Whether you are just opening a dollar store for the first time or you already own a dollar store one of the biggest challenges is determining the right format. Your store format helps to determine projected sales, projected costs, projected profits, dollar store suppliers for the merchandise your business depends on, and much more.
Whether it is customer service, store maintenance and upkeep, cashiering or handling merchandise there must be a clear set of documented guidelines to be followed. In this article I present 4 important steps in dollar store merchandise handling.
Tip #1 Expect to lose many of your current shoppers: Dollar store shoppers are bargain hunters. They know the merchandise that is available at the $1 price point, and they know where to find that merchandise. Your challenge is to ease the pain of seeing merchandise you have offered at the $1 price point jumping over $1. It is to provide a smooth transition to your new dollar plus store format.
Tip #2 Always focus on customer service when stocking shelves: Those who know how to start a dollar store always place customer service at the top of the list for every employee. They build customer service guidelines and procedures into every job, including stock handling. Each stock handler learns how to properly address the most common customer situations. Each stock handler assumes customer service duties as a part of their job. They make customer service a top priority.
Tip #3 Train stock personnel before they start working on the sales floor: Just as you had to learn how to start a dollar store, so too will each new employee find it challenging to handle their assigned tasks without some training and support. Invest in the success of your new employees by providing training on their job. Never just throw them into a job without proper training. Always train to the documented guidelines and procedures you have established. Then hold employees accountable to performing to their training.
Tip #4 Stocking of the dollar store merchandise:One of the keys to how to start a dollar store is focused on merchandise stocking and display. Take the time to learn techniques such as striping, bulk display and product placement. Use those techniques for all stock work completed prior to your grand opening.
In many ways the transition from $1 price point to dollar plus is like starting a new business. You must do everything possible to retain existing shoppers through the transition. However you cannot afford to stop there. You must also take the right actions to build your customer base even bigger.