Do I need to expand the retail space in my dealership? That’s one of the first questions we hear when we work with dealers. You realize that a first-rate retail experience boosts the customer experience, sales and even loyalty. However, you’re not quite sure when, why and how to modify your own space. If you are talking to me or one of our designers, we interview you extensively about this.
Tune in to Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Dealer Success Academy for expanded comments from Ryan Dohrn, www.DealerSuccessAcademy. The summer issue of RLD will also launch a regular column from Dohrn. Watch for it and find new ways to improve your sales success.
A first step is to critically evaluate how you are using your existing space. For instance, what is occupying your showroom that is not generating revenue? Sales desks, customer seating and brochure holders may be necessary, but see about how you can unclutter them. For instance, family photos or stacks of files on desks shouldn’t block interactions with a customer.
Next, look at whether you have ample space to display “fast movers” like lubricants or accessories. Can you move out any non-revenue generating items to make room for these products and make it easier for customers to purchase them. Can you merchandise more effectively in the existing space?
Do you have the necessary space to display the current products for the lines you carry? Are you working closely enough with your manufacturers to understand what may be coming in the product pipeline so that you can prepare your space?
Are you thinking about carrying a new line or category? If you see opportunity for growth through line expansion, don’t let square footage block that opportunity. Start developing a facility plan along with the business plan to understand if this is the right opportunity for you.
Finally, what problems in your space are detracting from customer satisfaction or causing issues for your employees? How would you specifically fix those problems through an expansion?
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