smart ideas Barb picUniqlo: Japanese fast-fashion retailer is working with a broker to open Canadian stores


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Uniqlo's choice of American locations can be considered an indication of what it wants in Canada: prime retail space on busy streets and in prominent malls. Expect large Canadian Uniqlo flagships, as well as some smaller mall-based stores. However, its cautious American expansion foreshadows what's in store for Canada, at least in the short term, as only a handful of American cities see multiple Uniqlo locations. This will change, eventually, as Uniqlo's goal is to become the world's top-selling fashion retailer. We'll explain why Uniqlo stores will open in many Canadian markets over the next several years, and we'll then discuss some of its most likely Canadian locations.

uniqloSources inform us that Uniqlo is talking to Canada's largest mall landlords as its searches for Canadian retail space. In March, the Financial Post reported that Uniqlo was in talks to open a 35,000 square foot space at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Toronto and Vancouver are ideal cities for the Japanese retailer: both see exceptionally high retail sales, large Asian populations, and considerable Uniqlo brand awareness. Other desirable markets include Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, and possibly Ottawa and Winnipeg, as the company continues expanding.

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Building Professional Window Displays

How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas

Focus Attention

 Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package. 

Mask Distractive Background

 What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper. 

Keep It Clean

 A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers. 

Present The Correct Quantity

 Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile. 


 Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.  

Use Signage

 The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”,  they think they have to have a slogan -not true.  ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ). 

Add Trim

 Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.

Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!

Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara

Independent Retailer Month Free Seminar

Last Chance to Sign-up:

This 30 minute free class with Barbara is for you Independent Retailers out there. Don't miss it!Why customers love to shop at Independent Retailers!  Sponsored by Retail Makeover - On Sunday July 29, 2012 @ 7 .30 pm EST  - we  wrap up the launch of Independent Retailer Month with a free 30 minute  On Line Live Workshop presentation on the 10 Reasons Consumers Love to Shop at Independent Retail Stores. Limited space available.  All Independent  Retailers welcome. For more information and for retailers to reserve an on line  seat contact  barbara@independentretailermonth.ca  With our compliments!Sign-up Today For a list of all this summers RMU classes, please click here           

RM "U" Summer School July - August 2012 Course Outline

Barbara Crowhurst: CEO of Retail Makeover & Retail Makeover Webdesign Services is North Americas #1 Retail Business Coach and director of programming for RM "U"Summer School.  Barbara will deliver all classes on line and  in person. Giving you the information you need to improve sales and profitability by making you a more effective retailer. Barbara will share her knowledge and insight which will help  increase sales and make you  more profitable.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]"Barbara Crowhurst"

 Remember Summer School? RM U offers retail courses over the next two months. It's the perfect time for you to enroll in the classes offered and change the course of your business. Please invest in yourself, invest in your future, upgrade your knowledge by focusing  on issues that have been your concerns, and have  caused you challenges.

Summer Program Lineup At A Glance:

Controlling Your Buying - Thursday  July 19, 7- 8 pm EST -   Some of the biggest  issues  retailers  face is to stop over buying , stop buying the wrong items and  spending more then they can afford . Learn the secrets of setting your buying  budgets and right sizing your business. Review the products you carry and get rid of the dogs and over stocked inventory. Do not go to another buying show with out taking this course. It is a must.Cost $49 Sign-up TodayPay Now Retail Store Design & Product Placement (2 classes together) - Thursday July 26, 7- 9 pm EST - two classes together, Your store design and where you place product influences sales. Learn how to create the store of your dreams and  how  by placing the products you carry  in Barbara's retail  department grid system will increase sales...  Guaranteed!Cost $98 Sign-up TodayPay Now Why customers love to shop at Independent Retailers!  Sponsored by Retail Makeover - On Sunday July 29, 2012 @ 7 .30 pm EST  - we  wrap up the launch of Independent Retailer Month with a free 30 minute  On Line Live Workshop presentation on the 10 Reasons  Consumers  Love to Shop at Independent Retail Stores . Limited space available.  All  Independent  Retailers welcome. For more information and for retailers to reserve an on line  seat contact  barbara@independentretailermonth.ca  With our compliments!Sign-up Today Setting up a Promotional Calendar - Thursday August 2, 7-8 pm EST - In the years I have been a retail coach I find this is an area that can be challenging for retailers. You should have 2 to 3 promotional events going on each month . Along with what I have to share with you I will send you an e-calendar to help you get organized.COST $49 Sign-up TodayPay Now Effective Marketing - Thursday  August 23, 7-8 pm EST - At the core of this basics strategy are two considerations:

  1. bringing new customers into your store
  2. increasing the number of times existing customers visit you

Key points Barbara covers: defining your market place, what is your potential customer base, knowing who your competition is, using technology effectively, is the new social media for you, websites, your customer data base, today's traditional advertising is it  effective, using a POS system,  how to use  your promotional calender .COST $49 Sign-up TodayPay Now Creating a Strong in Store Sales Focus and Sales Team  - Thursday  August 30, 7- 8.45 pm EST - At the core of this strategy: Barbara covers your role in the performance of your sales staff and creating an in store sales focus, increasing the average sale, what an add on sales program is, why it's important to you, and how it effects your yearly sales targets. Barbara trains the trainer . She will share with you the keys to best customer service and the steps you need to know and share with your staff  to selling more effectively.COST $98 Sign-up TodayPay Now

Here are the details of how we get connected:

After you confirm your registration thru Pay Pal payment you will be sent  a confirmation and then course outline notes prior to the seminar date:
  1. I will send you a link to register with Skype.
  2. All sessions will have a live visual and audio component, all you need is a camera and speakers either attached  or  built into  your computer.

Comments from retailers that have taken RM "U "courses:

" I really look forward to the classes. They are very helpful " - Pearl M. Retailer

"Wow, I have to get to work . Thank you for the wonderful information" - Kathy S. Retailer"Barbara you really understand retail " - Veronica D. Retailer"Thank you for sharing your knowledge " - Jeannie M. Retailer"It's so easy to listen to you on Skype , I have never done anything like this. Thank you Barbara" - Phil H. Retailer"I can use all the info you shared with us today , I do not feel so alone " - Margaret J. Retailer"Sales increased the next day as you promised" - Samantha R. Retailer

Note from Barbara...

I wanted all retailers to be able to join RM "U" Summer School  this year and boost their sales and profitability. This is why I have set the 2012 Program at a very attractive price, reflecting my understanding of the conditions that retailers face, with a price that will fit into their cash flow.You have my continued commitment to sharing my retail knowledge and expertise. I want to help you pay yourself well, very well this year. Classes start soon so register today. Space is limited. Looking forward to our working together.

Barbara Crowhurst