A tale of two seasons…..
”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” Charles Dickens’ prose of 1859 makes it sound like he was once a ski shop employee. As we enter the month of February, we find ourselves in the in-between part of seasons that can be sort of humdrum. On the one hand, early spring arrivals may be trickling in, but not enough to make a real impact, and we’re sick of staring at the same jackets and pants that shipped last fall.
The upside of February is that President’s Week is right around the corner and that means an opportunity to move more sale merchandise. February is also the time to start planning store windows and displays around spring break. Whether it’s locals heading somewhere warm with their families, or college kids coming to town to recreate now is the time to map out specific product category pushes, like luggage and new spring arrivals for snowbirds and newly marked down hardgoods and clothing for the college crowd.
As shop owners and employees, here are the top five things you can do today to visually appeal to shoppers during this transitional time.
1. Cross merchandise vendors. As a rule of thumb, I always merchandise styles by vendor, but as product dwindles down, why not experiment by putting together collections from different companies. Keep color stories in check. I challenge you to come up with some pretty cool combos. This idea also keeps your visual merchandising skills sharp. It’s a real challenge to keep your shop looking fresh in February.
2. Tell a focused product story. Anything you have that is waterproof and breathable shell is a value to your customer especially now as seasons transition. Create weather specific windows and displays that help explain how to stay dry as spring approaches. Visit www.gore.com for an extensive library resource guide of downloadable facts, images and information that can be used in your displays.
3. Rev up your curb appeal. It’s easy to forget about the outside of your store during the winter months. These painted branches are awesome. It’s cheap and an easy thing to do to freshen up your store.
4. Ramp up your sale section. Nothing wrong with some bi-partisan attention grabbing sale signage, right?? Make the most of President’s Week and increased store traffic with clear, engaging sale signage.
5. Go green! Bring some color into your store. February is drab and monochromatic. I mean, nothing is blooming. It’s so uninspiring. This time of year we crave warmth and color. Buy some plants or simply a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store. Flowers by the cash wrap will be a smile to your shoppers.
Hopefully you have some new ideas to spice things up in your shop for the duration of February. The hope of Spring is just around the corner!