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When Carol Schroeder and her husband opened Orange Tree Imports over thirty years ago, they had no retail background. They taught themselves everything they needed to know—merchandise display, record keeping, inventory management, and the myriad other skills that make up a storeowner's craft. In Specialty Shop Retailing, Schroeder shares her experience and wisdom so that you too can grow your business into an award-winning success. This new Third Edition updates the classic guide with additional strategies for competing against big box retailers, taking advantage of the Internet, and improving profitability—and includes a new feature: over two dozen easy-to-download forms that can be customized for your store's use.
Specialty Shop Retailing is a comprehensive guide that covers every aspect of opening and operating a retail store, from choosing a location and designing window displays to niche marketing, promotion, and customer service. Schroeder's tutorials on visual merchandising, store design, and advertising are supplemented with numerous photographs, sample ads, and witty cartoons. This book includes an extensive glossary of retail terms and a bibliography of additional resources for help on special topics such as writing a business plan and managing employees. More practical and useful than ever, it also features new coverage of important topics like e-mail marketing, surviving competition from Wal-Mart, and smart ways to increase sales and boost profits.
Like any wise businessperson, Schroeder doesn't rely entirely on her own experience. From interviews with dozens of the most successful specialty retailers in the United States and Europe, she culls practical solutions to some of the field's most daunting challenges. She addresses major strategic issues, such as the pros and cons of buying into a franchise, negotiating a lease, and diversifying the product mix. These solutions are built on straightforward, simple techniques that can be used in any store setting.
Whether you're a seasoned retailer with many years' experience or a novice just beginning to plan a store, Specialty Shop Retailing, Third Edition will inform and guide you with up-to-date information, practical advice based on the author's experiences, and simple strategies for finding and maintaining success.
Chapter 1. Getting Started.
Finding Your Customers: Market Research.
Are You Ready for Retailing?
Buying an Existing Business.
Starting Small or Staying Small.
Writing a Successful Business Plan.
Selecting Your Legal Format.
Financing Your Business.
Getting the Necessary Permits and Licenses.
Finding the Perfect Location.
Naming Your Store.
Developing a Logo.
Where to Get Help.
Ready, Set, Go!.
Chapter 2. Managing Your Store’s Finances.
Setting Up Your Sales System.
Understanding Financial Reports.
Working with an Accountant.
Creating Budgets and Future Plans.
Tips for Taking Inventory.
Business Office Essentials.
The Bottom Line.
Chapter 3. Successful Store Design.
Establishing a Design Budget.
Updating Your Look by Remodeling.
The Perfect Design Concept.
Welcome: The Storefront and Entranceway.
Efficient Layout Plans.
Well Grounded: Flooring Materials.
The Backdrop: Wall Treatments.
Lighting for Effect.
A Different Kind of Overhead: Ceilings.
Selling on Several Levels.
Maximizing Merchandise Fixtures.
Interior Signage that Sells.
Checking Out the Cash Wrap Area.
Store Security Concerns.
Background Music for Shopping Pleasure.
Creating an Aromatic Environment.
Restrooms, Offices and Other Backstage Needs.
Chapter 4. Gathering the Goods: Merchandise Buying.
Targeting Your Typical Customer.
Establishing a Buying Budget.
Where to Look for Great Merchandise.
Knowing What to Order.
Determining the Quantity.
Stretching Your Budget By Consignment.
Developing Original, Exclusive Products.
Higher Margins through Direct Importing.
Keeping Inventory Under Control.
Seasonal Planning Tips.
Buying for Displays and Promotion.
Benefiting from Working with Sales Reps.
Buying Trip Tools.
Establishing Your Store’s Financial Credibility.
Using Purchase Order Forms Efficiently.
Professional Ordering Procedures.
Specifying Shipping Preferences.
Setting Retail Prices.
Developing Beneficial Vendor Relations.
Chapter 5. Visual Merchandising: Displays that Sell.
Check-in Time for New Arrivals.
Coping with Problem Shipments.
Pricing the Merchandise.
Getting the Goods on Display.
Maintaining Merchandising Excellence.
Using Store Windows Effectively.
Visual Merchandising in the Future.
Chapter 6. Finding and Keeping Great Employees.
Do You Need Employees?
Enlightened Leadership: Participative Democracy.
Hiring for Special Job Functions.
Appealing to a Shrinking Workforce.
Where to Look for Good Employees.
The “How to Hire” Guide.
Government Forms for New Employees.
The Employment Agreement.
Staff Training on Store Procedures.
Your Store’s Employee Handbook.
The Importance of Flexible Scheduling.
Compensating Your Staff.
Attractive Benefits and Perks.
Using Open-Book Management.
The Importance of Employee Evaluations.
Correcting Performance Problems.
Saying Goodbye: The Exit Interview.
Creating Team Spirit.
Chapter 7. Customer Service Essentials.
Motivating Employees to Give Great Service.
Time to Shop: Setting Store Hours.
Setting a Customer-Friendly Return Policy.
For Customer Convenience and Comfort.
Services that Exceed Customers’ Expectations.
Added Sales through Wedding and Gift Registries.
Hot Trend: Gift Cards and Gift Certificates.
Special Service: Customer Orders and Holds.
Evaluating Customer Service.
Chapter 8. Getting the Word Out: Advertising Your Shop.
Establishing an Advertising Budget.
Tools for Targeting Your Market.
Choosing the Best Media for the Money.
Should You Use an Ad Agency?.
Using Co-op to Stretch Your Budget.
Welcome to the World of Print Advertising.
Effective In-Store Advertising.
Direct Mail: Making the Best Use of Your List.
Broadcast Media: Radio and Television.
Retailing Online: The Next Wave.
Evaluating Your Advertising’s Effectiveness.
Advertising When Sales Are Down.
Chapter 9. Using the Internet to Promote and Prosper.
Establishing Your Home on the Web.
Advertising Online: Web Site Essentials.
Using E-mail for Customer Contact.
Permission Marketing via E-mail.
Keeping in Touch with Staff: Internal E-mail.
Bricks to Clicks: Selling Online.
Choosing Your Approach to Online Sales.
Shopping Basket Security Issues.
Better Service via the Web for In-store Customers.
Filling Internet Orders Efficiently.
How to Draw Customers to Your Web Site.
Chapter 10. Creative Promotion and Publicity.
Sales, Sales, Sales.
Alternative Ideas for Store Promotion.
Rewarding Customer Loyalty.
Catering to Consumers Through Collectors’ Clubs.
Special Events to Attract Shoppers.
Taking it On the Road: Events Outside the Store.
Garnering Publicity and Good P.R..
Chapter 11. Beating the Big Box Stores.
Finding Your Special Niche.
Offering Stellar Customer Service.
The “Buy Local” Call to Action.
Independents’ Day is Here.
Turning the Tide on Big Box Development.
What to do When Wal-Mart Comes to Town.
Chapter 12. Good Works are Good Business.
Charitable Donations: What and Where to Give.
Hosting Fund-Raisers and Benefits.
Selling Goods that Do Good.
Museum and Hospital Shops: Retailers Who Serve.
Environmentally Sound Retailing.
Giving Something Back to the Community.
Providing Community Leadership.
Taking a Stand: Community Leadership.
Volunteering Your Time.
The Rewards of Giving.
Chapter 13. Managing During Tough Times.
Insuring Against Crime, Disasters and Other Crises.
Curtailing Shoplifting and Employee Theft.
Preventing Burglaries and Holdups.
Fires, Storms and Natural Catastrophes.
What to Do When Disaster Strikes.
When You Lose Your Lease.
Customers Can Be Trouble.
Coping with Vandalism and Graffiti.
Surviving Personnel Problems.
When You’re in Financial Trouble.
Responding to Bad Publicity.
Keeping an Upbeat Attitude.
Chapter 14. Improving Sales and Profitability.
Boosting Your Sales Income.
Growing Sales Through Relationship Marketing.
Targeting Luxury Shoppers and Corporate Sales.
Markup Can Make Up Your Margins.
Expenses Down = Profits Up.
The Dangers of Too Much Inventory.
Plugging the Holes.
Staying Alert to Changes.
Chapter 15. Looking to the Future.
Riding the Wave of Success.
Small Can Be Beautiful.
If You Decide to Grow Your Business.
Moving On: Selling or Closing Your Store.
Life Planning Issues for Shopkeepers.
Running the Mature Business.
The Outlook for Retailing is Bright.
Posted December 11, 2013
I purchased this book for a class, and it turned out to be a great guidance for almost everything you need to know before and while starting your store. I highly recommend it.
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