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    What is Retail Merchandising?

    Before understanding about retail merchandising, let us know what the term retail means. “Retail is the selling of products or services in small portions to consumers whose main aim is to use them but not to sell them again.” For products to reach a consumer-like from you must go through a process. They move from a manufacturer to a wholesaler. Then to a retailer who repackages the product to sell to the end-user.

    “Retail merchandising a process that helps retailers trade their products and services. Successful retail merchandising associate selecting products that will attract customers while pricing and promoting them in ways that will boost sales”.

    A retail merchandiser may be liable for managing the following:

    • Pricing
    • Visual distribution
    • Product advertising and promotion
    •  Demonstrations
    • Planogram design and maintenance
    • Free samples
    • Product stocking
    • Inventory management
    • Count integrity
    • Inventory audits and verification

    To qualify to become a retailer you must own a retail store. Therefore, what is a retail merchandising? These are techniques that are used to facilitate the sale of products in a retail store to consumers. The person who facilitates these techniques is known as a retail merchandiser.

    Responsibilities of a Retail Merchandiser

    Being an important stakeholder in a retail store there are main responsibilities that a retail merchandiser is entitled to.

    The following are their main functions.

    •  To know the demands of buyers and ensure they are satisfied. A retail merchandiser is supposed to know what consumers need. If customers mostly prefer a certain product a retail merchandiser ensures it is in the retail store.
    •  The link between suppliers and retail store owners. Also known as wholesalers they cannot reach every retail store owner. This makes retail merchandisers important as they will be in touch with every retail store owner and deliver their requirements to suppliers.
    •  Collect information about customer reaction to different products. Some products have different manufacturers but they serve the same purpose. This is usually challenging for the retail store owner to know which is preferable. However, a retail merchandiser can know which product is highly consumed and why as they interact with consumers directly.
    • Advertise and promote merchandise. For every product that is available in the store needs advertising and promotion. This is solely done by the merchandiser. When a new product enters the market, it is the work of this professional to ensure consumers know it. Ability to predict profits and sales. A retail merchandiser can approximate the consumption of products in a retail store and the profit margin.
    •  Ensuring the right quantities are delivered and on time. It is the responsibility of every retail merchandiser to facilitate the purchase of products. This is to also ensure the delivery of products is done on time and the quantity is right.
    •  Availability of sample products. Some customers may require to taste a product. This means that one sample product should be present. Stocking of goods. For easy availability of products by customers, they need to be properly stocked into shelves.
    •  Retail planogram and maintenance. This is the visual look of a retail store is important as enables consumers to know where product location. This also increases sales in a retail store. Besides, retail planogram ensures every space of the store is well used.
    •  Training and supervision. A retail merchandiser is responsible to train junior staff and overlook their work.
    •  Solving issues concerning product supply. When a wholesaler is unable to supply products on time it is the work of a retail merchandiser to know why and solve this issue.

    Factors that Facilitate Retail Merchandising

    For retail merchandising to be successful important factors are always present. They comprise of:

    • Packaging
    • Discount or Pricing
    • Promotions
    • Target Consumer
    • Planogram
    • Packaging

    Customers sometimes purchase products because of their packaging. When the packaging of a product is attractive it tends to sell more. Currently, if you walk into a retail store and spot an attractively packaged product you will tend to buy it rather than the usual product that you have been purchasing. This also affects sales in retail stores. As consumers will prefer purchasing products from a certain store because of their packaging.

    Therefore, retail merchandising ensures that packaging is done appropriately and as per the current trends to make sure your store gains more profit. Besides, if the packaging of your products is attractive you are assured more consumers will be enticed to buy from you.

    • Discount or Pricing

    Prices tend to make consumers decide where to do shopping. If your store has favorable prices or you offer discounts on some selected products. Customers will buy more from your store. Therefore, to have a price that is equally fair for consumers you need a retail merchandiser to research on the best prices and which products will have discounts.

    • Promotions

    It is usually good if your store has promotions to its customers on several occasions. Buyers will tend to buy from you because you always give promotions at different times of the year.

    • Target Consumer

    When buying products, you need to consider taste, age, and sex of most of your customers. This tends to give you an insight into which products you should be selling. This factor will help you in making a very crucial business decision. Also, you will not purchase goods that will stay for a long time in your store.

    • Planogram

    Very important like the others you need to have a plan of how your retail store will look at. A neatly and easy to find product store will attract more customers. However, you can achieve this if you embrace retail merchandising.

    Tips for Retail Merchandising

    The following are the best retail merchandising tips you need to grasp.

    • Organization

    Your retail store needs to be well organized to make it easy for buyers to locate products easily. For example, you are running an automotive retail store. This means you must ensure parts of different vehicles are in certain locations. In some cases, you pinpoint a certain tore area to have a certain automotive part of different brands. Also, you need to ensure a certain section is only for cars, motorcycles, heavy machines such as tractors, etc. This will make your customers time easier when they visit your store.

    • Lighting and Neatness

    When the lighting of your store is good more customers will feel comfortable shopping from your store. Additionally, good lighting goes hand in hand with neatness. This will not only make customers feel comfortable but always want to shop from your store. Consequently, you need to ensure that the lighting and cleanliness of your store are appropriate.

    • Matching Items

    If you are selling home products you need to ensure that items that are matching should be in one location. For example, items like pots, plates, cups, spoons, and other kitchen utensils should be in one area. This will reduce confusion of customers and make purchase easy and fast.

    • Your Brand

    This is important and should come before the others. As potential customers will be able to know more about your business just from the outside. Ensure your brand is well designed and attractive to people passing by your store. Furthermore, at the entrance, you should have the main and necessary products that you are selling.

    • Signage

    Signs are very important. As they guide customers where certain products are found. The signage should be large and seen from afar by customers visiting your store. They should also be at the top midst of every lane.

    • Trending or Seasonal Products

    In retail stores like clothing stores. Trending or seasonal products tend to sell fast. This is one area where this tip works effectively. If a certain cloth or shoe brand comes to the market many people will purchase them. Also, when a season like a summer approaches many people to tend to purchase light clothing. So, you can’t sell winter clothes at such a time.

    Benefits of Retail Merchandising

    • Attracts Customers – Increase in sales that lead to an increase in profits.
    • More Sales- More customers shop from your store.
    • Maximize Space –With the right layout, and product displays, a business can expand its retail space without having to move locations or renovate. Your store becomes good-looking.

    So, if you own a retail store be sure to use retail merchandising to make your business profitable and attractive.

    The post What is Retail Merchandising? Responsibilities of a Retail Merchandiser, Benefits of Retail Merchandising appeared first on Management Study HQ.

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    What Was the Open-Door Policy?

    The Open Door policy was a statement of principles initiated by the United States in 1899 and 1900. “This is a policy that was a trade pact between powerful economic countries like US, China, EU powerful countries, and Japan. It was started in the late 19th century by John Hay a former US Secretary of State. This was to allow countries to freely trade with China. This is because at that moment China had no trade pact with any country.”

    This pact was to ensure equality in trading with China at that time. Not for one country to control entire China when it comes to trade.

    In Business, “The creation of the open-door policy was to make it easy for junior employees to reach out to senior employees when they have an issue. “For example, if there is a departmental issue, the conflict between workers, ideas to improve the workplace, etc. It is not necessary for an employee to follow protocol but go to an office that they will receive assistance instantly.

    What Led to Creation of Open-Door Policy?

    In this article will major on open-door policy in foreign affairs. So, why was it created? This is a question you might be asking yourself. As earlier said, the US started it. This was to ensure trade equality in China. The main reason that led to this pact was that the US had doubts that it might lose its trade with China.

    Additionally, this is after many of the powerful countries at that time had gone to China for reasons like colonization and gaining of territories. The US was kind of unlucky as it was one of the countries that arrived in China late.

    On arrival, other countries had set up trade centers and had a better opportunity to trade in China which could have locked out countries like the US. Initially, the US had no concern to go to China. The interest came after the conclusion of the war between them and Spain. However, it had massive land in the Philippines that made them more anxious to acquire land in China too.

    And on seeing other countries had already settled in China it made them more interested to have a share of China as it was a great place to trade. This could not have gone down easy as other countries had huge territories in China which could make access for American goods to China challenging. The Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and Japan had already pitched camp in China.

    Japan has access to China after defeating them in the Sino-Japanese war that took place between 1894 and 1895. With such countries, it could have been challenging for the US to trade effectively in China. Hence, led to the Open-Door policy.

    The Implementation of the Open-Door Policy

    The policy was ready to function but how what was its implementation strategy? The US President as of that time William McKinley expressed his desire for a policy that would allow other countries to trade freely in China. And not to be denied trade access by other countries that have set protectorate in China already.

    After consolations, the Secretary of State John Hay initiated consulting other countries that were in China already. He went to all those countries to push for this policy. In the policy administrators of Chinese origin were the one to overlook at trade. Besides, all countries would have equal share when it comes to trading with China. This will create a level playing field for all countries barring one country from locking out countries from trading with China.

    However, none of the countries that John Hay approached approved or denied this policy. Countries like Great Britain, Netherlands, Italy, and France without endorsement supported this policy. This made the US secretary of state to formally announce the enactment of this policy. It eventually became a trading policy in China.

    Trade restrictions to Japan by the US were implemented as Japan was in war with China again in 1937. The open-door policy was being used until Japan lost World War 2 and China’s civil war concluded.

    Effects of Open-Door Policy

    After China had the power to fully manage its affairs the trade policy continued but open-door policy changed to China’s policy enabling other countries to openly trade in China and finance projects too. This policy had major effects. They comprise of:

    • Criticism of Foreigners in China

    With this policy, many countries had access to China which led to the influx of foreigners in China. The Chinese nationals saw them as colonizers hence retaliations against them began. Such occurrences like the Boxers or Social of Righteous Harmonious Fist movements began retaliating against foreigners. This was in 1899 but foreign countries fought back and won against them in 1901. This rebellion against foreigners didn’t go well as the fight against them continued.

    • War Between China and Japan. While Trade Sanctions Between the US and Japan

    Violation of the Open-Door policy by Japan led to major effects. After winning the first Sino-Japanese war Japan wanted the expansion to its territory (Manchuria) and trade zones in China. This move angered both the US, China, and other countries present in China at that time. In 1922 all countries in China at that time assembled at Washington for the Washington Naval Conference. This conference led to the agreement of nine treaties and China to become a sovereign state.

    Later in 1915 Japan went against the treaties agreement in Washington and the open-door policy and had twenty-one demands for China to enact. Leading to criticism by other countries and later another Sino-Japanese war that lasted for eight years (1937-1945). The violation was known as the Mukden Incident. This mad the US to issue trade restrictions to Japan. In 1941 Japan bombed the Pearl Harbor. This move led to World War 2 between Japan and the US.

    • US Affection for Eastern Asia

    Making money was the key issue for the US to bring up the open-door policy. This made them more influential in Eastern Asia and after successful trade with China, they sought to trade with other countries too. However, their presence in East Asia had negative effects too. Like war with Japan and the Boxer Rebellion.

    Conclusion of the Open-Door Policy

    After winning the civil war China 1949 the open-door policy became inexistent.

    In Business

    This term means that senior organization employees such as managing directors, supervisors, etc. can be easily accessed by junior staff members at any time. This is a policy whereby there is a good relationship between all members of an organization despite their positions.

    “In other words where their ideas can be taken into consideration faster rather than taking time to reach the appropriate employee.” To improve the working conditions of your organization you can adopt this policy and you will see the change instantly. However, this policy has its demerits too. Will discuss and see how you can avoid such issues from occurring.

    Pros of Open-Door Policy in Business

    • Leads to a good relationship between workers and bosses
    • Generation of ideas by employees
    • Timely resolution of issues or challenges facing workers
    • Improvement in quality of work which leads to an increase in income

    Cons of Open-Door Policy in Business

    • Employees fear to lose their work by being open. Some avoid intimidation by other workers or senior employees.
    • Some organizations deploy this policy to avoid the creation of labor unions
    • Tensions between employees. As supervisors may feel disrespect by other workers.

    The post What Was the Open-Door Policy? The Implementation & Effects of Open-Door Policy appeared first on Management Study HQ.

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