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10 HELPFUL TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN OPENING YOUR FIRST RETAIL SHOP


Whether you are a jewelry maker, an artisan, an entrepreneur, or a combination of all of the above - we know it can seem daunting to take the leap and open up your first brick-and-mortar shop.

Read on for 10 helpful tips to help make setting up your first retail shop a success:




1. REMEMBER ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL:




From high-visibility carts and kiosks to more traditional inline spaces, shopping malls offer a variety of flexible retail spaces. Your products, staffing levels, and overall budget should all be factored in when deciding just how much square footage of leasable space your business will need.




2. THINK LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:




Where within the mall will you open your store, and who will your neighbors be? Location is everything, so aim for great visibility, strong foot traffic, and nearby complementary retailers as your business’ “neighbors.” Go where your customers are!




3. PRIORITIZE HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS:




As a result of the pandemic, all retailers have had to adapt their business operations to comply with changing health and safety operations. When setting up a new retail store, it’s important to keep in mind that providing ample space for social distancing and adhering to stringent cleaning protocols are now baseline customer expectations.
4. ADD IN A "WOW FACTOR":




Visual merchandising refers to the overall look & feel of your store. From your lighting and layout to store shelves and signage, you can use visual merchandising tactics to create eye-catching displays that attract visitors and help your business stand out from the competition.




5. MAKE IT PERSONAL:




E-commerce cannot compete with the unique, in-person shopping experiences and services that brick-and-mortar can provide. Leverage this advantage by creating unique experiences and building human connections that will make a lasting impression and keep your customers coming back.




6. INCENTIVIZE REPEAT VISITS:




Don’t underestimate the importance of building customer loyalty: on average, returning customers spend 33% more than others! Incentivize shoppers to come back again and again by rewarding them with exclusive offers and VIP access to shop new products first.




7. UTILIZE CONVENIENCE SERVICES:




In today’s day and age, all customers want options. This is why convenience services, like buy online pick up in-store, curbside pickup, and free delivery have all seen a huge surge in popularity. Consider ways your business can incorporate these extra conveniences in your daily routine to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers.




8. JOIN IN MALL MARKETING PROGRAMS:




As a small business owner, you likely have limited time and resources available for robust marketing efforts. Luckily Centennial makes it easy for all tenants to join in a variety of complimentary marketing programs, including Retail-to-Go (curbside pickup), Shop Now! (Centennial’s e-commerce platform), seasonal events, digital promotions, and more. Partner with the mall’s marketing team from day one to really maximize your success.




9. EMBRACE DIGITAL




Gone are the days of pitting online vs. in-person shopping against each other. The reality is, a shopping journey for most consumers includes a mix of both. Many shoppers will start their search and discovery of new items online and then may visit a store in person to purchase. This is why setting up a simple website and social media page can help your brick-and-mortar space engage with customers, both before and post-purchase.




10. TELL YOUR STORY:




As a small business owner, we know you have a story to tell about how and why you do what you do. Sharing your story authentically and transparently helps to build trust with your customers. Storytelling can be accomplished via signage in your store, social media content online, and even simply through your interactions with customers on a daily basis.




So, what are you waiting for? Centennial Local Leasing and Business Development Representatives are also here to help along each step of the way so that your new business can thrive!

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