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Editor's Note: Try Something New This Summer

With summer comes an end to your slow season. Intensives are around the corner and dancers are ready to update their shoes and apparel. They already need to shop; now give them a reason to pick your store. Position yourself as a dance expert and always have something new to offer, and you’ll gain extra business. Read on—we’ve filled this issue with ideas you can put to work right away.

Replenish your racks with fresh product. Dancers want to stand out during summer training, so show them new leotards in bold colors. And don’t forget the basics for students with a dress code. We’ve got them all in “Summer Sophisticates” (pg. 16).

You should also consider adding a new product category—it’s the fastest way to reach more customers. The demand for praise garments was once a regional trend, but the popularity of liturgical dance is spreading. In “Liturgical Dance Spreads Its Wings” (pg. 20), we spoke to retailers from New York to North Carolina to find out how they connect with the liturgical dancers in their area and how they accommodate their apparel needs. The most orders for liturgical wear are placed before Christmas and Easter, says Tolbert Yilmaz, president of Eurotard. That should set you up for the post-back-to-school and late-winter lulls.

Focusing more marketing to kids year-round is another smart way to boost sales. No baby ballerina will be able to resist the extra attention she’ll receive at an event just for her. The most effective in-store events target dance moms, too. Win the loyalty of both this summer with these effective ideas in “Child’s Play” (pg. 24).

Then, find out in “Retailer Roundup” (pg. 25) how tuning in to your community’s needs will increase sales. For example, Lyn Naruo of Step-N-Up Hawaii expanded her “Store to Your Door” program to Zumba studios when she noticed a lot of classes being held nearby. “Zumba is big year-round,” she says, “so when my sales drop, this helps keep things going.”

We want to hear about any exciting changes you’re making this summer. Share your stories with me.