Thrift stores are excellent sources of low-cost clothing and household goods. Unfortunately, many thrift stores do not go a very good job showcasing the quality merchandise they receive from their donors, forcing shoppers to sift through piles of poor-quality merchandise to find those hidden gems. Smart thrift shore managers can boost sales and create a more pleasant shopping experience by merchandising their products in an attractive and logical manner. Many of the same sales tactics that work so well for department stores can also work in the thrift store.
Set up a testing station for electrical appliances. Many shoppers are reluctant to buy televisions, computers and other expensive goods from a thrift store because they are not sure how well they work. Setting up a testing station can reassure those buyers and create more sales. Set up a power strip where customers can test each item before they buy. If space allows, thrift store managers can also set up an electronics display area, complete with televisions, stereos and other consumer products.
Create an attractive furniture display by taking a page from the furniture store retail handbook. Arrange the furniture in the store in an attractive manner, rather than leaving it scattered throughout the store. Arrange sofas, chairs, end tables and other furniture into attractive room displays, and highlight them with plants, knickknacks, books and other items for sale.
Sort through the store's donations and pull out any designer dresses, pants, blouses and other high-end items. Dedicate one or two clothing racks to just those designer goods. That allows shoppers who are looking for expensive merchandise at bargain basement prices to find what they are looking for quickly. Keep the display updated as new designer merchandise comes in, and accent the area with designer handbags, shoes and other high-end items.
Arrange books, videotapes, DVDs and video games in alphabetical order, to make them easier to find. Keep the display in order as new items are added each day. Thrift stores often receive a lot of books and entertainment items, and sorting them properly makes it easier for shoppers to browse the racks.
Use mannequins to display your best items. Department stores have long used mannequins to display their merchandise, and thrift stores can use the same techniques. You can use the same mannequin to model a beautiful designer dress, a great in-style handbag, or even an attractive hat. Re-dress the mannequin by replacing sold items with newly received high-end merchandise.