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Editor's Note: The Guide to 2011 Orders

Retailers always have ordering on their minds: How many will I need to make it through back-to-school? How much of that new apparel category should I order? There’s no magic number—ordering is different for everyone. But you can still take full advantage of all the incentives that dancewear-makers offer. To make that easier, we tracked down the deadlines and deals from all the major manufacturers for our “Guide to Ordering in 2011” (pg. 20). Scoop up specials on recital season orders, free shipping offers and DRN Expo exclusives. You’ll want to hang on to this guide, since the list includes deals for the whole year.

We’ve made a few changes to DRN for 2011 that will help you build sales and run your store more smoothly. You’ll find more essential small-business news, like new tax breaks, loan programs and resources for independent business owners, in “In the News” (pg. 10). And there will be more coverage of new lines and products to fill your store. You’ll also find extra retailer-to-retailer advice in Seen & Heard. This month we’re looking into ways to protect your store from staff theft, but the tips don’t end there. Turn to page 24 to find great event ideas and inspired promotions.

Practice gear has always been a must-have for dancers, so check out these workout-worthy styles and add them to your 2011 order. In “Fundamental Fashion” (pg. 16), we ask manufacturers to share their best-selling looks for dance teams. These sell individually, but you can also market them to coaches for large group orders.

Stylish and functional hair accessories will surely fly off the shelves. Take a look at “Hair Flair” (pg. 14) for fun elastic headbands that will keep dancers’ do’s in place during tough practice sessions, plus glitzy tiaras that will shimmer onstage this recital season.

Want to reach new customers? Why not hook up with a local studio and hold an on-site sale? Amy Kenney, owner of Boulder Bodywear in Boulder, CO, says in-studio sales have helped her gain business. “We’ve had three-hour on-site sales that have netted us $6,000,” she says. In “Remote Access” (pg. 34), learn how three retailers transport their goods, handle sales and strengthen their studio relationships.

You can learn more great ways to increase sales at this year’s DRN Expo. We’ve selected top industry experts who are brimming with ideas, and you’ll also meet fellow storeowners. Don’t forget our exhibit hall will also be packed with your favorite manufacturers. Taking one weekend away from your store never promised better results. Register today at www.drnexpo.com.

-Libby Dowd, Editor