Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two Booths in One Mall

I've been thinking recently about vendors who have two booths in one mall.  This post is not to debate the pros and cons of doing that, but rather one idea for using those booths.  This idea came to me when thinking about how to help a particular vendor who has recently been troubled by slow sales.

First, for this idea to work, the two booths shouldn't look the same.  The vendor I am thinking of has a booth with all neutrals.  It's very pretty (she's incredibly talented) and she refreshes it often.  Since the look is always neutral, even after something new is brought in, it's not always apparent that things have changed.

Her price point is high for the area.  She brings things in and marks them at the most she thinks she could get.  There are times when the item sells quickly.  There are other times when things sit for months.  Most any vendor could say the same.

After an item sits for awhile, this vendor will do what most vendors do - she marks it down.  The problem is, many customers have already checked out the piece and decided it's more than they can afford.  They have no way of knowing it's been marked down.  If they return to the store, they might glance at the item as they  walk through the store, but they often don't take a new look at the price tag.  They remember it was high.  This vendor doesn't use big tacky sale signs on anything.  To do that in a high end booth is very risky.  Anyway, the item is likely to sit for a good while more, even after it's been marked down.

This vendor has a second booth.  It, too, is all neutrals.  It, too, is high end.  It's very similar in look and feel to her first booth.  That second booth is an opportunity to do something different!

If this were me, I would use the second booth as a spot to re-introduce pieces that haven't sold, in a way that makes them look different and new to the store.  The furniture would stay neutral (no need to paint it), but accessories would be colorful.  In other words, if a piece from the neutral pricey booth didn't sell, then it would be marked to a lower price, moved to booth 2 and redecorated with color so it looks like a brand new item.  I would NOT put a sale sign on it.  I'd make a whole new tag at a lower price as if it's something that has just been brought in.  Even customers who had seen the item would wonder, "Is that the piece I was looking at in the other booth last month?"  They'd take another look at the tag.

Another bonus - if a customer has a colorful style, they might not have been able to envision the piece in their home while it was in the neutral booth. This is another opportunity to attract different customers.

I have said many times to many vendors, "If something doesn't sell in a timely manner, then  make it seem completely different."  If you have two booths, it's a perfect opportunity to keep all of your items looking new and exciting, even when sales are slow.

Bringing color into the second booth doesn't have to be expensive or a major undertaking.  You don't have to use every color under the sun, unless you want to.  Here are some photos that might give you some ideas -

In this photo, items are neutral, but the colorful wall makes a statement.
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With Christmas around the corner, there are all sorts of opportunities to pull in colors.
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You could paint a few medium and small items a favorite color.
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Display crates could be painted an accent color.
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Fabric and plants can always be used to add a touch of color.
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ONE MORE THING - If you don't have a second booth, but find this idea appealing, you might go in with one or two other vendors to share a second booth to use in a similar way.