17-20 July 2022
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5 things to do before your store re-opens

With non-essentials stores across the country set to reopen shortly, retailers are turning their attention to how they can plan for the most impactful reopening possible. With a huge passion for all things retail and more than 20 years’ industry experience, we’re joined by Visual Merchandising Specialist and Founder of Dot to Dot, Kat Maclennan with her 5 tips for a successful reopening. 


Cleaning

This may be an obvious one, but it’s important for store owners to realise the difference between having a clean store and having a store that looks and feels clean, which is a slightly different thing. Spaces can feel unlived in very quickly when people are not moving around them, so with store spaces being closed to customers for months, it’s important to bring some life back ahead of your reopening. Use this as an opportunity to do not just a deep clean, but also revive your space. Repaint walls and ceilings and repair anything that’s damaged or chipped.


Refreshing your layout

This is a great opportunity to do something big and new in your store. You are likely to still have to think about how many people are in your store at any one time and ensuring social distancing, so keep this in mind, but now is the time to bring a new look and customer experience to your space. Plan it on paper first, but have a think about how you can move your fixtures and product displays to create what appears to be a whole new space or product offering. 
 

Updating your window displays

A fresh new window display filled with exciting products is essential for your reopening. With it being the spring/ summer season, think about designs that are bright and inviting to entice your customers inside. Also, consider what it is your customers are likely to be doing at the time of reopening; many are going to be excited about meeting their loved ones in the garden and also seeing people again for the first time. Use your window to showcase the items that will help them nail their outdoor entertaining or make the perfect gifts for the people they love. Think about your customer and what you can be offering them to make their return to the outside world as exciting as possible. 

Again, make sure you take out everything in your window and give it a deep clean, as well as having a window cleaner treat both the inside and outside glass. 
 

Sharing on social media

Store owners have done such a great job of communicating with their customers through their social media channels over the past few months and now is not the time to stop. People love to see the experiences, planning, trials and tribulations of brands they love, so give them an inside look at your processes and don’t be afraid of sharing the nitty-gritty. Bring them on the journey of planning, ask them for their opinions and about how they want to shop with you upon retail’s return. 
 

Planning for the future 

With most of us planning for a mid-April reopening, the next few weeks are a great opportunity to also plan for the rest of the year. With luck, store owners will be incredibly busy from their reopening onwards, so owners should make the most of this time. Create a window calendar in-line with planned marketing and promotions so you can maximise sales as much as possible. 

If you’d like to learn more about Kat’s work with brands or get in touch, please do so via www.dottodot.work or @kat_maclennan on Instagram. 
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