Seen & Heard: Marking Down Inventory to Clear Room for New Merchandise

When to mark down items can be a tricky business. New seasonal inventory and shifting trends can determine that it’s time to bring prices down on certain items, and then there are those pieces that just won’t sell. Keeping stock too long takes up precious shelf or rack space needed for newer or seasonal itemsMore »

Seen & Heard: How Stores Get Ready for Back-to-School Season

The busiest (and most profitable) time of year for dancewear stores is fast approaching, and late spring through early summer is a crucial period for retailers prepping for the back-to-school season. Stores start to clear out last season’s clutter, stock up and finalize staffing plans. To avoid getting stuck with any extra to-dos when theMore »

Seen & Heard: Balancing Basics vs. Fashion Leos

There’s no secret formula to selling basic leotards or more fashion-forward alternatives. Overall, basic leotards sell throughout the year, and fashionable ones can sell at various times—for performances or to add some bling to basic attire. Here’s how three retailers are mixing things up with basics and fashion year-round—from window displays to merchandising both inMore »

Seen & Heard: Best Return Policy?

Outdoor apparel and gear retailer L.L. Bean is famous for its no-questions-asked return policy. But its annual sales easily top $1 billion—and its 50-some stores aren’t concerned about restocking items or losing hard-earned cash from credit-card merchant fees. Still, accepting returns can be a boon to small retailers—demonstrating to shoppers that service is your store’sMore »

Loyalty, Programmed

Retailers reveal the rewards that motivate customers to keep coming back. Every storeowner knows the value of repeat business. Finding and attracting a new customer takes much more work—and many more marketing dollars—than keeping the customers you already have. And existing customers spend more, studies have shown. Loyalty programs are one tool retailers use toMore »