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A History Lesson About Change

I give talks to mother’s groups and other organizations about how to shop smart for toys. The talk is always well-received and praised for the smart and practical information. Most of the participants are surprised at how much thought should actually go into each toy purchase, and how easy it is, once you know what to observe, to get the right kinds of toys for your kids.

The lessons in that presentation are the same lessons my grandfather was teaching sixty years ago.

The lessons have not changed, but the toys have.
The principles have not changed, but the products have.
The core values have not changed, but the way we present them has.

The point worth making here is that while you need to hold onto the the same principles, the same core values, the same ideals about the products that got you to this moment, you need to update the packaging.

Make sure your product mix continually includes new items, fresh displays, and updated categories. Rotate your merchandising around to give your store a new look. Add a fresh coat of paint to give the feeling of new in your appearance. Dust every single week! Try new products and new categories that make sense for your store. Try one that doesn’t make sense. It adds a little excitement and surprise. Sure, keep the basics and staples, but give your customers reasons to come back to see what’s new.

You’ll never hear a customer ask, “So what’s old and dusty?”

The principles do not change, but the way we implement them always needs a fresh face. Make sure you are constantly updating and improving your product selection and displays. Keep the “history”, but ditch the “old and dusty”.

-Phil Wrzesinski

PS Sometimes it is hard to read the label from inside the bottle. Have a spouse or friend give your store a critical look, preferably someone who hasn’t been in your store in a while. Ask her to label things as either “old” or “fresh”. If she calls it “old”, get rid of it, move it, or update it.

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