Tips & Tricks for a Big Merchandise Flip
by Ponch and Giuliana at the Toad&Co company store in Freeport, Maine.
Wow! Time has flown since the madness of December. After Holiday markdowns and the President’s day sale weekend, we make a big effort to bring full price items back into the spotlight. It might not be spring yet, but milder weather has customers shopping with an eye toward warmer months, so we focus on pieces transitional pieces, like mid-weight shirts, layering pieces, and light sweaters.
The logistics of switching between fall and spring merchandise is always a challenge, and in the past has led to a chaotic couple of days at the store. We completely re-merchandise our 4000 sq. ft. over two nights and as we’re sure you know, managing the preparation and organization of this much product can be a nightmare. This year, we made a couple changes in our process that significantly improved our efficiency (and lowered our stress) during the flip.
- Have A Plan of Attack (Two Weeks Before Flip)
Our first step this year was to pick a point of view for the look of the store. We chose to merchandise by grouping complimentary colors in order to highlight the solids and patterns in the Spring Toad line and also integrate third party items seamlessly.
- Finalize The Plan (One Week Ahead of the Flip)
Before we even received our spring shipments, we used a store map and the Toad&Co Dealer Toolbox Workspaces to make a detailed plan based on our theme. Using the Workspaces tool, we created a page for each rack, table display, and mannequin in the store. The simple drag and drop functionality allowed us to play with different combinations of styles and colors. The Workspaces tool was integral to us finding a place for each piece-we can’t stress enough how helpful it was!
- Get Ahead of Incoming Product and Keep Everyone Up to Speed (Always!)
The week of the flip is all hands on deck and Workspaces tool helped our staff understand and execute the overall plan. When a style was received, anyone on the team could quickly reference where it was supposed to go and prep the items accordingly. Hanging items were steamed and put in order on rolling racks and anything that was going to be displayed on a table was steamed, folded, and put back in a box.
- Label Everything Twice-Inventory Prep (three to four days before flip)
As boxes and racks were prepped and set aside, we labeled them by their final destination in the store. We also made a central list of where each style was being kept until the flip so we could find it quickly.
- One, Two, Three…Flip!
As soon as we closed the doors the first night of our floor flip, fall product was set aside and we started bringing in spring. We printed copies of the Workspaces and assigned staff members different areas to manage. Once the product was placed, we could tweak, refold, and incorporate third-party accessories, like shoes and hats, to make tables more dynamic.
Although not every item ended up exactly where planned, our organization made a huge difference in the flip. The spring product was prepped when we needed it, and we knew exactly where each item was headed. The overall process was efficient and we absolutely love how the store turned out!