For maximum sales in any department, particularly women’s fashion, merchandising with strong visual and sensory appeal is important. With fashion constantly changing from one season to the next, proper merchandising is critical. Whether the targeted customers are cutting-edge twenty-somethings, suburban moms, or active senior citizens, show that you care about helping them feel attractive and current. Good lighting, cleanliness, and creating customer confidence are all critical elements. Give the customers what they want, and they’ll be back.

Lure the Customer Into the Store

Window displays must be changed frequently to reflect the merchandise in the store and the types of customers you want to attract. Potential customers need to see themselves wearing the fashions they see on the mannequins. If the targeted customer is high fashion, keep the latest styles constantly changing. Position the mannequins so they appear to be having fun. Have them appear to interact with a sense of community. For example, if this is a high fashion store geared for hip twenty-somethings, a group of mannequins could be arranged in a club-like setting.

Immediate Appeal

Once customers enter the store, they need to feel the value of the experience. All of the senses should be employed, from the music and lighting to the temperature of the store. Faster, more up-tempo music appeals to a younger crowd, while more classical music suits an established clientele. The sales personnel should reflect the mood of the store or department by wearing clothing offered in the store. Place merchandise on displays to highlight and showcase its strengths. For example, a spotlight shining on sequins and rhinestones makes them sparkle.

Shoppers tend to look at fashion merchandise from left to right and at eye level. Position the most fashionable or seasonal merchandise face out. Being bold with color, sparkle, and glamor gives customers ideas on how to increase their sense of style.

Ease of Shopping

Prospective customers should be able to easily find what they are looking for and be offered other items for multiple sales. Many customers rely on suits or matching ensembles for their own wardrobe, so showing more than one jacket or style of shirt to wear with slacks encourages multiple sales. Color and price groupings offer additional value to shoppers. The best merchandised fashion stores avoid cluttering the sales floor with too much merchandise but keep all the racks and shelves fully stocked. Displaying a multiple-piece ensemble gives customers ideas and creates the desire to purchase more than one item. Create a logical path through the store that exposes more displays and racks to your customers.

Incremental Sales

Impulse buys near the customer counter can provide additional sales. Offer jewelry and other accessories on displays and in attractive groupings to draw attention. Show the value of multiple sales through creating more than one outfit with the same pieces. A wall display showing the same skirt and pair of slacks worn with mix-and-match tops and jackets gives customers a sense of getting more for their money.

Additional Store Value and Comfort

Provide waiting areas for the comfort of spouses, friends, and significant others to keep customers in the store shopping longer. Private fitting rooms, sales attention during the try-on process, and the offer to return unwanted merchandise to the racks give customers a sense of importance. Know your customers and offer e-mail or direct mail to alert them to future promotions and sales.