Monday, April 29, 2013
Lozier is a trusted brand name in the gondola shelving industry. They've been producing gondola shelving units for well over half a century (founded in 1956), and since that time they've garnered quite a following by retail store owners and businesses. In fact, there are many stores who choose to use only Lozier name brand gondolas. But what makes them stand out from competitors in the shelving industry?
The secret to Lozier's success lies in their durable, high-quality gondola shelving units that are priced lower than you expect. Let's face it, launching and managing a retail store isn't a cheap task. The lease and utilities alone can be enough to draw some businesses underwater. When you factor in product costs, marketing, payroll, taxes and insurance, you can easily burn through your company's budget. This is why it's important to always be conscious of what you are buying and how much you are spending; otherwise, you could end up driving your retail business underwater.
Another benefit associated with Lozier gondola shelving is their ease of use. As the name suggests, Lozier "island" gondolas are designed to stand freely in the middle of the store, offering space for products on both sides. This is essentially how aisles are created in a retail store. The various pieces of a gondola island snap into one another until the desired length is reached. You can use Lozier island gondolas for short, medium or long areas to achieve maximum product display.
Naturally, Lozier gondola shelving units are already prices lower than other forms of retail shelving. However, you can save even more money by opting for used models rather than new. There are some store owners stuck in the mentality that used fixtures are a poor choice because they've already been used in other stores. Although, the truth is that used gondola shelving units offer a substantial savings when compared to new models. You can expect to pay a fraction of the price for a used Lozier gondola rather than a new model.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Buying Used vs New
One of the decisions you'll have to make is whether you want to purchase new or used coolers for your retail store. At first glance, most people would probably assume new coolers are the best option, but this isn't necessarily true. While new models are certainly nice, they are also more expensive than used ones. If you aren't careful, buying half a dozen used coolers and freezers for your retail store can easily burn a hole in your wallet. Instead, you should consider purchasing used coolers to save money. The fact is that most people won't even be able to tell the difference between a new and used cooler, so take advantage of this while saving money in the process.
Keep Them Grouped Together
When you are choosing a layout for your retail store, try to keep the coolers and freezer grouped together. Placing them on different sides of the store creates a problematic scenario in terms of power logistics. You have to remember that large coolers such as these require a great deal of power to run; therefore, you'll likely have to do some electrical groundwork before they are operational. Thankfully, a professional electrician should be able to handle the job for you, but you'll still need to have a proper layout and plan of attack for your retail store.
Monitor The Temperatures
Once your coolers and freezers are up and running, you'll need to periodically check the temperatures to ensure it's cold enough for the product. Allowing the temperatures to raise above normal levels could essentially end up destroying your product; and this could cost you hundreds of even thousands of dollars. The bottom line is that you need to periodically check the temperature and humidity levels inside the cooler and make adjustments as needed.
Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most use and benefit out of your retail store coolers and freezers.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Replacing The Air Filter
When you are busy managing employees, ordering product and crunching sales numbers, it's easy to overlook the smaller things like replacing the air filter. Just as the air filter in your home needs to be changed on a regular basis, so should the one in your retail store. Depending on the air quality inside your store, the air filter should be changed about once every 3-4 weeks, sometimes more and sometimes less. Try to get into the habit of changing it at least once a month for optimal performance. Not only will this help to prevent dust from building up, but it will also increase the efficiency of your store's air conditioning system.
The good news is that air filters are inexpensive and can be purchased from most major home improvement stores for approximately $10-$20 bucks. Before you go out in search of a new filter, check your current model to determine what size you need. Air filters are usually sized with three sets of number, such as 10x25x3. Write down the size of your current air filter and take these measurements to the store so you can purchase the same size.
Would you have guessed that decorative plants can help to reduce the amount of dust in a retail store? Certain indoor plants, especially those with long leaves, work as natural air filters by removing pollutants and dust in the surrounding air. In addition, they also add a decorative element to the decor, which is an added bonus in most retail stores. Just place them in strategic locations where dust is the most problematic. After a couple of days, check the plants and wipe the dust off as needed.
If you intend on using decorative plants in your store, be sure to choose ones that require little maintenance. You don't want to end up with difficult plants that need particular amounts of sunlight and water; otherwise, they will likely die. Stick with easy-to-grow plants that only need an occasional watering to thrive.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Contest giveaways are the perfect way to gain customers while spreading the word about your retail store. Not only will you get more immediate customers, but you'll also get more return customers as well. After all, everyone likes free stuff, so you'll naturally gain more customers. The trick to throwing a giveaway contest is to capture your customers' email addresses while they are checking out. Let them know that your store is throwing a giveaway contest and ask them for their email address if they would like to participate. Once the contest is over, you can still send out advertisements to those email addresses.
It's a common assumption that sponsorships are a waste of money for retail store owners. The truth, however, is that they can be a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. For instance, a shoe or athletic store could benefit from sponsoring a marathon runner or athlete. During the race, the runner will likely be required to wear the store's logo; thus, spectators and everyone else around the runner would take notice of the store's logo. Sponsoring individuals and teams does cost money upfront, but it can be well worth the investment when done correctly. Try to think of events where your target demographic would likely be, and then you can search for sponsorships around it.
Flyers and Mail Adverts
Another simple and effective way to spread the word about your retail store is through flyers and mail adverts. Even if you have little-to-no creative design experience, you can still hire a company to professionally create them for you. Don't be afraid to take a trip up to your local post office and ask them what kind of advertising options they have available. Going around and placing flyers on mailboxes is typically illegal, but you can however pay the post office to legally do it for you. This is one of the best forms of advertising for local retail stores and businesses, so be sure to check it out.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Too Much "Shrink"
In the retail industry, shrink is defined as product that's either stolen, expired or otherwise destroyed. Whether you run a liquor store, grocery store or even a convenience store, you must keep your shrink to a minimum. However, this doesn't mean you can turn a blind eye to the fact that your shrink is high. Always keep it tallied make a note each time something falls under this category. Doing so will allow you to better plan for the future by making adjustments and improvement to your business model. So, how are you supposed to lower your store's shrink? The best approach is to educate your employees on the correct practices for handling product. As long you've documented past shrink items, you can then go back and see what was causing the problem.
Too Much Competition
Our capitalist society with an open and free market encourages competition; however, trying to force your retail store into an area with too much competition is a poor decision that will likely lead to your downfall. Before choosing a location and signing a lease, take the time to scout out the surrounding competition. There's nothing wrong with a competing store or two, but they should be spaced out far enough from your store so they don't leach your business. Always keep the competition in mind when you are deciding on a place for your retail store. This alone will place you miles ahead of the rest when it comes to location.
Poor Marketing and Advertising
It should come as no surprise that marketing and advertising are the backbone of most retail stores. Unfortunately, this is also an area where many retail stores fall short. The bottom line is that you can't expect to have a successful retail store if you aren't willing to invest in marketing. Stick with marketing and advertising outlets with a proven track record for your industry. If you need help finding such outlets, see what your competitors are doing.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
One of the best all-around types of shelving for wine and liquor stores are gondola models. These allow you to get the most bang for your buck since they can be adjusted to fit any size product. Let's face it, wine and liquor bottles come in countless different shapes and sizes. Some of them are traditional medium-sized bottles, while others are short and stocky. The great thing about using gondola shelving is that you can manually adjust the shelves so it fits right over the top of the product.
You'll want to carefully plan your store's inventory layout so similar sized products are on the same shelf. This will allow you to maximize the amount of product real estate in your store. Of course, there are times when you should go against this rule, but generally speaking, try to keep products of the same size grouped together for optimal results.
You might be surprised to see just how many different colors are offered in gondola shelving. Some of the most popular colors include almond, silver, black and basic white. Before choosing a color, it's recommended that you consider how your store is going to be setup. If you intend on using a lot of white furnishings and accessories, then you'll probably want to go with a similar white colored gondola. This will keep the atmosphere flowing cohesively together without creating an eye-sore.
Lastly, size is another factor that needs to be considered when purchasing shelving for a wine and/or liquor store. If you haven't done so already, go through your store and get the measurements for the area where you intend on placing the gondola shelving units. Using this information, you can then choose the models best suited towards your specific needs.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Buying Used vs New
Contrary to what some people may believe, purchasing new wall shelving for your store isn't always the best option. If you are on a budget and looking to turn a profit in the near future (which you should), it's recommended that you stick with used models. Based on their appearance alone, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between new and used wall shelving. Of course, the real difference between the two is price. You can purchase used wall shelving for a fraction of the price as buying it new; thus, freeing up some of your income for other, more important aspects of your business.
By purchasing used wall shelving, you can use the money your business saved on things like marketing and advertisements. When it comes to the retail industry, one of the keys to success is spreading the word to others. Purchasing local advertisements is a quick and easy way to instantly tell your demographic market about who you are and what you have to offer.
It's important to note that you'll also need to purchase adjustable shelves to go along with your store's wall shelving. Most shelving units come with a certain amount of shelves, but it's a good idea to purchase extras just in case. The fact is that you never know when some of your shelves will get lost or damaged, leaving you with less space to display products. Keeping some extra shelves on hand is a nice insurance policy that will give you the peace of mind knowing there's backup plan in place.
These are just a couple helpful tips for getting the most out of your store's wall shelving. Also, remember to properly measure your store's interior dimensions before purchasing new wall shelving units so they will fit accordingly. This will allow for optimal product display with the greatest amount of real estate possible.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The first thing you'll want to consider when shopping for a walk-in cooler is the size. Because every store owner's needs are different, you'll have to choose a cooler based on how much refrigerated product you intend on offering. Hopefully, you already have your store set up with the shelving units in place and a designated area for your new walk-in cooler. If this is the case, go ahead and get the measurements on the open area where you plan on using the walk-in cooler. You can then use these measurements to choose a walk-in cooler sized to fit your store.
A lot of store owners overlook the importance of a well-insulated cooler. Although it doesn't affect its appearance, a well-insulated cooler will essentially lower your monthly power bill. So, just how much of a savings can you expect? There's really no easy way to answer this, but some store owners have reported a savings of 20% just by making the switch to a more insulated, energy-efficient model. When it comes to walk-in coolers, insulation is especially important since the doors are frequently being opened and closed.
New or Used Model?
Instead of buying a brand new walk-in cooler, you should consider opting for a used model instead. The truth is that used walk-in coolers work just as well as new ones, but they are sold for a fraction of the price. If you are looking to purchase a walk-in cooler but don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars, take a look at some of the used models. Not only do you save money by doing so, but you can also rest assured knowing that it's been tested by the manufacturer. Any past problems should now be fixed before it's sold once again.
Monday, April 1, 2013
One of the biggest mistakes newcomers to the retail liquor/wine sales business make is setting up their shop in a highly competitive location. Seeing other liquor stores around an area is kind of double-edged sword. It shows you that plenty of willing customers are around for the stores to be in business, but it also means your store will have less customers as a direct result of the nearby businesses. Take your time to carefully choose a store location in a highly populated area with minimal competition. One or two liquor/wine stores here and there probably isn't going to negatively affect your sales significantly, but there shouldn't be any more than this.
Without the right shelving, your customers won't be able to see all of the liquor/wine products your store has to offer. As a result, you'll lose sales and more importantly - customers. So, what's the best type of shelving to use in a liquor/wine store? Basic gondola shelving seems to be a popular choice. It offers easily adjustable shelves to create a snug fit with the products, it can can be moved around the store, and gondola shelving simply looks nice when set up in a store. Most experienced store owners will agree that there's no better choice than gondola shelving.
You can also save some money by purchasing reconditioned gondola shelving for your liquor/wine store instead of new models. Contrary to what some people may believe, reconditioned gondola shelving looks and functions the same as new ones do. In fact, it's doubtful you could tell the difference when comparing a new and reconditioned gondola side by side.