The Power of NEW!
What’s not to like about NEW?
People love NEW. They flock to NEW. People love new babies and new puppies. They love new cars and new movies. They wait in line for the new iPhone. And they love to go shopping for NEW.
In the world of independent retail, nothing is more powerful than NEW. Customer’s flock to check out new stores, can’t wait for the new season’s fashions, and love new product introductions. And it’s really not hard to understand why.
New is new! It’s very newness makes it stimulating, interesting and exciting. Our lives are filled with the familiar, which is comfortable and comforting, but not particularly stimulating. NEW gives us a rush, opens our eyes to new things and our senses to new experiences. The same-old, same-old may be familiar and comfortable, but in the end it’s not exciting. NEW is exciting!
And, for independent retailers, here’s the kicker – NEW drives growth. The same-old, same-old invariably leads to the same-old, same-old results. The same-old thing won’t drive sales increases, no matter how well it’s done. The customers who do drive sales increases are off responding to NEW.
So what can independent retailers do to capture the power of NEW? Here are a few thoughts:
- Re-merchandise your store. Re-arranging things can have the very powerful effect of bringing a new perspective to your store. Changing the layout, locations and traffic flow forces your customers to see things in a new light. When things remain the same too long, it’s too easy for customers to overlook whole sections of the store. Moving things around enables customers to explore and discover all that you carry in a brand new way. It’s like walking into a new store!
- Clean up your assortments and presentations. Let your merchandise breathe! When there’s too many things stuffed into too small a space, eyes glaze over and everything suffocates. If you’re asking your customers to find the gems amongst all the other stuff you’re asking them to work too hard. Customers need you to do that work for them, by keeping assortments focused and lean, and presentations clean and crisp.
- Turn your inventory. When you turn your inventory quickly nothing hangs around long enough to get stale. Constantly flowing in new merchandise keeps the store fresh, and creates a greater sense of urgency to buy now, at full retails. And it encourages customers to come back soon to see what new things might have just arrived.
- Test, test, test. Testing is the key to unlocking the new opportunities that lead directly to growth. You know what your customers are currently buying from you. What else will they buy? Whether it’s new items, new lines or new categories, testing identify those opportunities. But a caution – new items, lines or categories that don’t increase sales only add to inventory, cannibalize sales from other things, slow down your turn and tie up cash.
A commitment to NEW leads directly to growth in sales, profitability and cash flow. The world is always moving forward so if you’re standing still you’re falling behind. NEW is what’s happening. What’s not to like about NEW?!?