With prime minister Boris Johnson having given the go-ahead for high street shops to reopen on June 15th 2020, the thoughts of many of you will have turned to how this is going to work in practice.
It’ll be a big undertaking to get ready to welcome back customers in only a fortnight’s time and if you’re busy making plans, we’d love to hear how you’re thinking of rearranging your shop for this very unusual summer season.
The British Retail Consortium has published some helpful guidance on social distancing in retail here, and it’s true that things like two-metre markers, plastic screens on checkouts and sanitising stations need to be a priority.
If you can address your customers’ safety concerns in this way, they’ll see you as a brand to trust – and this may translate into sustained sales into the future.
However, it’s also important to think about reorganising with a view to tempting people back in and giving them the desire to return to the high street after months of buying online only.
Customer service and providing an in-store experience will now be paramount, because people are likely to have missed the buzz of a purchase in a real shop – but we have to remind them just how much.
Rediscovering the joy of in-store shopping
So, how can you do all this? Well, put those social distancing markers and one-way systems in place first and let shoppers know you have done so using posters and your social media channels.
If you take safety worries out of the way, people can simply focus on your great costume jewellery and treating themselves post-isolation. Don’t think safety measures have to be boring, either – how about putting jewellery mood boards on your two-metre marker signs for customers to look at as they queue? This may help inspire additional purchases.
Speaking of social media, keep using your available channels to remind past visitors what you have available in-store and to inform them of distancing measures at the same time in the captions – a picture of a covetable necklace might encourage someone to venture out if they know they can pick it up safely.
Reorganising inside stores
Inside the shop, you may find you can’t fit in all the stock for display that you had pre-coronavirus. However, that’s OK – you simply need to rearrange it in a way that lets customers see how they might wear it in order for them to view it as a ‘must-have’.
Again, mood boards could help with this, as may mannequins wearing your pieces. Putting jewellery in cello bags within individual, shallow baskets is another potential idea to reduce touching yet not discourage buying.
In terms of trends, you’ll want to bring in the latest fashions for summer, but do mix in your former spring stock too. This is a good way of reducing any backlog that might be ‘backstage’ without feeling the need to heavily discount.
Remember that quarantining handled merchandise, cleaning display stations more frequently and replenishing only outside opening hours are likely to become the new normal as we work through this post-lockdown period.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ way of reopening, but this is an essential time for retailers to get back on their feet and we at Majique wish you all the very best in doing so. Why not share your story with us if you’ve got tips for other boutiques? We’ll feature our favourites in our weekly newsletter.