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Melrose International

Rep to the Rescue…Revisited!

Almost a year later, we followed up with rep Cindy Valerio to see how her clients are doing. She gave us the scoop and more—from “theatres of desire” to merchandising secrets! 

Retailers need good reps!Retailers need good reps!

“I don’t like to toot my own horn,” Cindy Valerio said when asked her to sit down with us for a follow-up article to the June post Rep to the Rescue: How Cindy Valerio helped turn an old jewelry store into a shining jewel! “The good news is that the store in the article, Hathaway Cottage, is doing gangbusters, they had an increase in sales this winter,” Cindy explained. She said she’s been helping them with their windows and key displays that they attribute much of the growth to.

During our conversation, we asked Cindy about other clients who she has been helping. One store is up 26% in sales. Another, whom Cindy helped with a beautiful indoor/outdoor Christmas display, is up 20% and planning to leap from 1,000 square feet, to a space that’s over 4,500 square feet!

So what is Cindy’s secret?

Merchandising. “A lot of retailers struggle—they know a display is wrong but they don’t know how to fix it,” Cindy explained. Retailers wear a lot of hats and can’t be good at everything. Merchandising is not always on top of the list and, she added, “Many retailers don’t understand the impact merchandising has on their bottom line. But, it’s an area where I excel…I get in a zone and just go. It’s a way to help my customers!”

Cindy’s merchandising basics

·         Tell a story. When Cindy walks into a store and sees baby product spread throughout the store, it’s not telling as strong of a story as it would if it were grouped together.

·         Display to advantage. Put smaller items together and vary heights. For one customer, Cindy placed a small Christmas tree on a table in the center of the holiday area and added small gift items beneath it. This showed off the tree and sent the message to customers that these items were great holiday gifts.

·         Windows are for big items. Remember that most people passing your store will be driving. Therefore, items in your windows should be large. They should be bold. And there should not be too many. If people can’t tell what’s in your window, they are not likely to stop and shop.

And, finally, Cindy believes that you should…

Consider your store a “theatre of desire”. Everyone should know the script and be in the right place when the audience is present. “Never let your audience see a set change—you’d never see one at the theater,” she explains. And, of course, your windows are your marquee!

“I love doing this,” Cindy said as we closed our conversation. “I feel so fortunate that when people ask me if I like my work, I can say—it makes my heart sing!” But, she added “I’ve had to work to make it happen, I’ve had to build relationships and gain trust slowly. My philosophy is that I am in front of my customers when they need me, not when I need them!”

If you’d like to nominate your Melrose rep for a spotlight blog, please share your story in the comments below!

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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