Merchandising Doctor: Solving the dilemma of a diverse product mix

Consignment stores, where selling one-of-a-kinds in every category is business as usual, face unique merchandising challenges. Today’s consignment store stock current trends as well as designer goods priced for a pauper. That creates a merchandising challenge. Our Merchandising Doctor is in and helps Fabulous Finds solve its challenge.
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This column marks the second of the new SNEWS® Merchandising Doctor series written by merchandiser Robin Enright. Email the SNEWS merchandising help team at MerchDoctor@snewsnet.com to have your merchandising challenge solved and featured in a Merchandising Doctor column. Details are at the end of this column.

Consignment stores, where selling one-of-a-kinds in every category is business as usual, face unique merchandising challenges. Today’s store is not your mother’s consignment shop though, and many stock current trends as well as designer goods priced for a pauper. When Fabulous Finds opened its doors, it was determined to feature merchandising that demonstrated the difference.

The patient: Fabulous Finds Consignment, a consignment store in Longmont, Colo. was challenged with merchandising its footwear in a way that was visually interesting and yet organized enough to make sense to a customer.

The diagnosis: Its run of product was inconsistent -- while organizing by size might appear logical, grouping running shoes next to funky ankle boots took away from the upscale feeling Fabulous Finds hoped to create.

The treatment: Organize footwear by category and create visual interest by varying orientation and height. Because footwear is located next to the fitting rooms, categories were created that allow a woman who is trying on clothing to go right to the style shoe she might wear with that outfit. Add-on sales were encouraged, and interest was generated, by working in handbags that might also be a part of an outfit ensemble and voila, order is created! Footwear has size stickers on the inside heel so a woman can immediately see if the shoe is her size or not. The previously boring, and long, section of shelving was broken up by using risers, adding pocketbooks and varying the orientation of footwear.

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Robin Enright is the founder of Merchandising Matters www.merchandisingmattersnow.com which provides visual merchandising and marketing support to the outdoor retail industry.

Email the SNEWS merchandising help team at MerchDoctor@snewsnet.com to have your merchandising challenge considered for publication in a Merchandising Doctor column. There is no cost for an initial consult by Robin, and if you are tapped to be featured in our Merchandising Doctor column, the advice and guidance leading to a fix (up to four hours of merchandising time – either in person or a virtual consult) is free. Actual hard costs such as new fixtures, lighting, travel expenses and more are the responsibility of the retailer.

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