A lot of our school clients come to us looking for ways to get their students, parents and staff more excited about their spirit wear – they know that if the excitement is there it will help increase turnover within the bookstore, which in turn increases sales! We remind them that they are indeed a retail store and that they have to keep up with their competitors (ROOTS, Forever 21, Zara, etc) and give students a need to purchase! It’s important to take a look at how larger retail stores are moving forward – they are constantly changing, evolving and adding new products to their line up!
If you want your students, parents and staff to flock to your store, you have to think about the retail detail that makes larger chains so successful:
- Introducing New Products On the Regular: Having those few classic pieces that sell out every year is something your students and parents expect, but if your store consists only of these classic pieces, you may find your sales dwindling (who wants to buy something they already own?)! Make it your goal to add in that element of surprise by regularly incorporating new product ideas and/or designs to the store line up! We have talked about the idea of fast-fashion in our previous blog posts, but we cannot stress this enough — you must add and remove items from your store merchandise to keep students interested (and that way, they will make sure they buy the cool new piece before it sells out!)
- Including Brand-Name Items: Finding well-known brands will create a huge buzz around your school! Getting your hands on higher-end (think “great quality”) branded items like the S’well Bottles, Alternative Apparel clothing, or even tech products like Bluetooth speakers and power banks (which are all around retail stores and a huge hit with all of our clients) can really help to boost your sales! The price point may be a bit higher than you are used to, but the students/parents will see the value in the brand, and they will go nuts over the fact they have a cool brand name product with their school name on it!
- The Importance of Strong Merchandising: After adding in new products and brands to your store, you have to make sure they are merchandised well – if your students come in and it looks the exact same as the last time they were there, chances are they won’t even bother to look around and make a purchase! It may be a daunting task – it’s a lot of work and you may not necessarily have the space – but being able to rearrange the layout of your store regularly can help boost sales! Or, if that’s not a possibility, think about adding an area to the store where you can showcase the hottest or newest items! This in turn will make the students want to come by the store more often to see what is new!
We understand that running a school store is a hard job – from uniform restrictions to branding guidelines to space constraints – it’s not always the easiest to do it all. However, you can take baby steps and if your sales increase, you may be able to jump those hurdles with ease!
If you are interested in adding a bit of retail detail to your store, please contact us and we can help you take the next steps!