One thing I used to be able to do was sell… I could merchandise a shop to increase profits.. I could steam, sort donations, label.. price.. train volunteers..etc etc etc. How did I do it?? Alot of blood, sweat, tears and more than a few raised eyebrows and blood pressure..
Well the first thing I found was customer service was key. We had a high footfall in the shop and I think if you have someone on the till who looks as miserable as sin and can not be bothered to greet you with a smile and a hello or good morning.. well I know I would shop elsewhere.. And a please and a thank you does not go amiss either. Get to know your regulars, what they look for so you can mention a new item in this week.
The window has to be eye catching… you do not want something drab and dull in the window.. you want it to be amazing!! Your best items need to be showcased and out there to be purchased. And make sure people can see them by having the windows cleaned reguarly!! Well worth it..
The shop has to be light and bright, clean and polished. Housekeeping is important and I have been known to be get on my hands and knees to scrape chewing gum off the floors. (Not to mention the toilets but least said about that the better)
The merchandise has to be spot on! Clean, pressed, presentable. Right price at the right location… cheap and tacky,, ripped or torn what not cut it.. Too highly priced customers will go elsewhere, too low and you may offend the person who donated the items to you.
Know who your customer base is! Who do you want to target?? I found that on reaching out to the younger population helped as they are the ones with the disposal income..
I found colour co-ordiantion of the outfits and the books in alphabetical order and split into fiction and non-fiction worked too.
It was a hard slog for eight long years and many grey hairs but I learnt a very valuable lesson..
I admit I feel bitter when I walk past the shop and know my dedication and hard work that I put in has just been for nothing.
At least I had the chance to prove I can do it!!!!