Viewing entries tagged
Boulder

Boulder, Longmont retailers adopt a moveable feast approach to shopping

Boulder, Longmont retailers adopt a moveable feast approach to shopping

By Shay Castle

Staff Writer

POSTED:   04/21/2017 03:06:04 PM MDT | UPDATED:   4 DAYS AGO | by the Daily Camera

Jacob Dana has coffee and works on a project at Rapha Cafe and bike store at 1815 Pearl Street. For more photos, go to www.dailycamera.com. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Sleepy Pearl Street shoppers can take themselves to one of downtown Boulder's dozen-plus coffee shops for a cup of joe. Or they could dash into Rapha, a cycling apparel store.

In need of a taco and a new bike tire in Longmont? CyclHOPS Mexican Bike Cantina has got you covered. Or put some pep in your step via an espresso and a pair of shoes at Flatirons Running.

These local retailers and others have hopped on the hottest trend in retail by offering food and drink to keep customers in the store and off online shopping sites.

"There's so much pressure on brick and mortar to differentiate from the Amazons of the world," said Russell Chandler, owner of Boulder-based Full Cycle. "Anybody can buy a high-end road bike online; you can go find a mobile repair shop. Shops run the risk of going out of business if they don't find ways to build more community."

Full Cycle is in the process of adding a 16-tap beer, wine and coffee bar to its downtown digs (1795 Pearl St.) which it hopes to have open in the coming weeks. Chandler sees it as a way to bring in more bodies and, hopefully, boost revenue.

"We host a 200-person women's bike club that might like to finish their ride up with snacks and beer," he said. "And we rent a lot of bikes to tourists who might want to sit down for a drink when they're done."

Rapha, a cycling apparel store that just moved in up the street (1815 Pearl St.), has "ended up being more of a hangout than a store," according to General Manager Pete Loptino. "People can look at their product if they're interested, but it's more about the culture of cycling."

In addition to the coffee bar, Rapha has a flat-screen TV that will always have a cycling race on it and hosts regular social rides that leave from the store. It's part of building an experience that turns shopping into "more of a social event," said Holly Wiese.

Wiese is a retail specialist at 3 Dots Design, a Boulder firm that specializes in store re-designs that boost profits. More and more lately, that includes adding coffee or sandwiches.

"Over the last three to five years, we've seen it popping up all over in bike, run and outdoor."

The trend isn't limited to active retailers. "Banks are adding full coffee bars," said Allen Ginsborg. (Boulder has one of those, too: the infamous Capital One Cafe that inspired a temporary bank ban on the Pearl Street Mall.)

According to Ginsborg — who develops shopping centers, including Longmont's Village at the Peaks — nail and hair salons are getting in on the game, too, offering wine and beer to customers.

"It's about creating an experience, an environment where people want to linger," he said. "Customers have higher expectations these days; you need to provide something that makes them want to return."

That's particularly important as options for shoppers proliferate online.

Internet retailers, dominated by Amazon, added $27.8 billion in apparel revenue alone between 2005 and 2016, according to Morgan Stanley. Department stores during that time lost $29.6 billion in apparel revenue, and major retailers from Macy's to Best Buy are closing dozens of stores.

Making physical shopping more efficient is the key, said Chad Melis of Oskar Blues, which operates Longmont bike shop/taco joint/bar CyclHOPS. By offering more than one service, customers can accomplish multiple tasks at once and reduce their trips.

"You kill two birds with one stone — you come in and drop off your bike to get some work and you can have lunch."

"It takes a little creativity" from a business standpoint, he added, "but combining revenue streams makes the concept healthier financially."

Tacos and beer haven't necessarily boosted revenue for the bike shop: Melis sees it more as a marketing play for Oskar Blues' bike line REEB Cycles, a way to "show who we are and what we contribute to Longmont's culture."

The local trend is new enough that it's not clear if the effort is boosting sales, though Wiese says her cafe-adding clients in other states have seen a bump. But Full Cycle's Chandler is hopeful that when the brews start flowing, the cash will follow.

"You just test-rode an $8,000 mountain bike, you sit down and have a beer — you might talk yourself into buying it."

Shay Castle: 303-473-1626, castles@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/shayshinecastle

Rocky Mountain Retail Camp - Recap

Rocky Mountain Retail Camp - Recap

Staff & Attendees - February 2017 session at Pearl Izumi Headquarters

Staff & Attendees - February 2017 session at Pearl Izumi Headquarters

Rocky Mountain Retail Camp Brings a Great Group of Retailers Together

I’ve been doing a fair bit of reflecting on our first retail training session that launched last month in our hometown of Boulder, CO.  We were lucky enough to have a great assortment of some of the top retailers in the US and Canada under one roof at the same time to share ideas, learn a lot and inspire each other.

It’s always interesting bringing a group of strangers together, from very different sized businesses with different philosophies and personalities.  For about 3 minutes, people are shy around each other and then, as people open up, the fun begins.  By the end of the workshop, it’s like we all went to college together!

There’s something that happens in this sort of a setting…when people are taken out of their normal routines, with different people, away from their regular daily responsibilities and are focused on one thing…how to improve the retail experience they’re providing and to realize that everybody there shares these same challenges.  It pushes everybody out of their comfort zone, to step back and look at the habits that have formed over the years and to be open minded to new feedback and ideas. 

Our training session focused primarily on visual merchandising and store layout best practices, with just the right amount of general good retail training.   We shared about a million photos throughout the session, including an opportunity for the whole group to assess each other’s challenge areas from photos that were sent in ahead of time.   The whole crew did some hands on exercise in a local retailer based on all we had learned along the way.

Everybody left inspired to make their store a better place and to share what they had learned with the rest of the staff.   We all made some new friends, ate great food, shared loads of ideas and opened our minds a bit more than we had in a long time.   We didn’t sing Kumbaya together, but we did form a great bond with each other and created a resource that will be helpful for years to come as retail needs and consumer expectations continue to evolve.  

Great merchandising always sells more product and by the end of our workshop, this message had become loud and clear to all who attended.   I have clients tell me all the time that they know they should be merchandising better but they just don’t know how or where to start.   Our next session of Rocky Mountain Retail Camp in October is the perfect starting point…come ready to get inspired (and have some great snacks along the way!)   We hope to see you there!

Bicycle Retailer Minute Makeover Series - Episode 4: Add-On Sales

IndeAfter_43.jpg

Click Here For Episode 4 Video - Add On Sales

By Gregg Frederick

Editor's note: Gregg Frederick, CSE, MBA, is the principal of G3 Development Group, Inc., a consulting service that focuses on engagement through business development, retail development and human capital development. Follow Gregg on Twitter @g3leadership and on Linkedinwww.linkedin.com/in/greggfrederick

A key to growing your profitability is to perfect the art of the add-on sale. Whether in wholesale or retail sales, the most successful salespeople are those who add value to the customer experience by providing the customer with the product they need to enjoy the ride from day one.

As a retailer, providing a superior customer experience (CX) allows you to meet the expectations of today and tomorrow's consumer. The Retail Remodel projects that we've done with Bicycle Retailer, 3 Dots Design and Merchandising Werx have allowed us to create a visual environment that is conducive to creating a superior CX, but at G3 Development Group, we work with the retailer to maximize the CX by training the retailer on ways to engage them in-store and online.

To start on your CX journey, you must define the emotional outcome you want your customer to have when they leave your store. Everything you do and every product you have should have a purpose leading to that outcome. When your products complement the CX outcome that you've defined, you are on your way to maximizing the CX through the add-on sale.

To maximize the add-on sale, the Units-per-Transaction (UPT) calculation should be tracked. You should incentivize your sales staff on UPT goals. For one of our clients, we were able to get UPT from 1.75 to 3.75 in three months with a goal UPT of 4 (for every bike sold, there should be a helmet, lock, bag, cage, pump, lights, shoes, gloves, etc., suggested to go with it). Along with the growth in UPT, we saw an increase in P&A margin of 7 percent!

UPT is so important to us at G3DG, that we've influenced one of our brand clients to create a hang tag with a checklist of aftermarket products listed on them as a reminder to the retail sales person and the retail customer to not forget those high margin necessities that enhance the riding experience, i.e. the customer experience.

Like it or not, Amazon has mastered the art of a comprehensive shopping experience and you can take advantage of some of their best practices to increase add-on sales. The easiest to take advantage of is their ability to provide great recommendations on related products, also known as "affinity sales."

A well-merchandised store takes advantage of these affinity sales by grouping like items together. For example, create a well-merchandised area for inflation so that during the sales process your trained sales people can walk the customer through the necessities that will make their riding experience seamless, like floor pumps and CO2's. You can also do the same for apparel, helmets, locks, lights, shoes and socks.

We've seen tremendous success at retail using accessory sales packages as a way to create sales velocity around add-on sales. With a three-tier package, you can sell the cycling essentials together (helmet, lock, bottle and cage) at a discount over buying them individually, driving up UPT and gross margins.

Finally, up selling should not just be for the sales staff. The importance of using the service department to drive add-on sales should be a main part of your CX strategy. According to Joseph Michelli, the author of Driven to Delight, the lifetime value of the Mercedes Benz customer is linked to the customer's willingness to maintain a relationship with its service department. For many IBDs, the service department is often an afterthought, but has a huge potential to drive add-on sales through service packages.

According to Forrester Research, 90 percent of sales still come from physical retail locations, but the gap between meeting today's customer expectations at the IBD and what the customer receives online, is widening. With a focus on the customer experience, a highly trained sales staff, focused sales goals that include UPT tracking, and creating sales velocity around service and accessory packages, you will be able to drive your profitability through increased add-on sales.

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Minute Makeover Series - Episode 3: Apparel

The apparel department can be a profit center - it just needs the right mix of product, merchandising and placement to do its job. Generally we place the apparel section at the front of the store, mainly to give it the most exposure.

Softgoods do bring personality to the store. It's something everyone can relate to - you know, clothing! It makes even the most novice rider feel like that is a section of the store they understand. Most importantly it is something that brings freshness to the store every season. It is important to have a good selection of styles and sizes, as that is what the consumer is used to when buying apparel.

Merchandising is creating those visual impressions. As apparel is a spontaneous buy for the most part, it is important to create as many visual impressions on the wall as possible so the consumer sees the apparel selection coming into the store and leaving the store. They may not buy it this time, but if you did a good job merchandising it will remain in their mind for a possible later purchase.

Creating stories, both in the form of color or telling a technical story, will increase sales. If you have bought the apparel correctly you will be able to create color stories and outfits. Women especially respond well to having outfits laid out for them. Placing a jersey, jacket, shorts, socks and gloves that go together in the same section will cause them to buy something they hadn't intended to buy - the whole outfit. The same idea can be followed through with a technical story all grouped together in the same section.

Men's and women's sections should be separate whenever possible. Sales increase when the consumer knows which section they need to be in to shop for themselves. Mannequins are the best way to differentiate these sections. Cycling apparel has low hanger appeal, meaning it generally doesn't look good on the hanger, so, forms and mannequins leave out the guesswork. The consumer can get a better idea of what garments look like on and are more apt to purchase products displayed on mannequins.

Learn how to use visual merchandising, color stories and mannequins to better sell apparel in the third video in Bicycle Retailer's Minute Makeover series on youtube.com/bicycleretailer.

Click Here For Episode 3 Video: Apparel

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News launches minute makeover series - Episode One - Floor Plan

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News launches minute makeover series - Episode One - Floor Plan

Published July 15, 2016

by BRAIN Staff

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (BRAIN) — Retailers looking for ideas about how to tackle that nagging remodel project, spruce up their apparel departments or ramp their store branding efforts can tune in to Bicycle Retailer's Minute Makeover video series starting Friday.

The Minute Makeover series will cover everything from store layout and signage to effective apparel and accessories merchandising. A new video will debut each Friday through August 12 on youtube.com/bicycleretailer.

Jett Digital filmed the series with 3 Dots Design, Merchandising Werx and G3 Development Group, also partners in Bicycle Retailer's Retail Remodel Projects. The retail design gurus from 3 Dots Design and Merchandising Werx have also announced that they will hold a bootcamp later this year for specialty retailers.

The Rocky Mountain Retail Camp is scheduled for October 5-7, 2016, in Boulder, Colo., and will cover a variety of topics to help bike, run and outdoor retailers take their store from average to awesome. The camp will cover a host of topics and provide hands-on opportunities to learn how to properly analyze their stores and merchandise product, as well as time to dive into problem solving challenges specific to each retailer.

Besides retail design and merchandising, the camp will also cover topics like how to buy strategically, how to improve customer engagement and how to make financial sense of a remodel project. Gregg Frederick of G3 Development Group will cover these segments.

Registration for the Rocky Mountain Retail Camp is open now at rockymountainretailcamp.com. Tuition price includes a two-night hotel stay, meals and ground transportation in Boulder.

Episode One: Floor Plan