“How to organize a place of sale and how to manage it” was the title of one of the seminars of the business program organized for buyers during the presentation by 11 Russian companies of the Spring-Summer 2011 collections in Belek, Turkey. Representatives of the Italian Academy of Design Moda Pelle made an overview of all the key stages of the opening and operation of the store. The seminar participants were introduced to successful and unsuccessful examples of store design in Nairobi, Rome, Pisa, Wellington and Venice.
Previously, there were only two main formats. Either free access, or consulting sales. In the first case, all goods were freely available, like in supermarkets, but without sellers. In the second, the trade was conducted according to the principle: “Tell me what you want and I will bring it to you,” that is, the buyer could not see the entire assortment. Shoe stores now use a mix of both systems. The buyer can view the product and get advice. The main goal of the seller is to gain confidence in the client, to guess what he does not want yet, but may want in the future. The general principle of a shoe store, according to Italians, is that even if you work with shoes in the middle price segment, you need to strive for luxury service. A reverse example is the unobtrusive service of Mukuru Slum in Nairobi, where shoes are simply laid out on the ground. This is hardly a good idea, as the experts noted: "The layout is, of course, visual, it is clear that the assortment is large, but it is very inconvenient to bend over."
Shoes with brand or no name
Making a choice of which shoes to work with, you at the same time choose an extra charge (there is more extra for branded shoes), the image of the store, and the clientele. This is a fundamental choice for business.
Monobrand or multibrand
This is another fundamental choice that you will have to make at the beginning of your work. Monobrand limits clientele, but provides a deep assortment. In a multi-brand, the assortment is not so deep, there are more buyers, but also more purely organizational work with suppliers.
In the 1980s-1990s, there were many mono-brands, because there was a total look in fashion: the man had everything from Armani - a suit, shoes, cufflinks, and an umbrella. Now that customers freely mix Armani and Zara, multi-brands are becoming more profitable.
Types and design of outlets
In addition to the traditional three types - economy, medium, high - Italian experts have added one more - lusso: luxury that wants to seem like that, but is not really it.
The design of the store, according to the modern canons of Italian merchandising, is divided into two types - warm and cold. If you want to make the customer feel at home, you'd better go for a warm design, like at the Tricomi store in Pisa. Cool design is best for those who want the customer to feel like a chosen one in their store. The cool design - the contrast between the white walls and the dark floor - creates the feeling of an art gallery or a contemporary art museum. Today it is one of the main trends in store design. A fine example is the Gnessa boutique in Rome.
The showcase tells the outside world what is hidden inside. This is a funnel that forces a person to enter the store. This is a filter that helps the buyer make a choice in your favor.
General approach: before a person was looking for a product, now the product should go towards customers. Good layout makes selection easy. The second function of the calculation is purely fashionable, it serves as an internal showcase.
The main requirement for a modern store is a clear coordination of all elements of the sale: product, showcase, display, store design and format. For example, a dense symmetrical wall layout on economy panels (it is used quite often in Russian stores) is unsuccessful. There is a feeling, on the one hand, of a wide assortment, but on the other - a mess.
The product must always be properly lit - this is an axiom. Shoes can and should be presented as a piece of jewelry. Shoes are not diamonds, but that is how they should look to your clients. As, for example, for the customers of the Giglio store in Cosenza, Italy.
Light is always curious. This is a must-have if you want your store to sink into the customer's memory. The Tomassini boutique near Venice is a great example of lighting when you need to see the point of sale in the dark and from afar (the entire store is illuminated with blue light around the perimeter).
Taste is difficult to associate with shoes - we don't eat them. Nevertheless, sometimes it can be done in advertising. For example, in an advertisement for the Wakefield Hotel Shoe Shop located in a hotel in Wellington, America, men sitting in a bar eat and drink from shoes. The idea is simple: "In our hotel you can not only relax, eat and drink, but also buy good shoes."
Your sales force should not become a collection of exceptional celebrities, but a constellation. That is why it is important to correctly understand the role of a manager or store manager, he is not a dictator, but a coordinator - a person who develops the personalities of interconnected people. Moreover, the second task is immeasurably more difficult than the first, but much more important for the store's long-term success. Awakening in people the desire to grow and develop is a real art. The staff can also be imagined in the form of an anthill, where everyone strives to do their part well, and the efforts of all add up to a common success.
The only time a store manager can turn into a dictator is if he sees that the salesperson is not performing well.
Store during sales
During sales, the store does not sell the product, but the price. The clientele is changing (those who considered your shoes too expensive begin to come to you), and therefore - the trading floor, the showcase; there are special trainings for sellers. During this period, a special type of customer appears in the store - a “cherry picker,” as the Americans call him, this is a person who usually comes to visit when the cake is already being brought in, removes cherries from it, leaving holes, and leaves. As a rule, such buyers come to the store in the first two days of sales. Unfortunately, nothing can be done with the discount hunters.
It is very important to be active in attracting customers. Now the situation in the shoe trade in any European country, including Russia, can be described in one phrase: everything is known, everything is expensive and everything is already in the past. But interest in the store can be raised. The easiest way to do this is with stocks.
If the store is expensive, spend a charity evening. If you work in the middle price segment, organize a holiday in the surrounding area. By the way, now many networks have begun to create separate BTL commands (more details in SR # 79). The birthdays of both the stores themselves and the customers are good.
One of the most important points of success for a modern store is maintaining a customer base! It is important to have the customer's history in the database - when and what shoes he bought, what size, color. The easiest way to collect such invaluable information is through discount cards, loyalty cards (or, as they are affectionately called in Italy, “loyalty cards”). If you carefully analyze the purchases of regular customers, you can easily anticipate their future wants and needs of people.
And the future of sales belongs to direct relationships with the client - through e-mail, promotions, invitations, website and discounts. And you can start working right now: the phone is in the store at every checkout, and there are no queues at the checkout. Explain to the cashier how to work with loyalty cards, how, to whom and why to call - and this way you will be able to remind regular customers of yourself, thereby ensuring sales growth. One small detail - when you send an invitation, it should have a limited duration, preferably not very long.
The all-white store (white walls, floor and ceiling) makes any shoe stand out to its fullest. However, you should not be too zealous. White walls coupled with very bright lighting can simply dazzle the buyer. In such a store, shoes are difficult to see on the shelves. On the other hand, in this case, the visitor is more likely to pick up the model in order to take a closer look - and the shoes, taken in hand, half-bought
According to Italians, it is better to choose a collective system of distribution of interest between sellers. Personal sales create strong competition, sellers compete among themselves, instead of working on the image of the store. The second point: if you have a collective system and, say, one of the three sellers is lazy, the other two will make it work themselves, without your help, because their personal benefit depends on it (many Russian entrepreneurs disagreed, but in Italy this the system works)
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