Reopening Your Store

Reopening Your Store

Ready or Not! Get Set! Let’s GO!

Congratulations! You are ready to walk through to the other side!
Change is the only constant – ALWAYS. Take courage from the fact that you have mastered the skill of – Stop! Pivot. Reset. This skill will continue to serve you well. You have done things that you didn’t want to do, didn’t think you could do, and didn’t think you’d ever have to do! You have looked fear and instability in the face and asked yourself what else is possible?

Be proud! You are a Courage Warrior

What Shopping in Your Store Will Look Like

  • Your state will give you the rules. This will determine the uniform for your team and customers – masks, gloves, booties. They will also communicate the capacity and social distancing requirements.
    • You will be required to police it.
    • But how you do that is up to you!
  • Will you need to rearrange to make social distancing easier? Send them on a path using your fixtures and signs. Make it fun and friendly when communicating the new rules. “If you can see my undyed roots – you might be too close!”
  • Make sure that someone can get around another customer who is stopped to look at an item. We don’t want to force someone to hurry!
  • Signs are more important than ever! They will be helping your team sell from a distance. Make them branded and look consistent! Write them out imagining that you are talking to a customer… “Which of these tops will you wear to the beach?” “Tired of listening to your kids fighting?! This game practically guarantees fun and laughter!” “Will you drink champagne or a mojito from this?” “Imagine the memories your family will create with this backyard toy!”
    • Thanks to Kizer and Bender for this great Font Size Rule: Take your oldest customers age and divide by 2.
  • What procedures need to be in place to make this happen? And to keep updating signage.
  • What will your cash wrap look like? Be sure to set up the line with markers on the floor that are further away than 6 feet. Use fixtures and merchandise and signs to keep them in line and buying! Think of how the big boxes do it – but make it yours!
  • Make a big show of wiping down between each customer! This will keep you all healthy and feeling safe.
    • Hand Sanitizers – where?
  • What will your Return Policy look like?
  • Will garments go into a Quarantine after being tried on? Will you have floor samples and stock in back?
  • Steamers will kill the virus on fabric. Will you use one?
  • Set up a sanitizing schedule for the store and merchandise?
    • Don’t forget to have bathrooms and fitting rooms on that list. Those should be cleaned more depending on how often they are used.
  • Will you have limited hours? Will curbside pick-up be available?
  • How often will you change your front windows? Include rainbows and “We miss you! Stop in and say hi!” messages.

Handling Classes and Events

  • How will you handle Social Distancing? Number of people limited? Staggered times.
  • What events can you do on zoom and still monetize? More information to follow in the Marketing section.

Customer Avatars

  • What does your post pandemic customer look like? How will you and your team serve them?
  • What will they do anything and pay anything for as it relates to what you do? What keeps them awake at night as it relates to what you do?

Communication

  • You cannot over communicate! Communicate, communicate, communicate!
    • Customers
    • Team
    • Vendors
  • What are you telling them? How are you responding to the pandemic now?
  • You are telling them what doing business in your store looks like. You sanitize counters, door knobs, dressing rooms. Hand Sanitizer available. Gloves? You are working to protect your team and your customers. You are working to limit the spread by being a good human. There are no guarantees. Do what you can and let it go.
  • All your messaging is about the future. Welcome back, my dear long lost friend! No negative talk allowed anywhere. Not about how bad it was – it’s about how fun it’s going to be.
  • NOT ABOUT STOREWIDE DISCOUNTS! A few targeted promos maybe – but your raving fans are just so happy to be with you!

You Are Open! Hooray!

  • Will you have a party? Yes! Of course, you will! Start with a soft opening. Then your Grand Re-Opening! What will you call it? What will that look like? Prizes? Social distancing within the store? Time slots? Will there be many parties?

Marketing

  • Emails – still effective but there’s more competition
    • Still the highest direct sale conversion tool.
    • Email 2-3 times a week with a G.I.F.T. (Genuine Information For Them)
    • Make sure that your raving fans hear and see you among the noise!
    • Share your personal stories with them and that of your team
  • Social Media – more important than ever!
    • Video is crucial now. Embrace it! Mistakes are welcomed.
    • When you can, post the video on YouTube – #2 largest search engine
    • Do FB lives and IG lives -schedule and promote them ahead of time
    • Continue FB /IG sales.
    • Include educational content.
  • Snail Mail – It’s BACK!
    • Everyone’s Inbox is flooded. Good old fashioned snail mail has a good reach since there is so little of it! Include a gift certificate good for online or instore shopping. Make it good for 1 month. Enter the Redeemers into a prize drawing. Have lots of winners. Ask vendors for prizes.
  • New Revenue Streams – keep these up!
    • What worked while you were closed?
    • Curbside pickup or delivery
    • Appointment selling
    • BOPIS – Buy Online Pickup In Store
    • Boxes – either mystery/surprise or themed ones
    • How can you sustain it?
  • Zoom – Where can you utilize Zoom to bring people together for fun and to serve them?
    • Classes? Tutorials? Book Clubs?
  • Pop Up Shops – so perfect for right now
    • Do a zoom interview with a fav vendor and sell their products
    • Combine vendors to create a look.
    • Ask for promotional items
  • Promote Everywhere!

Vendors

  • Do a vendor analysis. You must KNOW your most profitable vendors. We have a Vendor Analysis Scorecard we use. Reach out for help to determine this. Identify what vendor is helping you to succeed?
    • You need terms! This is a partnership. You work with a team of Retail experts and you are in it for the long haul and you want them to work with you.
    • Ask for discounts.
    • Ask for terms – this will be critical for your busy season
    • Ask for free shipping.
    • Ask for any promo items to give away!
    • Do they have your orders still? Really?

Team

  • Evaluate the role your team plays.
  • Are they onboard with new expectations?
  • Are they ready and willing to come back to the store?
  • A good salesperson is worth their weight in gold. Potted plants and store babysitters are not needed.
  • When do you have your regularly scheduled meetings?

Cash flow, Inventory and Open to Buy

  • Do you owe your vendors? Negotiate with them. You have lost weeks of selling and need their help with markdowns
  • You need a sales forecast that is reasonable and can be changed quickly.
  • We have the largest independent retail database in the world – so we will see trends fast and can react and change.
  • Your ENDING inventory must be planned! This gives you more cash, less markdowns and more full price sales.
  • Your Merchandise plan and sales 2 plan TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT TO DO
  • This is a Retail Revolution. You are a Revolutionary on the frontlines of profitable retailing. You must have a plan that produces cash and creates options.
  • Know what your Profit Point is.
  • Work with us to map out a plan to bring in new inventory, liquidate the old, and plan out the future.
  • We are experts at “What Else Is Possible?”

Keep it up! This is going to be part of your new normal.

What has been working for you during
this crazy time?

Download this as a PDF to check off what you have done!

We’re all in this together! Reach out to Clientcare@retailmavens.com

2 Comments on “Reopening Your Store”

  1. Hi folks!
    Looking for suggestions: a huge part of our business is jewelry especially jewelry with stones. Any ideas on how to sanitize jewelry without damaging the metal or the semi precious stones?
    Thanks, Sharon

    1. Thank you Cathy. This was the question submitted, and I appreciate the time you put into this to answer it.

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