Longtime AmericasMart Atlanta exhibitor Larry Lucas led a panel discussion on Saturday to help retailers with everything from upcoming trends to basic business practices. Joined by St. Simon’s, Ga.’s Diane Bailey of The Bailey Boys and Nancy Jackson of the Sugar Plum Tree in Perry, Ga., Lucas offered his invaluable insight into running a successful children’s retail shop.
Here are a few highlights of the discussion:
- Look for gray to replace brown as the neutral; buy plenty of bright, bold color for spring and summer.
- Consumers should look forward to sales as special, must-attend events. If you want to have sale merchandise all the time, make sure to place it at the back of the store. You can get away with not putting basics on sale – people need to buy those anywhere. Use sales to move seasonal or higher-end merchandise.
- Diversify your product mix. Post-baby shower; birthday gifts and tweens are hot market segments so make sure you can accommodate customers looking for all those. Make your store a known destination, a surefire go-to for busy parents who need great gifts as well as items for their own kids.
- Use gift wrap as a strong marketing tool. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be showy and effective. Use gift bags and lots of fluff with a big ribbon – all imprinted with your store name and logo – to create an impressive gift with little investment on your end. Customers like the perceived extra effort and added value, and it’s an ongoing advertisement for your store.
- Use tools such as birthday clubs and custom postcards to drive traffic throughout the year. And, make sure your store is on Facebook with a fan page so you can continually communicate with your customers – free!