Merchandise Your Store for a Bigger 'Wow' Factor—and Bigger Profits

Why do some music stores stand out and others disappear? Gayle Beacock of Beacock Music, a NAMM Top 100 Dealer for Best Merchandising, knows the answer. At the 2015 NAMM Show, Beacock shared how to take your retail store to the next level to get that “wow” factor—and more business.

Beacock’s goal is to have people come in and say they love her store. They may not know why, but Beacock has carefully orchestrated her store’s vibe, so customers want to come in, sit down, get comfy and hang out.

“With very little money and just a bit of work, inspiration and thought, you can make it happen,” she said, adding, “If you have a retail store, it’s worth the effort for your business.”

Here are highlights from Beacock’s session. Make sure to watch the video for specific merchandising examples and visuals.

Four Layers of Store Merchandising
1. Create a clean store. Be obsessive with cleaning. There’s no “wow” unless your showroom is always clean. Beacock not only has her store professionally cleaned but also asks everyone on staff to clean up.

2. Create the best retail culture. The product always has to be organized, clean, displayed and priced. Make sure your employees understand what that entails, your store’s merchandising and theme, and what’s expected in order for them to fit in with your store’s culture.

3. Create your store’s vibe. Take this seriously. There’s something special about your identity. What do you want your customers to know and remember when they come to your store? What are you telling your customers? Is your store’s vibe modern and sleek, or do you want a different feel? It takes a plan to make it all come together. Beacock suggested that you search for what fits your store’s theme and things you can use artistically to support that vibe.

4. Create your displays. The final step is to pay attention to your displays around the store and make them stand out.

• Use signage everywhere—with consistent, clear design.

• Bring your store vibe to outside shows.

• Use seasonal decorations selectively and tastefully.

• Bring your merchandising outside, such as signs that support your store.

• Identify everything in your store for your customers. Make sure every item’s clearly marked—what it is and how much it is.

• Group like items alike.

• Change displays.

• Move things around often.

• Create kids displays.

• Use color.

• Use your store’s blank spaces.

• Pack your product walls, if they’re organized and marked.

• Bring some history into your store, such as historical photos. Customers want to know about you and your store’s history.

• Maintain your building and store, including painting, carpet cleaning, and washing walls and windows.

• Don’t have anything empty in your store—hooks, shelves, displays and so on. It’s negative.

• Don’t use manufacturer banners. Make your own to coordinate with your store’s identity and vibe.

• Don't use tablecloths. Avoid cover-ups.

• Don’t be typical. You want to stand out from what everyone else is doing.

“It’s a commitment to keep our store at the level and standard we’ve decided,” Beacock said.

She suggested having a store meeting to bring everyone together as a team, decide what you’re doing and ensure everyone has a responsibility. The person in charge of the show floor needs to keep the big picture in mind, walk around regularly and maintain the store’s consistency.