Utilizing Space Effectively In Retail Merchandising - Written by Gina Jacoby-Clements

Retail is like real estate. It is an investment and should be treated like one. For example: prime real estate shelf space will be to the right of where people enter the area. Eye level is the number one location for all your top margin/highest sales items.

Below you will find tips on how to utilize every inch of priceless retail space you have along with paying attention to detail where it matters most.  Proven to increase retail sales and revenue:

Allocate retail space
When possible, 1400 square feet of spa will allot to 15% retail space. To give you a visual, this is roughly the size of two 9x12 treatment Rooms.

Follow the 3 C’s when shelving
CLEAN - Clean retail area daily, keep all products front and facing forward.  Make sure boxes and bottles are equally spaced as well as aligned and facing the same direction. Every retail product on the shelf should have a clean tester placed directly in front of product.

CLEAR – When possible choose clear acrylic or glass shelving.This is makes product and retail area come to life through the actual display creating a very inviting setting.

CLUTTER FREE – Be very cautious here when putting products on shelves. Keep it simple when choosing product placement and selecting signage. Only the items you are retailing should be on the shelves. You can get more creative on your Retail Focus Table with props or added items.

Choose the right lighting 
Lights, sales, action! Properly lighted areas and shelving can increase sales by approximately 25%. Remember that ambiance, task and makeup lighting are a three-part act. Your overhead lighting powers 80% of the lighting in the room. So, while the overheads might not light the task at hand, your ambient lighting can play on your client's emotions, elevate the area image and even affect buying habits. People may walk into a spa or salon and say, “I really like this building, but I can’t put my finger on why.”  It is likely because of the feeling the lighting has portrayed and tapped into your inner sense of feeling good. You can have all the interior finishes and architecture, but if the lighting is wrong you’ll ruin the energy. Start shining the right light!  

Utilize simple signage
KISS stands for Keep It Simple Signage. Signage should be simple and selectively chosen. Your Account Manager or Business Consultant should be able to offer you updated and new signage regularly!

Choose the right spa décor
When possible keep background wall and shelving colors neutral. This allows for retail lines to pop as well as avoid any not-so-visually pleasant clashing. This will broaden our display options along with being aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Update your shelf displays
Displays should be freshened and rotated every six weeks to three months. A good way to keep track of this is to do it seasonally or even when inventory is done. That way, if you are phasing something out, bringing a new product line in, or simply changing up the promotion, this will make the most of your time effectively and efficiently. It may seem a bit redundant after a while, but it truly works and eventually brings attention of a product to a client that up to this point they may have missed.

Filled Spaces = Happy Faces 
Facing merchandise on shelves should be at the front edge, nicely stacked and with the label facing out. There should be no holes. Facing is all about making your place look great. It is one of the keys to a great shopping experience and should be considered part of your customer service because we know “it really is a service, not a sale”.  By straightening your merchandise, you make it easier for customers to find what they're looking for. 

They can also compare products easier if they're in a nice, neat row. There's a certain psychology to giving the illusion of prosperity and orderliness that does wonders for retail sales. Even if the shelf is not full behind that first row of product, it looks as if it's fully stocked.

Stock your shelves strategically
Stock products preferably in odd numbers (3-5 of each product should be on shelf always). All too often, a client goes to grab a product only to find an empty space which equates to losing a sale, only to discover later it was underneath all along and just wasn’t replenished on the shelf.

Check your testers
Always refurbish empty or worn testers with new ones. With that being said, never be afraid to ask your vendor or account representative for samples and testers as they will often be more than happy to supply you with them. Remember, a sale for you is a sale for them! 

Keep your space free of dust
Nothing is worse than dusty testers, products, and shelves.  People will not touch your product in this condition. Not only will they not touch it, it sends a message that the product is old and has just been sitting there. Grab that feather duster and take the time to clean the way so your clients can stop and smell the roses instead! Take 30 minutes before, during, and after shifts to take care of these things. Create a retail recovery plan that includes the above-mentioned missions. Make it a team effort and call in all sources when need be.

Create a Focus Table
This concept is present in most retailing scenarios around the world: a beautifully created table of bestsellers, gift sets, promotional or seasonal offers are carefully arranged on a focus table. The table should ideally be above waist height and is positioned dead center in your retail area in direct eye contact of your client as they enter and leave the area. Change your focus table every 2-4 weeks in accordance with the client cycle. It is important that every time your regular client visits the spa that this area be refurbished with new ideas and products.

 

Ensure that pricing is clear to guests
Nobody wants to have to ask how much an item is. Price it! Make sure product is marked with a price or retail display price list is visible.  This will increase impulse buying. Having to find someone to quote price is enough time for a client/customer to put product down, change their mind, and leave without making a purchase at all. 

Keep brands bonded 
Every now and then, you will see spas use the placement analogy of all cleansers together, then toners, then moisturizers and so on.  What about displaying products brand by brand? Concentrate on keeping your brands bonded together on the shelf, looking fantastic, and the buying will begin to happen.

One exceptions to the brand bonding rule: Smaller brand items can be purchased at point-of-sale (POS) displays as these are responsible for 80% of buying decisions. These are impulse buys, so keep purse friendly items here like lip balms and treatments, travel sized products, hand creams and so on.

Make testers readily available
Touch, test, take it home! It's kind of like that rule "you break it, you buy it". Statistics have shown that if you make your product reachable so a customer can touch it and test it, they have already taken about 75% ownership of the product and they are more than likely going to choose to purchase product and take it home.    

Pair services with retail products
Another great way to increase revenue is to add a service component with retail purchase or vice versa. For example: With the purchase of a “Rain Glow treatment” receive a retail size Glow serum. This will entice clients to schedule appointments, along with introducing them to a new service and/or new product. Incorporate a Deluxe Sample Package that suits their needs, wants, and desire. This allows them to keep that wonderful experience going long after leaving their appointment. This will quickly become a win-win for everyone.

About the Author
Gina Jacoby-Clements of ROI Leaders is a highly effective sales executive with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Gina has been in the spa, wellness, beauty, and skincare industry since 1988.  After completing cosmetology school in 1992 she quickly climbed the ladder of success as a salon manager, to a distinguished professional makeup artist in Los Angeles, to launching her first spa and beauty retail store in Studio City, CA in 1999.  She opened a second spa in 2001 in Santa Monica on Montana Avenue aspiring in much success as a business owner.  Gina sold her spas for a lucrative profit in two years after each location launched.  Working with brands such as Epicuren, Merle Norman, YG Labs, Rhonda Alison, Prescription Plus, Cellex C, and many more. Winning national sales awards for exceeded sales goals in services and retail sales, Gina Jacoby-Clements is certainly a master of her craft and continues to set the bar of expectations in the spa and wellness industry.