With the New Year here, now is a great time to think about how you can revitalize your store. Proper organization is crucial for frame shops, and refreshing your space can lead to a boost in profits. To help, Tru Vue® created a list of tips that can get you started on creating an even more welcoming and shopper-friendly space for your customers in 2019.
This sounds simple and obvious, but a buildup of dust and cobwebs is hard to detect over time. Yet, customers will notice them as soon as they walk in to the door. The good news is that this is one of the tasks that offers the most “bang for your buck” (and it’s virtually free). Get into the corners of your store and make sure everything looks fresh and shiny. Make a daily, weekly, and monthly/seasonal cleaning to-do list to keep you and your employees on track.
2. Reorganizing & Rearranging
Take a step back, look around your store, and consider how crowded or cluttered your space is. Customers like to see your work, but they don’t need to see boxes of scraps or projects-in-waiting propped up against walls. Does the arrangement of your shop showcase what you do? If there is too much going on visually, move some things out of the space and/or reorganize it so that customers may focus on what they want to see most – your great work.
One suggestion home decorators give homeowners is to move around the artwork on the wall. This is an effective strategy for keeping your shop looking fresh and updated. Though custom framing isn’t something people visit a store regularly to purchase, any customer working with you is visiting the shop at least twice – once to drop off their piece and again to pick it up. Meg Glasgow recommends that your displays change frequently enough that customers will see something new each time they come in.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As mentioned, clearing out clutter is critical to keeping your shop looking its best, and sometimes that means getting rid of things. It’s a challenge to let go of materials when there is a possibility of reuse, but in reality, you will likely end up with remnants that would be difficult to use in another project.
There are several options for determining what stays, what goes, and where it goes when it comes to framing materials. In past posts, Ken Baur suggests a visual display in the workroom to indicate the minimum size for keeping materials and Meg Glasgow identified ways in which leftover molding could be used to enhance decorative planters in front of the store. Clearing out clutter is critical to keeping your shop looking its best, and sometimes that means getting rid of things.
Fourth Corner Frames owner, Sheri Wright, points out the importance of recycling in her community, which every local business owner should be sensitive to. Do a little research to determine if there are any schools, art and woodworking studios, or local theater companies, etc., that might be interested in receiving a regular supply of materials for reuse. Some markets may have an organization that handles this type of donation, such as SCRAP in the San Francisco area.
4. Update Displays
With all the demands of owning and running a shop, it’s easy to put up displays and just forget about them. But keeping your displays updated is one of the best ways to boost your visual appeal. In addition, it helps customers better understand your capabilities and the possibilities that exist for their own pieces. It’s a win-win-win, and something simple to do.
5. Pull Out & Display New Samples
Opening up that package of new samples is like being a kid in a candy store – until you have to find a place for them. This is another excellent opportunity for rotating stock on displays. Work new samples in with old favorites or set up a place to feature new samples on a regular basis. If space is an issue, pick a limited number and create a “Featured New Product” section where you change samples frequently.
6. Create a Dedicated Space for Customer Consultations
If there is any spot in your store that needs to be clean and clutter-free, it’s the area you use for customer consultations. You want to have samples and brochures handy when walking a customer through a project, but these things – along with scraps, paperwork, coffee cups, and other items – tend to accumulate on empty surfaces. You need to have another dedicated space. A space close enough to grab the items if needed, but out of the focus zone when you are visually showing customers options for their pieces.
7. Add a Decorative Touch
Beyond display walls and samples, think about other ways you can enhance the look of your space and make it more welcoming. Natural additions include hanging a wreath on the door, keeping a vase of fresh flowers near the register, tucking a potted plant into a corner, or even stocking a large clear dish with colorful candies – anything that adds a hint of visual interest.
8. Keep Up the Good Work
One tool that consultants Ken Baur and Meg Glasgow recommend for many tasks – including the basics of keeping a store looking its best — is a calendar. Invest a small amount of time in mapping out when you should do things like deeper cleaning and de-cluttering, rotating displays, putting out new samples, handling donations of materials, and recycling. Sticking to this schedule will make this aspect of maintaining a fresh look for your store simple and effective.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.