What Is Retail Shrink?

e-com-03Typically described as a percentage, shrink is the loss of product between the point of manufacture and point of sale. Just because a store orders a bulk shipment of wholesale products doesn’t necessarily mean it will sell them all. It’s not uncommon for products to become lost, damaged or stolen before they are sold. When this occurs, the store must count them as shrink and move on. To learn more about retail shrink and its impact on businesses, keep reading.

According to a 2008 National Retail Security Survey conducted by the University of Florida, the average shrink for U.S. retail businesses was 1.52%. It’s important to note, however, that shrinkage varies depending on the type of store. Grocery stores and supermarkets, for instance, tend to have a higher shrink rate, simply because they manage and sell more perishable items. If a food/beverage product isn’t sold before its sell-by date, it must be counted as shrink.

A high shrink can have a devastating impact on retail businesses. When a store is unable to sell a product, it must increase prices on its existing products to make up for this difference. In some cases, consumers will pay the higher price. But other times, they will take their money elsewhere, hoping to find the same product for a lower price. This creates a chain effect in which the retail store suffers even greater loses, as it loses customers in the process.

You might be surprised to learn that the number one cause of shrink in the retail industry theft. Each year, retail businesses lose billions of dollars worth of product due to theft. If you own or otherwise operate a retail store, you should take measures to reduce the risk of theft. See below for a list of anti-theft measures for retail stores:

  • Install a video surveillance system.
  • Place security tags on garments, handbags and similar products.
  • Conduct background screening on all job applicants and existing employees.
  • Keep your storage room locked.
  • Perform regular inventory checks to identify which products are being targeted by thieves.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Window Dressing 101: What You Should Know

thumb212Window dressing is the term used to describe the display of product or good in a store window or within the actual store. The person responsible for this act is known as a window dresser. Among other things, he or she must set up mannequins, place products on display, incorporate visual elements to make the display more appealing, and change the display on a regular basis. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role of a window dresser.

The terms visual merchandiser and window dresser are often used in conjunction with one another. While they share some similarities, however, they are two different professions with their own unique characteristics. Visual merchandisers typically create floors plans which are used to display products within a store, while window dressers focus more on the actual displays.

In most cases, the window dresser will focus his or her attention on the store’s window (hence the name). After all, this is where product displays have the greatest impact, influencing both shoppers and pedestrians walking by the store. A window dresser may create a display consisting of several mannequins dressed in the store’s latest fashion, enticing pedestrians to step into the store and check it out. Furthermore, however, he or she will utilize lighting, themes, colors and other elements to make the product look as appealing as possible. Anyone can toss up a mannequin with a garment, but it takes a skilled and experienced window dresser to truly create an effective window display.

One of the most prominent window dressers of all time was Gene Moore. After moving to New York City in the early 1930s, Moore found a job working as a window dresser at Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue. It’s believed that Moore designed or helped design approximately 5,000 window displays, ranging from simple mannequins to full themes consisting of stuffed hummingbirds and other visual elements. Other well-known window dressers include Raymond Loewy, Giorgio Armani, Simon Doonan, L. Frank Baum, Victor Hugo and Christine McVie.

Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of window dressers and how the key role they play in the retail industry.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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Tips For Taking Better Product Photos

camera-300x244Product photos are frequently used in physical store catalogs, mail brochures, e-commerce websites, and other forms of media. They allow store owners to present their products in the most appealing manner possible, which subsequently boosts sales. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to take photos, and unfortunately many store owners choose the latter.

You can’t expect to take quality product photos without investing in a decent camera. While smartphones and webcams may suffice for personal photos, they lack the clarity and detail needed for product photos. After all, the photo is essentially what the reader/viewer will base his or her purchasing decision on. If its’ grainy and looks unprofessional, they probably won’t buy it. But if it looks clean, detailed, and professional, they may pull out their wallet and place an order.

When searching for a camera, choose a high-megapixel DSLR. These are the “de-facto” standard among professional photographers and business owners alike. And while the cost may seem somewhat high, you can usually write it off on your taxes if it’s used strictly for business purposes. Purchasing a mid-to-high end DSLR is a smart investment that will pay off in the form of better product photos for your store.

In addition to the actual camera, you should also invest in some type of graphics editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop. After taking photos of your products, you’ll want to clean them up by adjusting the lighting, removing blemishes, cropping unnecessary objects out of the frame, etc., all of which can be accomplished with Photoshop. Alternative GIMP is a free-to-download Image Manipulation Program that offers similar features of Photoshop.

Here are some more tips on how to take killer photos of your products:

  • Focus strictly on the product, limiting or removing other elements from the shot.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of lighting on your product photos. Taking photos in dark or shaded areas will result in a “gloomy” look that does your product no justice.
  • If you are taking photos of shirts or other garments, consider using a ghost mannequin. These special mannequins feature removable arms and appendages so the garment appears to float in the air.
  • Familiarize yourself with your camera’s setting, including landscapes, close-ups, portraits, etc.

If you have any questions at all about visual merchandising, please give us a call at 800.241.6897 or email us at https://www.melvinroos.com/contact-us/.

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