Are sales slowing down? Have you had a rough month, quarter or year? While a lot of people are claiming that brick and mortar is a dying business model that's quickly being replaced by e-commerce, this simply isn't true. Your lack of sales has less to do with larger industry trends than it has to do with store-specific issues. Correct these issues and you should be just fine.
1. Encourage impulse buys
We've all walked into a store looking for one specific item only to leave with three or four things that we didn't really need. In most cases, this behavior is rooted in impulse shopping.
"The simplest explanation is that some people just derive an enormous amount of pleasure from acquiring something new," consumer behavior psychologist Philip Graves says. "The act of buying is an act of empowerment that may be felt all too rarely in other aspects of life."
As a retailer, you can significantly increase your sales by encouraging impulse buys. The easiest way to do this is by lining up cheap, sensory items in the checkout queue. While customers are waiting, they'll naturally toss things in their shopping carts.
2. Push add-ons
Once you have a customer in the ready state of mind to purchase one product, it's much easier to encourage them to purchase more. One strategy is to have your salespeople push add-ons. These add-ons can come in the form of a discount or special sale, or they can be full-price add-ons if your salespeople are really persuasive.
For example, let's say you're selling a customer a digital camera. In addition to the camera, you could push things like camera cases, memory cards, batteries and extra lenses. Suddenly, instead of just selling a camera for $199, you're selling three or four items for $300.
3. Get people in the door
Your sales numbers are directly correlated to the level of foot traffic inside your store. It's an elementary concept, but sometimes basic logic goes out the door when you're struggling to meet sales goals. If you want to increase sales, get more people in the door.
You can use any number of strategies to get people inside, but it all goes back to grabbing your customers' attention. Try designing clever window displays, placing inventory outside, or having a personable salesperson stand outside and welcome people in. Whatever you can do to get people inside will increase your chances of driving up sales.
4. Offer future-use coupons
If you're looking for cheap ways to drive sales, you probably aren't keen on the idea of using a lot of coupons. However, there is one type of coupon – known as a future-use coupon – that has a low cost and a high return.
As the name suggests, future-use coupons are coupons you give to customers at the time of purchase that are valid for future purchases. The great thing about these coupons is that only a small percentage of people will ever redeem them. So while you may get 15 people to make a purchase because of the coupon offer, only four or five will ever take advantage of the offer at a later date. This allows you to maximize their value.
5. Let customers try
The final tip is to let customers try products. In-store demonstrations, trials and tastings are highly effective methods for driving impulse buys. Sensory exposure goes a long way toward moving customers to action. People see, hear, touch, taste or smell something that they otherwise never would have and feel like they have to purchase the item. READ MORE
For Immediate Release: June 13, 2017
Dads to get showered with gifts in record-setting fashion this year; Meals, clothing, gift cards, electronics and personal care items top the list of popular options
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Florida families will spend more than ever on Father’s Day this year. Consumers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up almost $10 from last year’s $125.92. Total spending nationwide is expected to reach $15.5 billion, the highest in the survey’s 15-year history and almost a billion more than last year.
“I am very encouraged to see that Floridians and families across the country are planning to spend more than ever before to celebrate the special dads in their lives,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “These results show that Americans are feeling more and more confident and optimistic in this improving economy and dads and retailers can expect to benefit this Father’s Day.”
According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings such as dinner, brunch or other types of a “fun activity/experience” (given by 48 percent). Clothing (given by 46 percent) and gift cards (given by 43 percent) are tied at $2.2 billion each while consumer electronics (given by 21 percent) follow at $1.8 billion. As with Mother’s Day, greeting cards are the most commonly purchased gift at 64 percent but account for only $861 million of projected spending. Other popular gifts include personal care, automotive accessories, books, music, home improvement/gardening supplies and sporting goods.
The survey found 27 percent of shoppers will opt for a “gift of experience” such as tickets to a concert or a sporting event. The largest projected growth category was for “personal care” items such as cologne, razors, aftershave, etc. where spending is expected to be 20% higher over last year.
When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 34 percent will shop online while 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used more frequently both to research (32 percent) and buy (19 percent).
More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their father or stepfather (54 percent), while others will shop for their husband (29 percent) or son (10 percent).
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.
June 1 was the official start to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. While skies are blue, we encourage you to take time now to make preparations for your family and your business. Make sure you’ve got the right insurance coverage in place, refresh your emergency supplies, back up your data, and make sure you have an emergency plan in place.
Probably the most frequent issue we address on behalf of our members during hurricane season is the issue of post-disaster re-entry. FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley and General Counsel/VP Samantha Padgett recently met with Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Bryan Koon and senior leadership to discuss this issue and the need for a clear and consistent directive for the entire state. Executive Director Koon has issued a letter of guidance to Florida businesses (available here). Employees, delivery trucks, common carriers, and other service providers serving businesses will need to be prepared with the following three items in order to gain re-entry to an impacted area:
As always, local law enforcement has the final say regarding life safety issues.
We have firmly expressed the need for efficient and timely re-entry of businesses in order help citizens get the supplies they need and ensure economic resiliency. Even with the best of planning, occasional challenges arise. We will work with our public sector partners to facilitate resolution and encourage business continuity. Please do not hesitate to contact us; we are here to help.
Throughout the season, the Florida Retail Federation will provide you with information regarding approaching storms and post-disaster recovery. To ensure you are plugged in to all the right places, we encourage you to register your business with the state virtual business emergency operations center (www.flvbeoc.org.) We also encourage you to connect with your county and regional Emergency Management Coordinators (http://www.floridadisaster.org/regions/documents/em_managers.pdf). The state’s emergency management website, www.floridadisaster.org, also serves as a great resource for citizens and individuals.
For Immediate Release: May 30, 2017
With hurricane season almost upon us, now is the time for Floridians to stock up on important supplies to help keep them prepared and safe following a natural disaster
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of supporting Florida’s retail industry, reminds consumers that this weekend, June 2-4, is the important Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. During this time period, shoppers will not have to pay sales tax on eligible items and supplies that can be used to prepare for and recover from natural disasters that hit the Sunshine State.
“Thanks to our legislative leaders and Governor Scott for including the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in the budget, especially with Florida coming off of a year with hurricanes, tornadoes and floods,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “I strongly encourage all residents and visitors to take advantage of these savings by visiting your local retailers to load up on those items that will help keep you and your family safe in the event of a natural disaster.”
The Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017. During the holiday, sales tax will not be collected on the following popular items (for a complete listing of these items and other information, please click here):
Additional information regarding the 2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, including a list of qualifying items, promotional materials and FAQs, has been posted to the Department of Revenue’s website.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.
The Florida Retail Federation, in conjunction with our partners at the National Retail Federation, passes along the good news that U.S. House Republican leaders plan to abandon an attempt to repeal debit card swipe fee reform that has saved retailers and their customers more than $40 billion and brought badly needed competition to the payments market.
Repeal of swipe fee reform would have come as part of the Financial Choice Act, a broad bill that would roll back banking regulations established in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The House is expected to vote on the bill after it returns from its Memorial Day recess in June, and leadership conducted a whip count this week to determine support for the overall measure and provisions such as the repeal of swipe fee reform. A number of Republican House members expressed concerns about repealing swipe reform, and reports indicate tonight that agreement has been reached to drop the provision.
Debit reform was enacted as part of Dodd-Frank in response to the card industry’s practice of price-fixing the debit card “swipe” fees banks charge merchants to process transactions. The fees previously averaged 1-2 percent of the purchase amount, and virtually all banks that issue cards charged the same.
Under reform regulations that took effect in October 2011, large banks are limited to 22 cents per transaction, down from an average 45 cents in the past. The limit saved retailers about $8.5 billion in the first year alone, with close to $6 billion of the savings passed along to consumers, according to a study by economist Robert Shapiro. Banks that set the fees competitively and independently are exempt from the limit, but virtually none have done so. Banks with under $10 billion in assets are also exempt.
Reform also required that merchants be given at least two choices in the networks that route debit transactions to the banks for processing, typically one controlled by Visa or MasterCard and a competing, independent network that can offer advantages such as lower fees, better service or better security.
For Immediate Release: May 25, 2017
Carroll, owner of Crestview’s growing popular BBQ restaurant, was selected as the recipient of retail trade association’s prestigious award for his service to customers and community
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, today named Michael Carroll, owner of Hub City Smokehouse & Grill in Crestview, as its 2017 Florida Retailer of the Year. This is the 19th year in a row that FRF has selected a retailer of the year, and Michael will be honored with this prestigious award during a special luncheon on June 8 at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel in St. Petersburg. Ray & Jody Hetchka of Kayak Amelia in Fernandina Beach and April Meier of Pawsitively Scrumptious Bark Bakery & Boutique in Crestview will be recognized as Outstanding Retail Leaders during the ceremony.
“We are proud to honor Michael as a tremendous representative of Florida’s retailers and the impact our industry can have both on our customers and community,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “Michael’s contributions locally, via his service on multiple non-profit boards and significant time spent volunteering, highlight the many ways that retailers are making a difference throughout Florida.”
Michael and his wife started the small Hub City Smokehouse & Grill in 2011 in a five table, 900 sq.ft. section of an industrial strip center. After gaining a well-known name and loyal following, Hub City moved to a location on Main Street in 2015. Creative endeavors such as shot glasses traded for BBQ, personalized aprons for regular customers, and unique menu offerings helped the business grow. Michael, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force, volunteers extensively in his community serving on boards of Main Street Crestview and the Crestview Local Planning Agency, has held positions with the Rotary and is active in school district and city youth programs. He also supports projects such as Wounded Warriors through Hub City.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the Florida Retail Federation as the 2017 Retailer of the Year, and I want to thank FRF for this award and for their continued commitment to our industry,” said Michael Carroll. “I also want to thank my wife, Loretta, our dedicated customers, and our incredibly hard working team at Hub City Smokehouse & Grill for their focus on excellent customer service, as well as service to our community.”
Two other retailers will be honored as “Outstanding Retail Leaders” for their commitment to the retail industry and their community. These retailers will also be recognized at the 2017 Florida Retailer of the Year awards ceremony in June:
Ray & Jody Hetchka | Kayak Amelia | Fernandina Beach
Since their beginnings as a “Mom and Pop” kayak operation 21 years ago, the Hetchkas have grown their business to offerings that include guided kayak, Segway and stand up paddleboard eco-tours, self-guided bike and kayak rentals and an earth-friendly gift shop. The couple has served on and worked with numerous boards and organizations that promote the Amelia Island / Fernandina Beach area and tourism in Florida. They donate their boats and other services for fundraisers. Coordinating with the National Park Service, the Hetchkas support the Timucuan Rangers, a program which brings children from Jacksonville’s urban core out to the beach.
April Meier | Pawsitively Scrumptious Bark Bakery & Boutique | Crestview
Retired Air Force veteran April Meier started this retail store located in downtown Crestview four years ago. The business provides holistic pet foods and typical pet toys and accessories. April is active in numerous business organizations and also mentors other business members. Her singular efforts raised over $65,000 toward the completion of the Crestview Bark Park, which is scheduled to open this summer. She also helped raise funds for the Crestview Police Department to purchase two working canines and provided north Okaloosa County Area Fire Departments with “Waggin O2 Fur Life,” Aubu-Bag kits to assist with life-saving oxygen masks for pets that might be involved in a home fire, among other efforts.
The Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by FRF since 1999, honors Florida retailers who blend sound business practices with commitments to their communities, customers and employees. FRF issues a statewide call for nominations, with the award open to both members and non-members of the non-profit trade association. Eligible retailers are all those who work for, own, or operate a Florida retail business that has an annual sales volume of $5 million or less. Nominations were received from communities around the state. A selection panel made up of small business owners and other retail experts ranked nominees based on their scores in several categories, including community service and business acumen.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.
For Immediate Release: May 22, 2017
Record amount expected to be spent on gift cards, greeting cards, apparel and electronics for Sunshine State graduates
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Floridians will spend more than ever on graduation gifts this year. With more consumers buying for graduates this year – 36 percent compared with 34 percent in 2016 – total spending nationally is expected to reach $5.6 billion, topping last year’s record of $5.4 billion.
“Graduation is a significant achievement in someone’s life as they end one chapter and begin a new one, and recognizing this is important for a graduate's family and friends,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “With loved ones eager to celebrate this important milestone, we expect the gifts to Sunshine State graduates to reach record numbers this year, which is great news for Florida retailers.”
According FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the $5.6 billion total is the highest in the survey’s 11-year history. Cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 53 percent of those surveyed as they seek to help students with the costly transition from high school to college or college to the “real world.” However, cash gifting is at a survey low in 2017, dropping about 10 percent from highs recorded in 2007 and 2009. Greeting cards follow at 41 percent, gift cards at 33 percent, apparel at 16 percent and electronics at 11 percent.
While ages 18-24 are the most likely to give a gift to graduates (at 48 percent), they maintain the smallest budgets at $78.42. The biggest spending is likely to come among parent-age 45-54-year-olds at $119.84 as well as those in the grandparent bracket of 65+, who plan to spend an average $112.34.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.
Preparing for the Sales Tax Holiday
We are very pleased that our work with the Florida Legislature ultimately included provisions for a Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday during the 2017 session. This sales tax holiday will encourage Floridians to stock up on the supplies they need to be prepared for the hurricane season and other potential disasters.
This holiday is coming up VERY SOON! The bill is currently waiting for Governor Scott’s signature to make it official, but we wanted all of our members to be well aware of the details of the holiday so that you can prepare and make the most of this event in your stores. We have reached out to the Department of Revenue to inquire when we can expect to receive the TIP sheet on this event. In the meantime, here are the details that you may need to get ready.
When is the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday?
12:01 a.m. on June 2, 2017, through 11:59 p.m. on June 4, 2017
What items fall under the sales tax holiday?
During the period of time listed above, sales tax should not be collected on the following items:
Does everyone who sells these items have to participate?
The tax exemptions do not apply to sales of the above items that take place in theme parks or entertainment complexes, lodging establishments, or airports. Every other retailer must provide the sales tax exemptions on the items above during the designated time period.
When we receive further details from the Department of Revenue, we will send it out immediately. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.