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Retailer Spotlight: Gaby Martinez, who’s just opened her second Florida store, counts on her master pointe shoe fittings to bring in customers. But each local market is unique, with flamenco popular at one location and gymnastics at the other. Read her story in the May issue.
Retailer Spotlight: Gaby Martinez, who’s just opened her second Florida store, counts on her master pointe shoe fittings to bring in customers. But each local market is unique, with flamenco popular at one location and gymnastics at the other. Read her story in the May issue.

Ready for Fall?
Summer hasn’t even arrived yet, but dance retailers are already looking ahead with anticipation to fall and the back-to-school season. Students will be pouring into your stores to buy the leotards, shoes, tights and tempting extras they need for dance class. And you’ll be ready, because most of you take in the biggest chunk of your sales revenues during this season.

Start early. Experienced storeowners know that early planning is the secret to a low-stress—and profitable—back-to-school season. Many start right after inventory time, going over their financial reports with a fine-tooth comb to study sales volumes and profit margins of individual products (right down to styles and sizes). And, of course, they get in touch with all their local studios and dance schools to talk dress codes and the new year’s needs.

Use this handy chart. Now task number one is ordering. To make it easier to track deadlines and incentives, DRN has compiled a BTS ordering guide, with buying details and contact information from 57 manufacturers.

May this be your best back-to-school season ever.

Checklist for Busy Days
You’ve ordered new stock. Now what do you need to do to make your store shopping-ready for the back-to-school crowds?

Store layout. Do a walk-through of your store. Are aisles overcrowded or shelves cluttered? Is signage clear and helpful? Will basics for local studios be easy to access? Are you encouraging add-on purchases with strategically placed displays?

Staffing. You may be open longer hours. Plan for enough help to serve customers and keep displays tidy. One retail expert likened busy-time service to triage: Diagnose and get the customer help quickly. Keep as much inventory as possible on the floor, and be ready to replenish shelves quickly.
Fun. An easy and exciting shopping experience makes customers stay longer—and buy more. What’s your fun factor?

Play music, offer bottles of water to tired customers, serve snacks? Happy planning!

SHOW US! Your Window and Table Displays We’re always eager to see the creative ideas storeowners use to woo shoppers—mannequins magically transformed for holidays, clever use of multiple display levels on tables, imaginative props. E-mail photos or comments to DRNeditor@dancemedia.com. We’d love to show off your store.

Photo by Mayra Roubach

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