When thinking about what you want to display and where, one important thing to consider is displaying new products. Allocating a small portion of your store for new and exciting products will allow for a dedicated space where customers can easily get to know what’s new. We even suggest product sampling in some cases to further encourage customer interaction that will drive them closer to purchasing a new product. Also, repeat customers are going to look forward to visiting this section; it’s kind of like a treasure hunt!

This also gives you the opportunity to see what sells and what doesn't. Once you know if new products you try out will sell well, you know you want to keep them, so move them to another part of your store and try another new product. If they don't sell, phase them out or discount the product to make space for another new item. This keeps new products in front of customers and makes them want to come back more often to see what's new each time they stop in.

As we all know, turning over product on the shelves is essential, as most of the products have a finite shelf life. So, keep them fresh! Keeping shelves well stocked means ensuring date codes are checked to keep after items that aren't selling fast enough. We would suggest all products are labeled with an expiration date and those are checked frequently. The expiration date can be closed coded or open code so customers and staff can easily read the dates.

For larger stores that have enough space, it’s a good idea to create a section in the store for close code items and move the close dated or past date items to this section. This will make your customers confident that you move out the "not so fresh" items routinely and that they will always buy a fresh product. What’s more, it also brings in a different type of shoppers – the ones that are always looking for a bargain and who might also be swayed to buy some of your regular priced items.

Another thing to consider is the type of products to keep in areas that may get excessive heat or sunlight. The ones to especially avoid displaying in such areas are nuts, dried fruit, teas and foods that contain chocolate; they’ll be fine in non-sun exposed or shaded windows. For example, many retail stores display nuts near the middle of an aisle, so they’re protected from major sources of heat, such as cooking appliances, furnaces, refrigerators, and outer doors.

One of the important aspects of retail is visual merchandising, so know your top sellers and keep them in prominent locations, making it easy for customers to access; also, keep shelves, racks, etc. throughout the store looking nice and plump! And, always place impulse purchases, such as magazines and candy, near the cash register; we’ve all been sweetly guilty of going for those as we waited to pay for something else. Happy selling!