Once we’re in to the holiday season, we start hearing the frustration of retailers, as they ask, ”How do I keep my store clean and neat during the holiday rush?”  It’s true that at the end of every day it seems like a tornado went through the store.  The good news:  the crowds must be coming and buying.  The bad news:  you need to clean up every night to make a good impression when the store opens.

If you start early, you can prevent rather than react to the merchandise that has been flung all around the store.  Plan now to display products in the best possible way, using the simplest shelving or storage techniques.  Here are a few tips:

  • For smaller items get some red, green, silver or gold dump bins and dump the goods right in.  The bin serves as a catch-all for merchandise.   
  • For clothing, try to use hanging racks when possible.  Stacking clothing on shelves – shirts especially – starts to look messy as soon as the first person picks up an item and doesn’t fold it properly before putting it back on the shelf. 
  • Any time you can give the customer 360-degree access around a fixture, take advantage of it.  This method will allow more people to see the merchandise at one time.  Rounders with shelves and drawers are helpful if you keep your inventory in the drawers and your display items on the top.  Instead of just setting the items on the shelves, actually create a scene or vignette so that customers realize the items are for display.      
  • Consider using shelving units for boxed items.  Utilize lower shelves for stackable items like boxes of shoes, boxed glassware, or board games.
  • Use product packaging to your advantage.  Items with hang tags should be hung on pegs on a wall.  Grid wall design can give you as much or as little room as needed.  Create your own grid wall fixture by using pieces of different lengths.  Items with handles should be stacked or showcased so that the customer can grab the handle and go. 
  • Finally, if you have glass cases, you’ll be able to control the inventory and the demonstrations, but you’ll need to spritz the glass at the end of every day to wipe the fingerprints away!