Being prepared for a promotion can be as important as the promotion itself. It’s essential that you’ve looked at everything from every angle before the promotion begins. Use this guide to help you prepare your retail store or boutique, yourself, and your staff. When that first customer comes through those doors, you’ll be ready.

  1. First you should determine the goal of the promotion. If it is to boost sales, then you can reduce prices. If you want to get new customers into your store, then you should use catchy signage outside of the store or in the storefront window. You might contact current customers via e-mail and send them a coupon for a discount if they bring in a friend. If you want to create loyal customers, then you should promote items that need to be replaced so that the customers you draw will have to come back again when they want more.
  2. Make sure that the appearance of your store communicates your mission, your style, and your intention. Your window displays should be interesting and eye catching. Use multiple products in the windows to help boost the sales of accessories. People that see accessorized outfits on mannequins are more likely to buy multiple pieces of the outfit, not just the shirt or jeans that you have on sale.
  3. Use appropriate signage and displays. If you are having a major clearance sale, then it is absolutely appropriate to bring a garment rack packed with clothes outside of the door. This is a great way to grab customers as they pass by and communicate to them that you’re selling deeply discounted clothing. Bright and bold signs are appropriate for this kind of sale as well. For more refined or conservative sales and promotions, you should use only small tasteful signs. The message should be understated. Garment racks should not be stuffed full and display tables shouldn’t be stacked high.
  4. Train your staff on how you want the customers treated. If you’re promoting higher end clothing and accessories, your employees should dress the part. No one wants to buy a $1000 dress from a kid in a t-shirt and jeans who waves at them from the register and continues with their cell phone conversation. People shopping for more unique or sophisticated clothing want to be taken care of, or even pampered. Make sure that your employees are attentive and aware of the tone that you want them to use with your customers.
  5. Keep it clean. As people come in and check out your promotional items, they will most likely be unfolding, feeling, and investigating your products. People don’t want to spend all day refolding the clothes that they were looking through. It is expected that an employee of the store will take care of it. Have your employees be proactive, folding clothing or straightening a garment rackas they patrol the floor. If they see someone trying to refold something, they should go take it and say, “Let me get that for you so you can relax while you shop.” Little gestures like these will help you to sell more, create good impressions, and keep customers coming back for more.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of garment racks including clothing racks. Find a high quality garment rack or clothing rack at