Are men the salvation of brick-and-mortar retail?

Mall retailers have long considered women to be their primary shoppers, but all that might be about to change.  A study from new product solutions provider First Insight found that men are more likely than women to want to touch and feel a product before buying it, more likely to pay full-price at a retail store, and less likely to turn to Amazon for a cheaper alternative.

I loved this post and knew you’d be interested in reading about this issue. Enjoy Barbara

Five Must-See NYC Holiday Window Displays

Since the 1870s, holiday window displays in New York have been a tradition. The tradition continues to present day as stores large and small create an awe-inspiring tapestry of decorative scenes, from the cute and cozy to the magnificent and dramatic.

I was so inspired by these windows I just had to share them with you. Enjoy…
After strolling through the major shopping avenues of Manhattan, here’s my list of “must-see” window displays for this year’s holiday season. Marrying today’s latest tech with timeless sentiments, each of these cleverly designed displays will add wonderment and joy to your day, so be sure to take time and explore each of these special worlds:

Lord & Taylor: The Best and Brightest

For its 80th annual holiday display, Lord & Taylor transformed its Fifth Avenue windows into a whimsical journey as seen through the lens of enchanted snow globes, featuring over 60 variations throughout the display. Snow globes, and the animated figures playing within them, provide the unifying motif that pulls together the retailer’s five magical window scenes.

Macy’s Herald Square: The Perfect Gift Brings People Together

Photo: Diane Bondareff

Macy’s Herald Square brings people – and window themes – together. There are six windows lining the Broadway- facing side of Macy’s, each with its own theme. One focuses on the holiday tree as the centerpiece of family and home, and two show the holiday metropolis filled with life and activity as animal creatures enjoy the coming of winter in their own festive ways.

The third features a viewfinder through which visitors can take a better look at this panoramic winter scene, featuring Santa flying high above the city.  The fourth gives a look into a holiday spectacular being staged in a giant theater, and the fifth focuses on transportation… all under Santa’s watchful eye, as he waves to the passersby. And the sixth depicts Macy’s Herald Square itself in miniature as shoppers dart by against a backdrop of Santaland and the giant Christmas tree.

Saks Fifth Avenue: Once Upon a Holiday

Each year, Saks Fifth Avenue’s display is made larger than life, thanks to its 10-story-tall theatrical light show that accompanies the 14-holiday window displays. But this year is a little different. First off, for the first time in its 94-year history, Saks is animating each and every one of the window displays. The displays all depict scenes from Disney’s animated film classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s a first-time collaboration with Disney. Probably the stylistic highlight of the display is the rich fairytale dress gowns Saks commissioned Alberta Ferretti, Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier, and Marchesa to design.

Bloomingdales: The Greatest Showman

 

This year, Bloomingdales’ windows also feature a movie tie-in, this one with the upcoming holiday release of “The Greatest Showman,” a musical depicting the life of P.T. Barnum and starring Hugh Jackman. Bloomingdales partnered with some of its best designers to assemble one-of-a-kind items inspired by the movie, many of which are featured in the circus themed window displays. And Swarovski created crystal-themed images bring glisten and sparkle to this circus wonderland.

Tiffany: A Tiffany New York Christmas

At Tiffany’s, each window features a wintry scene accented with the jeweler’s signature flair. Each window showcases the elegance of giving a Tiffany gift, from a diamond studded Christmas tree to a holiday table setting complete with jewel-filled Christmas crackers, champagne, and cakes.

Traditional winter accessories like woven hats, scarves and earmuffs, are given the Tiffany touch, using the iconic brand color to pull together each of the holiday scenes. (The 5th Avenue store also just made it possible to actually have breakfast at Tiffany’s in its just-opened Blue Box Cafe, fulfilling many the dreams of many women.)

Displays That Will Get Customers Sticking Around The Store Longer

Q: What are some of the most effective ways to make the kind of display that will get customers sticking around the store longer.A: A few ideas on displays that promote sales:

  1. Set up several feature areas in your store. Tables are best. These areas bring your store to life and are points of interest. They slow down shoppers.

  2. Use cross merchandise technique to showcase multiple items and how they work together. This creates interest in add on sales.

  3. Your sales staff should be trained to use these feature /cross merchandized display as a sales tool.

Q: What are some tips on putting up effective displays on a budget?A: Many retailers still buy props for display set up. Not the right way to think. Everything you use in a display other than the actual fixture or table and may be the risers are for sale. I do not recommend retailers spend any money on props. If you have it, you sell it! What I do suggest is that within your display grouping you use multiple products and products with many heights to create flow and impact.Q: How can a manager find inspiration for non-holiday themed displays?A: The manager should be following a promotional calendar for each month. That’s 3 to 4 events happening in the store, more than enough activity to support their merchandising program other then holidays.Q: Is there such a thing as too little or too much when it comes to displays?A: Interesting questions. The display is always defined by the space provided. In my years of being a visual merchandiser and that’s 37 years, retailers struggle with this for sure. I would recommend hiring a VM. They are worth the money. Sales will go up for sure. But, in the mean time, bring more products out of the stock room make your store look lush!Q: What should be the creative angle when the idea is to gin up sales?A: Complex questions. Displays are the icing on the cake. They alone will not completely gin up sales. It’s selling the right product at the right time, it’s training staff to sell, and it’s creating a customer experience to say the least.Q: Are there any cardinal sins when it comes to displays?A: Ample lighting, most stores skimp on lighting because it’s expensive. Lighting has been shown to be one of the strongest influences in retail selling. My other pet peeve is not using signage to complete displays. Signage is a silent sales person when everyone is busy. Of-late, chalkboards have become very popular again. “If you feel stuck please contact Retail Makeover we can help you.”

Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

survey_opinion_feedback

survey_opinion_feedback

Survey: America’s favourite stores are…

Thought you might be interested in this information:A regional department store, a warehouse giant, a discount supermarket and an online powerhouse rank among the nation’s favorite retailers.That's according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which rates consumers’ satisfaction across six retail industries. The report found that satisfaction with the overall retail trade rise 4.7% in 2016 to a score of 78.3 (on a 100-point scale) an all-time high for the sector.Dillard's was tops among the 15 companies surveyed in the department and discount store category. It received a score of 83 out of a possible 100, up 4% from the previous year. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. took second place with a score of 82, and also had the largest increase from the previous year, up 11%.Nordstrom was the only department store to deteriorate in customer satisfaction, slipping 2% into a three-way tie with Dollar Tree and Belk at 80.Customer satisfaction with Walmart rose 9% as the company's renewed attention to customer service via "holiday helpers" to expedite checkout lines and aid shoppers paid off. Despite the ACSI gain, however, Walmart continues to anchor the low end of the industry with an ACSI score of 72.The supermarkets sector was led by Trader Joe’s, with a score of 86, followed by Publix at 84 and Aldi, H-E-B and Wegmans at 83. Whole Foods climbs 11% to 81, ahead of Hy-Vee, Kroger and ShopRite (all 79). Meijer matches Target at 78, followed by Bi-Lo (+4% to 77).Costco led the specialty retail category, with a score of 83, followed by Sam’s Club, L Brands, and Barnes & Noble, all at 81.Home Depot rose 10% to 80, ahead of Lowe’s (79) for the first time, as well as Menards (79). Ascena, which recently acquired Ann Taylor, makes its debut at 78 and ties with two pet supply stores: Petco and PetSmart. Best Buy, Big Lots and Toys “R” Us follow at 77. Abercrombie & Fitch improved the most, up 17%, but remains last at 76.In the online category Amazon continues to hold first place, advancing 4% to 86 amid a strong holiday season, followed by Newegg at 83 and eBay at 81.The ACSI report, which is based on 12,515 customer surveys collected in the fourth quarter of 2016, is available for free download here.

Farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store

The end of an era:

Toronto bids farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store - The Globe and Mail

honest-eds

honest-eds

Memories, and a husk of a building, are all that will be left in short time after the discount retailer closes up for good. Over the years, the bargain-basement shop has catered to immigrants and the working class, reshaped life on Bloor and delighted passersby with its gimmicky signs - a testament to Ed Mirvish's personality and business acumen.(Globe and Mail)The end of an era: Toronto bids farewell to iconic Honest Ed’s store - The Globe and MailLINK TO FULL ARTICLE

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Essential Marketing Guide

Hello Retailers,You will love this information. Still considering if you should have a website? or maybe your website doesn’t work properly ? Please contact Steve at Retail Makeover Web Design Services: www.retailmakeoverweb.comBlack Friday has quickly turned into one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year, while Cyber Monday has even surpassed Black Friday in sales.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Essential Marketing Guide

cyber-mondayBlack Friday has quickly turned into one of the busiest shopping days of the entire year, while Cyber Monday has even surpassed Black Friday in sales. In this article we have cover some amazing marketing tips that pit Black Friday vs Cyber Monday against each other. It may seem like you should take the same approach with both, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.You may also be interested in these articles:Not only are Black Friday and Cyber Monday customers dissimilar, but they expect different marketing tactics and shopping experiences.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday Marketing: The Main Differences

Black Friday differs from Cyber Monday in a few ways. The first, most obvious difference, is that Black Friday has been around for a much longer span of time. In the past, Black Friday existed solely as a brick and mortar holiday when people would come out and wait in lines for hours.Therefore, this has carried over to the internet age, where more people expect to get an experience (offline and online) than they would on Cyber Monday. This includes giveaways and raffles. That said, plenty of brick and mortar stores get in on the Cyber Monday fiasco, similar to how online stores take advantage of Black Friday.The average Black Friday shopper is a younger female who may still live at home with parents. Think college students and early young professionals with more willingness to seek out deals because of their youth and budgetary constraints. The numbers show that these women make less than $75K per year and generally don’t have children.Keep in mind, this is the average, so there are still plenty of men and women with children shopping during Black Friday.Women still beat out men during Cyber Monday, but not by nearly as much. The main difference lies in their lifestyles. For example, Cyber Monday females are more often over 30 years old, employed and owning their own home. The chances of getting women with families spikes as well.Considering much of the Cyber Monday shopping is done online, this makes sense, because these types of customers aren’t nearly as willing to brave the cold and wait in long lines.mobile-black-friday-and-cyber-mondayAs for the smaller demographics and overall trends with Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping:

  • Cyber Monday shoppers care more about pricing than brand. That’s not always the case with Black Friday shoppers.
  • Black Friday shoppers are far more likely to complete their shopping in physical stores as opposed to online.
  • Cyber Monday shoppers complete more research online. For example, they look at online reviews more frequently than the average Black Friday shopper, and more of them own smartphones and care about the operating system being used while shopping through a mobile device.
  • Regardless of sex, Black Friday shoppers are generally younger than 24 and without jobs and living with mom and dad.
  • An interesting metric is that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers use the internet in some way. Black Friday customers seem to love Pinterest, while Cyber Monday people are all about technology blogs and online magazines.

And Now… Essential Black Friday vs Cyber Monday Marketing Tips

1. If You Can Only Pick One, Go With Cyber MondayYes, both Cyber Monday and Black Friday online sales have been increasing over the past years. However, online stores see far more sales on Cyber Monday than they do on Black Friday. This might have something to do with the fact that some folks still see Black Friday as a brick and mortar day.Regardless of the reasoning, you have a bigger piece of the pie to claim on Cyber Monday.2. Don’t Just Test Your Site..Ensure Its StabilityIt may not seem like keeping your site fast, functional and operational has anything to do with marketing. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, 58% of potential customers decided not to return to a brand during the holidays because of website problems.This applies to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so we recommend spending extra money to boost your hosting plan, clean up the clutter, focus on landing pages and speed up the checkout process. Your website is the ultimate marketing tool. But a slow one, regardless of your deals, turns a happy shopper into a frustrated one.3. Offer a Price Comparison on Your SiteThis is particularly important for Black Friday, since more shoppers are used to researching online and understanding the differences in prices between your competitors and you. Not only that, but shoppers indicate 33% of the time that they take online comparisons into consideration.black-friday-vs-cyber-monday-marketing-comparisonIt may seem counter-intuitive at first, but providing the tools to compare with competitors at least gives you the benefit of keeping people on your own website. If you feel like your pricing is no match for other companies, we recommend at least implementing a comparison .As always wishing you every success;Barbara

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. 

Elevate

 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

Day #125 - Take A Hike Receives Business Excellence Award

Please join me in congratulating one of our own:Retailer Diane Petryna, owner of Take a Hike in Thunder Bay

Take A Hike Receives Business Excellence Award

Medium (7-25 Employees)THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO - May 6, 2012 - Nine years after having won the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce's Business Excellence Award for small sized firms (1-6 employees), Take A Hike was once again recognized for its excellence. At last evening's 18th Annual Business Awards Gala held at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay, the retail store received the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for medium sized companies (7-25 employees).Take A Hike's continued business expansion and diversification, exemplary customer service, innovative staff training initiatives, and history of community involvement impressed the judges.In accepting the award, store owner Diane Petryna acknowledged the on-going support her company has enjoyed from customers, employees, suppliers and the community.  She also suggested that with her company's track record, the Chamber should expect Take A Hike back at the podium in 10 more years. "By then we'll be ready to pick up our award in the large sized business category," she said with a smile.Take A Hike is an independently owned and operated outdoor lifestyle store located at 309 Bay Street in Thunder Bay. Since 1996, Take A Hike has been offering shoppers a unique collection of quality gifts, toys, clothing, footwear and gear.As a leading retailer in Canada, Petryna is a member of the Retail Council of Canada's Independent Retailer Advisory Committee and is often cited in industry journals about best retail management practices.For more information, contact:Diane Petryna at 1-807-474-4220  or diane@takeahike.ca or go to www.takeahike.ca

Day #120 - In Style Trends

I picked this up from a recent newsletter from Retail News;

In Style Trends:

Five days, 1000 plus exhibitors, one million square feet, 17,000 retail buyers – the Toronto Gift Show is the most comprehensive market in Canada for sourcing giftware, home décor, jewellery and fashion accessories along with housewares. It's here that suppliers unveil their newest collections and their latest distribution agreements. As we travelled the aisles of the 10 halls at the show, we were on the lookout for over-arching trends. There were plenty to be spotted, but here are four of the most prevalent. Enjoy!

MASCULINE MANNERS

From antiqued leather couches to the dapper 1960s style of Mad Men, unabashed masculinity is on one big power trip at the moment. 

FRENCH FLAVOURS

Savour a perfect Parisian macaroon or the scents of Provence, as products reminiscent of French patisseries, hotels, restaurants and apothecaries are plentiful.

BOTANY

An anatomical take on the nature trend, Botany is about an appreciation for the minutia of natural beauty like the detailed intricacies of a butterfly's wings.

BRIGHTS FEEL RIGHT

We've broken free from the repressive constraints of “greige” and are now lusting after bolts of bright colour. Read more...Retail News | Retail News Now! | Current IssueAs always,BestBarbara

Day #120 - In Style Trends

I picked this up from a recent newsletter from Retail News;

In Style Trends:

Five days, 1000 plus exhibitors, one million square feet, 17,000 retail buyers – the Toronto Gift Show is the most comprehensive market in Canada for sourcing giftware, home décor, jewellery and fashion accessories along with housewares. It's here that suppliers unveil their newest collections and their latest distribution agreements. As we travelled the aisles of the 10 halls at the show, we were on the lookout for over-arching trends. There were plenty to be spotted, but here are four of the most prevalent. Enjoy!

MASCULINE MANNERS

From antiqued leather couches to the dapper 1960s style of Mad Men, unabashed masculinity is on one big power trip at the moment. 

FRENCH FLAVOURS

Savour a perfect Parisian macaroon or the scents of Provence, as products reminiscent of French patisseries, hotels, restaurants and apothecaries are plentiful.

BOTANY

An anatomical take on the nature trend, Botany is about an appreciation for the minutia of natural beauty like the detailed intricacies of a butterfly's wings.

BRIGHTS FEEL RIGHT

We've broken free from the repressive constraints of “greige” and are now lusting after bolts of bright colour. Read more...Retail News | Retail News Now! | Current IssueAs always,BestBarbara