How To Turnaround Your Struggling Gift Shop

Gift shops feel economic pain faster than many other retailers. This is because they are not easily understood by shoppers.

While many other retailers are well defined by their type of businesses, gift shops are not.

A gift shop could sell jewellery, paper products, homewares or exotic items. Shoppers will not know what is in the store until they step in through the front door and start browsing. Getting them in through the front door is the challenge.

This difficulty in defining a gift shop in the eyes of shoppers is a key reason they experience economic downturns earlier than many other retailers.

A smart retail business owner can turn the situation around if they follow this simple advice:

Get lean. Quit dead inventory. Trim your employee roster. Negotiate with inventory suppliers for better prices. Negotiate with your landlord for rent relief. Negotiate with service providers, electricity, gas, couriers and your bank, for better prices. Tough times call for tough action and this must include cutting every expense possible

Stand for something. Being a retail store without a product based point of difference is almost certain death. To attract shoppers you need a point of difference, something which no other gift shop nearby is selling, something which people will happily travel a distance to purchase from you.

Change. Change the look and feel of the business. Bring a fresh look to your window and displays on the shop floor. Do this regularly to show that the business is changing. Too often, a gift shop experiencing tough times will show this through tired displays. Moving products around and changing the focus of displays can make a significant difference to give the business a fresh look.

Focus on impulse. In high traffic areas of the store build compelling impulse displays which seek to get customers buying items they did not visit your store intending to purchase.

Have fun. Create a vibe in the business which is enjoyable and happy. Shoppers are more likely to purchase in a happy environment. Reflect the fun through competitions and other shopper engagement.

Connect with the community. Seek out ways to connect with the community. Support local events and community groups. The more value you demonstrate that your retail store is to the local community the more likely they will talk in glowing terms about the business.

Use your  to unlock opportunities. Analyze suppliers, customers and inventory. Consider cutting the weak and supporting the strong.

Key to rescuing any retail store from tough times is to have a plan.

The best way to turn any retail business around is to engage in many small steps. Relying on a single bold move is dangerous, what is this one step fails? Many small steps is better because a few could fail and you still move the business forward.

Get out there and have fun.


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