What services do I offer to retailers?
I have tailored my services to specifically fit the needs of my clients. My experience has shown me that clients prefer to be able to choose only the services they want and not be committed to those they do not. I have therefore served my clients in arrangements ranging from a short telephone conversation to discuss store challenges up to a long term agreement to guide a store through a major renovation.
At the beginning of each in-store meeting I have with my clients, a written list of objectives for the meeting is created. This “to-do list” provides us with a guide for our efforts. At the end of the day, the list is reviewed to be certain we have accomplished, or begun the effort to do what we set out to do. A written followup list of things to be done after the meeting is produced and used as a guide to future efforts and to remind everyone of the future direction. We provide our clients with a personalized binder to contain hard copies of all the data, to do lists, guidelines, photos, references, sources and other helpful information they will need going forward. This binder becomes a valuable, permanent, reference tool for the client that helps them remember the points discussed in the meetings and take the proper action. This document is part of our service and is provided at no charge.
Here are brief overviews of several of my most commonly requested services. Although these are outlined in “Packages” do not allow that to concern you if you do not see exactly what you want. I frequently adjust the content to fit the needs of my clients.
Package A: The 12 month Store Consultation retainer (with 1 on-site store visit.)
In this role, I make an on-site visit to the store for a day or two and work with the store management to analyze, adjust, rearrange and improve the visual presentation. This may or may not involve the purchase of new displays. We determine the steps the store will take in the following months to keep the store displayed correctly. We then set aside specific tasks that will be done at the store and by whom and by when they will be accomplished. We set sales targets for the changes and timeframes in which to measure the impact of our changes. We then set specific dates for followup telephone or Skype conferences to discuss results and make adjustments as needed. There is no limit to the number and length of the followup calls during the 12 month period. The client can call for assistance throughout the year as needed. The cost for this 12 month arrangement is $3000, payable in 12 installments monthly through Edge Retail Academy. If a second store visit later in the year is desired, it adds $2500 to this package.
Package B: Consultation on the Design and purchasing of new display components for a new, remodeled or just updated store.
In this role, I often work on site, in the store with the owner to determine a new display strategy and plan for the store (s). We analyze factors such as space considerations, budgets, merchandise mix, local market conditions, strengths of nearby competitive locations, staff capabilities, lighting etc. Then I suggest options for the best display products and colors to implement the strategy. This package usually involves the purchase of new displays. I frequently handle the purchasing of the displays from whatever vendor provides the best solution within budget. I negotiate best prices and delivery times with the suppliers. Once the new displays arrive, I help with the installation and train the staff in the setup, daily use, care and purposes of the display elements.
Package C: The on-site store display review and critique
In this capacity, I make a visit to the store and evaluate the manner in which the merchandise is being displayed. I interview the store management and staff determining their likes and dislikes about the current displays. I then make suggestions to the store owner about changes in strategy, placement, emphasis, signage, lighting or other ways I feel the effectiveness of the displays can be improved. This package often does NOT involve the purchase of any new display elements, just the rearrangement of the existing ones. Once the rework is approved and completed, I conduct a training class for the staff to be assured the changes are not reversed. A telephone follow up appointment is set for 90 days after the session to measure results and adjust as necessary.
Package D: The 10 week store reinvention package
With this package, we embark on a dedicated crash course to correct all the stores display faults in an organized “re-invention of the store” that takes place in 5 distinct steps over a 10 week period. The process begins with a full one day on-site store visit and evaluation including most of the activities included in Package B outlined above. We review and outline the steps needed to correct the display problems in the store and outline the steps needed to fix them. Typically these steps include issues such as #1.) Product emphasis (determining which items we want most to sell by case). #2) Increase in perceived value (Making the merchandise value appear greater than the price) #3.) Product differentiation- (Making better pieces appear to be worth more) #4 Offering proper choices (Determining how many choices we must offer to satisfy the customer) #5) Case layout (Organizing the cases to allow the customer to shop more simply) The steps are implemented one at a time, with a new one each 2 weeks for a total of 10 weeks until the entire store has been transformed. Weekly conference calls are conducted through the process. After a 90 day period sales results are tracked and adjustments are made to change what is not working and improve on what is working.
Package E: The “Annual store display checkup”
In this role, I visit the store once a year to review the state of the current visual merchandising products and strategy. We review store sales trends and compare these to the display strategies. We review what is working and what is not. We look at the goals of the store for Holiday or the following year and decide what changes in the visual presentation must be made. I often co-ordinate the purchases of any additional fill-in or new displays needed. I conduct a training session for store staff in the use, setup, purpose and care of the displays. We sometimes help set sales goals for the store space to insure the displays are not occupying a disproportionate amount of store real estate.
After 25 years in the jewelry display business, I am very familiar with the offerings of the different display manufacturers around the world. I frequently attend the trade fairs in China and Basel in addition to major US and Canadian tradeshows. I know who to trust and who to avoid. I offer my services to help my clients determine the best firms to use for their displays, packaging and other supplies. I do not receive a commission from any of these purchases which allows me to serve on my clients interests only. Several suppliers will grant my clients a significant discount which is directly passed through to my clients in full. These discounts often total enough to offset my retainer fee.
The best way to get started is a free 20-30 minute telephone conversation during which time we will discuss the challenges, issues , timeframe and budgets involved in the client’s needs. In this candid exchange, we both get an opportunity to determine if the project and my services are a match. If so, then the “next step” is identified and scheduled. My fees and your expectations are agreed to and the work is begun. Often these conversations are followed by the sending of store photos, sales information, questionnaire answers and other data to make the most of the next step.