Settling Into Your New Retail Space

The big day has finally arrived. You have moved into your retail space. It’s everything you ever dreamed of… or is it? Suddenly the glitz and fun of opening your own retail store can become very overwhelming due to the seemingly endless list of “to do’s”. Just when you think you have checked everything off comes another “something” that must be done. To help smooth the often challenging task of deciding what to do next, there are 5 D’s to consider:

  1. Distinguish immediate deadlines that must be met to ensure a functioning retail space. This includes getting electricity, internet, cable, gas and so forth all set up as well as tracking when product shipments are schedule to arrive (assuming orders have been placed). If you can, set up online paying so that fixed bills are paid on time and without hassle so that can spend your time focusing on more important retail issues.
  2. Define a designated inventory area. Whether this is behind the scenes in a backroom or within storage space of floor displays, make sure you have an organized inventory plan so that you can put things away as you go. Think about how your customers may shop when doing this so that if you need to pull extra sizes or extra inventory you can easily do this while still monitoring your retail space.
  3. Decide on where the largest fixtures and displays will be. Your cash wrap is a focal point, so this may be the first thing you should decide on. Consider where you will be when customers aren’t in the store, such as at your computer, and make sure you can see the front door if possible at all times. This is both safe and allows for you to greet your customers with a friendly, prompt hello.
  4. Determine what your merchandising strategy will be. Make sure to focus on product and price points when planning this, allowing for featured items to be easily seen by customers while also considering what products will be first viewed by potential consumers. Depending on your store, price points will matter (particularly in this economy) so balancing the front of your store with a variety of price points may attract more customers.
  5. Decorate as you go with both style and purpose. Need a dressing room? Make it roomy yet cozy while adding some extra touches to help bring style to this necessary space. Want to offer a lounge area for guests of customers to relax? Great idea, just make sure it’s not out of place with your overall store layout. Need some mirrors? Must retail stores do, so think about where they will make sense for your customers to use them.

This is an exciting time and what you do now will help shape the overall foundation of your retail success. Remember to be flexible with your plans and accept changes as you go. Your customers will help make your store what it will become, so embrace this! And of course, enjoy!

Written by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, this article was first published on


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