14 May 2019   

5 min read
Ever since the release of professional organiser Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, Tidying Up, people everywhere are rolling their sleeves up, asking their possessions, ‘do you spark joy?’ before either keeping them or thanking them and tossing them out.

But it’s not just disorganised homes and storage units that can be successfully overhauled using the Konmari method. Many overstocked retailers struggle with managing their clutter and making the space to allow their best products to shine.

According to visual merchandising expert Carol Bagaric from Retail Revamp, there is a lot that Australian retailers can learn from Marie Kondo.

“It’s about having respect for the product you sell. It’s about having respect for your space and the range you’ve bought, even though some items might not sell,” explains Bagaric. “Marie Kondo is about being grateful for everything you have in your life – and it’s no different in your business. If you don’t care for your store, the product, your windows or the way your shop looks, customers pick up on it. 

Here are just a few ways that you can channel Marie Kondo in your store attract foot traffic and bring in the dollars.

 

Less is more

Unfortunately for a lot of retailers, when they struggle to sell stock, instead of creating a strategy to get rid of it, they simply buy new stock and before you know it, they are swimming in product. As Marie Kondo would say, “Nostalgia is not your friend.”

“Wherever you can, if your shop is really heavily merchandised and overstocked, try to pull out 10 per cent of the range that’s not moving. Create a sales corner. Don’t junk it up, mark it down. You’ll find that it gives the rest of the space some breathing room, particularly the front,” explains Bagaric.

“I always say to retailers, if you can’t merchandise your entire store because you’re time-poor, make sure the top third – the impact zone when people come in, the windows, the funky display zones at the front – are merchandised. You can’t keep buying more product and expect your store to still look good, something has to give. Make space for new things and existing items to shine and glow.”

 

Declutter your counter

You need to make it easy for customers to spend their money with you – they need space to comfortably put their bag or even child down, open up their wallet and hand over their cash to you. Your staff’s mobile phones and half-eaten sandwiches from lunch do not spark joy in customers at all.

Customers don’t want to feel rushed or harassed when making a purchase, says Bagaric.

“Ideally, you want to get them to the counter and kick in with all the add-ons, so you have the time and space to say to them, ‘Have you thought about this?’, Can I sign you up to that?’, ‘What about our promotion next week?’” she points out.

“It’s about having respect for the product you sell. It’s about having respect for your space and the range you’ve bought, even though some items might not sell,” explains Bagaric. “Marie Kondo is about being grateful for everything you have in your life – and it’s no different in your business. If you don’t care for your store, the product, your windows or the way your shop looks, customers pick up on it.

“If you have a cluttered space, people want to just pay and run out.”

 

Keep on top of your VM

It’s not enough to visually merchandise your store one week, sit on it, then decide to finally change it a month later. It needs to be switched around at least once a week so it looks alive, full of energy and like it has something new to offer customers to keep them coming back. It can be something as simple as preparing for a weekend of busy trade by moving particularly popular products to the front of the store.

“Be mindful of the space and ask yourself, what’s greeting your customer when they walk through the door? It might be your seventh year in trade, but it’s probably their first time coming in, so what impression are you making?” advises Bagaric.

“It’s basic, but once a week, be mindful of what the shop is up to, how it presents itself and how prepared you are for the busier time of the week. If it’s quiet, create your own tidying area in the shop. Go buy some LED lights, hang some bunting out the front – do whatever you need to make it look more energetic than what you already are. Everyone might be moaning about how quiet they are, but what are you doing?”

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