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Store Preparation for the New Year

It’s never too early for preparation (especially after the year we’ve had). Consider adding these tasks to your to-do list so you can begin 2021 ahead of schedule.

Event Preparation

If you aren’t already hosting one large event and two smaller events per month, you should. Start 2021 with all three events hosted the first week, then you can alternate weeks the remainder of the year. Some ideas include make-it and take-its, demonstrations, seminars, and vendor days. And remember, an event doesn’t always have to correspond with a sale.

Team Training

Speaking of year long events, if you don’t already have a weekly team training scheduled, put one on the calendar. It may seem difficult to think of topics at first, but eventually your team will have requests of their own.

Some places to start include making a list of “never out” items. These are items that should always be in stock as they can make or break sales. And they should be in extra stock during the busy season.

Another idea includes coming up with bag stuffer ideas. Train your employees to give a 30 second pitch of the bag stuffer as they hand the flyer to the customer. This will prove much more effective than not mentioning the bag stuffer at all.

Finally, review your return policy. Try to be flexible on returns (as other competitors in the market are) but train your staff to ask about an in-store credit or gift card option first.

Gift Cards

If your store uses paper gift certificates instead of plastic gift cards, you’re going to want to switch stat. Retailers that switch from paper to plastic see an increase of sales from 35% to 50%. On top of that, 55% of customers have to go to a store twice to spend the full gift card amount, which is great news for your business.

Inspiration for this post came from 2020 Prep by Georgeanne Bender and Rich Kizer of Kizer and Bender. For more preparation ideas, visit their business expert page.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Affordable Foot Traffic

Affordable foot traffic—is that even a thing? And what does it even mean? If you want to increase your foot traffic without breaking the bank, follow these suggestions.

  1. Ask yourself one question: what is one thing my business could to to _______? Then answer that question honestly.
  2. The second step is to fill in that blank! What is one thing my business could do to increase foot traffic? Host an event! When you answer that question honestly, you’ll probably come up with an event that you would want to attend if it wasn’t your store. Don’t forget to think outside the box, the event should attract a new demographic and offer a sale. And since events are low budget the biggest resource you’ll use is the time it takes to plan it.
  3. Use social media. Email blasts should be sent every 15 days, and budget to spend at least $2 a day on Facebook ads.
  4. Offer coupons. Coupons are different then sales, every store can offer a sale. Set yourself apart by using coupons; statistics show 96% of consumers use coupons and 85% of consumers look for coupons before visiting a store. The more you know!
  5. Last but not least, put time and effort into your store display— it is more important than many business owners realize. The display can also be one of the most fun parts of running a store, so have fun with it!

foot traffic

All of these things take advanced planning, so be sure to include these topics in your company meetings. Not to use one liners, but these are tried and true statements: remember, more hands make light work and the early bird gets the worm.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.