How to open a store successfully? Remember, in retail, it’s not just what you’ve got – it’s how you flaunt it.
So, even though you’ve more than likely spent weeks or months making sure your store has all its displays, signage, point of sales merchandising, staffing, shelving and stock all sorted, you’re still going to have to signal your grand opening with a main event.
At Mills Display, we can help you kit out your new shop to make sure everything runs like clockwork on a day-to-day basis. We are also your first port of call when it comes to creating the perfect first day of trading. Read our guide to ensure you know how to open a store successfully in New Zealand.
How to Open a Store Successfully: The Fundamentals
There are some basics about planning a new store’s opening. Here are 6 things you need to be on top of:
- Set a fixed date to give yourself enough time for planning and setup,
- Fix your budget for your opening,
- Have enough staff hired and working that day to ensure people can get served,
- Be aware of all the local council regulations surrounding your opening and your business,
- Tell people you’re opening and advertise the event,
- And, most importantly, open on time!
But, as well as the basics, a successful new store opening relies on making an impression – right from day one. And to do this you need to find some innovative ways to help your store and your event live long in the memories of potential customers.
Six creative solutions for launching your Store
There are many ways to get creative with your store opening. The more creative you are with your day one opening can result in a very successful launch for your business. Check out our top 6 creative solutions for successfully launching your store.
1. How to open a store? Turn the opening into an event!
You may well decide to have a soft opening to test all your processes and make sure the store “works” but nothing spells success like a good old-fashioned flamboyant opening ceremony. You don’t have to hire a marching band (although, if it fits your “theme”, why not?) but you can tailor an event to fit any budget – think billboards, balloons, bunting, catering, visuals, music, food… even throw a street party if you think it will cause a stir.
Just remember that, if you’re throwing a party, you have to send out invitations – so compile a list starting with VIPs at the top and work all the way down to your neighbours.
2. Create innovative special offers and competitions
How to open a store successfully? Use innovative offers and competitions to get people talking. Get people involved with the opening by pushing special offers on your merchandise and holding competitions which sit within the concept of your business. If you’re a small corner-store business, then this might mean something as simple as guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar or holding an art competition for students at the local school. But if you have the budget for it, then giving away a big-ticket item like a holiday or a household appliance will certainly grab people’s attention.
3. Work with suppliers to add information to your merchandising
When you’re the new kid on the block, you need to gain a foothold in the community early on and the easiest way to do that is by becoming an authority on what you sell as well as simply being the seller. Talk to your suppliers about coming down to your opening and talking about their products with your potential customers – if you’re in food retail, this can mean getting farmers on board; if you sell electronics, you can have experts on hand to explain the latest advances in technology.
4. Work with local businesses
Teamwork usually produces better results than a lot of individuals going it alone. Working with neighbouring businesses always requires a good relationship and a mutually beneficial outcome. Set up business accounts for nearby firms and hold a few meetings to see how you can work together – and when it comes to your opening event, make sure they’re there meeting your customers.
Not only can this reap rewards when it comes to simple things like catering and entertainment (make sure you have the local café or bar onside for that one). You can also earn a lot of goodwill simply by being seen alongside other local success stories.
5. Host a charity event
Find a charity which relates either to you or your business and host your opening event to raise money for it. This works in three ways: it gives you a good angle to sell the event to local media and raise awareness among potential customers, it creates goodwill among your customers, and it presents a human side to your business.
6. Set up a media tie-in
Talk to bloggers, radio stations and tv stations to make sure they cover your event – but remember they’ll want something in return for all the great free advertising you’re going to get. Offer your time as a commentator on something to do with your business – for example, if you work with food, set up a weekly recipe slot, or sponsor the weather forecasts if you sell wet-weather clothing, or the sports report if you sell sportswear. Remember to take plenty of photos so that you can share memories of the event to your Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Learn How to Open a Store Successfully with Mills Display
For more information on how to open a store successfully from day one, contact Mills Display and we’ll help find the perfect solution for your store opening. Contact us online or call us on 09 634 5962 at our Auckland showroom at 327A Neilson Street, Penrose. Also feel free to download our Ebook for The Seven Hottest Trends in Retail.