Making Courtesy More than Cursory – March/April 2020

Scott C. Borowsky

Selling merchandise in a traditional retail setting can sometimes involve a customer making a quick dash into your store to purchase what they have already decided to buy. But often, shoppers will spend some time going through the merchandise in your store. In the first scenario, a heartfelt hello and offer of assistance will do just fine to make a connection with the shopper. But in the second scenario, you have a real opportunity to develop a friendly rapport with your guest. You know your stock inside and out, and you can use this knowledge to get to the heart of what a given shopper wants. Your great attitude and simple good manners can put customers at ease, and perhaps even put them in a mood to buy when they may have visited only to browse.
Each issue of Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties (SGN) is full of great ideas to provide the best customer care possible. These thoughts and strategies come from real retail experts, your colleagues across the United States working on the front lines of merchandise sales in a wide assortment of store types.
For this issue, in the Apparel, Hats, T-shirts, and Fashion Accessories section, we offer stories on apparel at coastal and lake stores, beach shops and apparel boutiques. And, in a Souvenirs and Gifts feature, we cover souvenir and gift sales at nautical museum shops, shoreline community stores, museum stores, resorts, and zoos and aquariums,
Great customer service and great display go hand-in-hand to make your store a winning endeavor. In a special Visual Merchandising and Display section, we hear from staff members at Hallmark, and at gift and hospital stores, to get merchandise tips that you can use.
In the recurring Jewelry section, we offer a story on jewelry at jewelry stores, caves, caverns and rock shops and inspirational stores. There is additionally a Country Store Report and a look at licensed sports merchandise.
We offer coverage of the February 2020 Toy Fair with photos we took at the show, news from the Toy Industry Association and a Games, Playthings & Plush section that includes a look at playthings at pharmacies, party and gift stores, and at children’s and baby shops. There is additionally an article on what will be new in the 2020 season at a selection of waterpark and theme park stores.
The book also contains product and industry news, and the 2020 installment of the MegaBucks story. This feature examines sales trends from 2019 that were gleaned from our interviews with store officials. I hope you enjoy the issue. Please email me at editorsgnmag@kanec.com, call 610-645-6940 ext. 0, or visit the magazine on Facebook with your comments, questions and suggestions, and I will respond to your query personally.

Scott C. Borowsky
President and Executive Editor
Souvenirs, Gifts & Novelties magazine

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