merchandise assortment.
Your main mission is to offer what they want to buy!
It doesn’t matter if your customers say they love your merchandise or tell you that you’ve got the best store on the planet if they’re not actually buying. The vote is cast only one way: when the register rings. If they don’t want to take the stuff home with them, you don’t have the right assortment. It’s up to you to tally the votes and tailor your assortment to meet their needs. To do this effectively you must learn to separate what you like from what your customers like; what you think (or hope) they are buying from what they are actually buying.
You can be in the store every single day, watching the cash register every second, but still get a false impression. That’s because our brains constantly filter information based on our own personal biases – the merchandise we think is the best or that we like to sell. Fortunately, your POS System doesn’t have that problem. It’s going to give you just the facts, ma’am. Your job is to interpret those facts and give customers more of what they want, and less of what they don’t.
When should you branch out?
NOW. Your store is struggling and your customers are pointing a clear path to increased sales...
Give 'em more of what they're voting for.Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,