Retail consultant Mark O’Dolan talks store layout

I visit shops all across the UK and Ireland, and retail standards vary drastically, from dirty shops with handwritten, tatty signs – some on product worth over £1,000 – to theatrical places on fire with enthusiasm, energy and commercial acumen.

Imagery is important to sales – it puts consumers in the “mood”. Suppliers are bending over backwards to help retailers with graphics. The last icebike* did a great job with a mock shop designed to help retailers visualise their own shop with powerful, exciting and commercial messages. If you are offering clothing, this merchandising detail is important. The same thought needs to go into it as if it were a fashion retailer. I recommend shop owners visit other retail organisations weekly and gather new ideas from their presentation. Freshening up your POS will freshen up the merchandise. New swing tickets on the product should show price clearly and new information cards (A3,A4 ETC) should explain the wonderful features and benefits the product offers. The technology in the product is not something customers should search for and possibly miss. This is a new industry to many consumers so good customer engagement offering in-depth product knowledge and POS will increase average spend.

This is a new industry to many consumers, so in-depth product knowledge will increase their average spend

New look autumnal windows are a must to increasing footfall into stores. Ignore the frequency of change and consumers will ignore you. Stock management is also an important part of achieving a profitable cycle business. Planning stock holding in line with a sales plan allows you to continually refresh the stock with new lines and keep in stock of core best sellers. A good EPOS system is like a new team member that can be called on at anytime to accurately identify where the money is coming from and where it isn’t. It helps you make decisions on what product should be reordered, increased in space, reduced in space or marked down. Making the shop floor space is critical to profit and should be reviewed weekly.

Key areas to consider for autumn:

1. Position new season imagery around the perimeter walls.
2. Check stock levels and forecast sales autumn core basic lines. Decide key position for best-sellers. Prepare POS for each best-seller.
3. Plan new lines for each category in terms of stock levels, POS and imagery.
4. Forecast stock holding required to meet sales plan.
5. New season customer engagement sessions for team.

If you would like Mark O’Dolan’s services to help your business grow, call 07951 022 907 or email

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