So, in Blog #3, I talked about research.
Now, I talk about spending time to perfect a task. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book “Outliers” that it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert in something. While that is helpful, it’s not the entire answer to becoming great at something. It really boils down to how you go about it. I feel it’s very helpful to know your business inside and out and learn as much as you can, but do we truly ever “master” retail? It is constantly changing. To keep up with the trends and ever changing landscape, it is an ongoing learning process. Keeping up with trends always gives you a “leg up” on the competition, if you’re on top of things. But you always need be open to learn new ways or different ideas.
First, there are core basics to learn so let’s start there. If you are selling someone something that they are going to wear, fit is so important. During my first job, we used a ritz stick (simple foot measuring device). Also, we used a Brannock device (which is more precise measuring the width and arch length of a foot). In a rack Store fit really wasn’t the priority, but I still think it’s important to know today. If something doesn’t fit, it doesn‘t matter how it really looks if you don’t get the sale.
Second, the merchandise in the back stockroom doesn’t sell unless you get the stock on the floor where the best items that sell the most (hot items) are easily seen. If you have empty spaces on the floor, it might give the impression you don’t have stock. Or even worse, people may think the employees are lazy or don’t have enough help. Finally, displays are your silent salespeople. Similar to the tip on having your best, hot items located where they can be noticed, also put the colors that pop in the displays to lure customers in the store. The color, Black is usually the first that sells, but hot pink will get the customers’ attention. If your displays are exposed to sunlight, make sure you rotate the merchandise or you’ll end up with faded shoes!
So here’s Tip #4; Yes it takes time to be an expert in anything, whether it’s 10,000 hours or not. The real truth is practice makes perfect. You can spend a lot of time doing something but you must make your time spent count. Dissect your business. Mix and rotate merchandise to meet the needs of the customer.
…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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