Merchandising a Women’s Clothing Store for the Holidays

The holiday season is an especially fun time to be part of a women’s clothing store; both the clothing and the accessories magically transform from ordinary, to extra special during this season. As a store owner, you need to make the holiday shopping season fun and easy for your customers. With some simple preparation you can create a festive Holiday atmosphere in your store, AND make it easy to translate SHOPPERS into BUYERS!

   Set the Mood

Making a plan for inventory when you’re preparing your store for the holidays is only half the battle; the other half is setting the holiday mood by decorating and merchandising. Every year I would take photos and the look back on them to brainstorm how I wanted the store to look this year. The big question to ask:  Is the store looking like a cohesive package, with holiday merchandise and decor complimenting your existing merchandise?  The goal of holiday merchandising is seamless integration.  It should still look like your store, except BETTER, and prettier, and more festive.  Your holiday merchandise should look so attractive that your customer can’t WAIT to buy it!

   Prepare for Holiday Mayhem

Once all your Holiday merchandise is unpacked, and placed or hung where it belongs, it’s time to create outfits, and gift idea areas.  The Holidays are an incredibly busy time for most women, and finding the perfect holiday outfit or gift, NEEDS to be quick and easy.

By spending time grouping the PERFECT black pants with a rack of Holiday sweaters and a rack of colour coordinated camisoles, it gives customer an easy way to find an outfit that goes together.  If you also merchandise some black patent ballet flats, a spinner of stylish scarves, and special occasion jewellery nearby…you are going to have some SERIOUSLY grateful customers!

Get all of your stock out of the back room, and onto the racks, or tables.  This is NOT the time of year to be out of sizes on the floor.  If Sales Associates are busy, and customers cannot find their size, chances are they will leave.  Don’t take the risk.  To have all the overstock out, but not to stuff the racks, put them on a nearby rack so that items can be easily shifted over during the day.  

   Wrap it up with a Bow

The goal is to streamline shopping for your customers, and part of that is providing them with everything they need.
Creating gift sets with your target customer in mind will help increase sales by simplifying the buying process.  Remember that at this time of year, many of the people in your store won’t be your target customers, but are purchasing gifts for them, so make sure you and your staff know WHY each gift set you prepared is the PERFECT gift for your target market.

And since the holidays are about gift giving, have gift boxes lined with tissue ready to go. Your staff can also do the pre-work by removing all the tags and placing them in an envelope under the box.  That way, at the till, you can ring in the items, pop the lid on the box, and bag it.
One more happy customer, and one more sale…Good Luck, and have a Beautiful and Profitable Holiday Season!

Cathy Burrell

Cathy Burrell is the owner of Cavern Retail Consulting in White Rock BC. She is a Retail Consultant and Social Media Coach. She works with busy business owners who like most people, know very little about Social Media but are curious how they can use it to grow their business. Follow her on Twitter @CathyCavern

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