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Ask the Experts: 5 Tips for a successful store re-opening

With non-essentials stores across the country set to reopen shortly, retailers are starting to plan for the most impactful shop reopening possible. A retail industry expert with more than 20 years of experience, Kat Maclennan, a visual merchandising specialist and Founder of Dot to Dot is here to share her 5 tips for a successful reopening. 

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  1. Clean

Here, it’s important to realise the difference between having a clean store and having a store that looks and feels clean, which is a slightly different thing. Spaces can feel unlived in and unloved very quickly if they have been shut up, so it’s time to bring some life back ahead of your reopening. Use this as an opportunity to do a deep clean, but also revive your space. Repaint walls and ceilings and repair anything that’s been damaged or chipped.

  1. Refresh your layout

This is a fantastic opportunity to do something big and exciting on your shop floor; bringing a new look and a revived customer experience to your space. Plan it on paper first to make sure everything fits and you can still ensure required levels of social distancing, but have a think about how you can move your fixtures and product displays to create what appears to be a whole new space or product offering. 

  1. Update your window displays

A fresh new window display will do wonders for enticing customers back into your store. Consider what it is your customers are likely to be doing at the time of reopening i.e spending loads of time in the garnered and seeing loved ones for the first time in many months. Use your window to showcase the items that will help them nail their outdoor entertaining or highlight the products that make perfect gifts to give to a missed family member or friend. Again, make sure you take out everything in your window and give it a deep clean, as well as having a window cleaner treat both the inside and outside glass. 

  1. Share on social media

Store owners have done such a great job of communicating with their customers through their social media channels over the past few months and now is not the time to stop. People love to see the experiences, planning, trials and tribulations of brands they love, so give them an inside look at your processes and don’t be afraid of sharing the nitty-gritty. Bring them on the journey of planning, ask them what they think about new products or displays, and, most importantly, ask them what they want from you upon reopening - do they plan to shop in the same way? Are your opening hours still useful? Do they expect the option of curbside pickup?

  1.  Plan for the future 

With luck, retailers will be incredibly busy from April onwards which means store owners should be making the most of these next few weeks. Create a window calendar in-line with planned marketing and promotions right through to Christmas so you can maximise your sales as much as possible for the remainder of the year. 


If you’d like to learn more about Kat’s work with brands or get in touch, please do so via or @kat_maclennan on Instagram. 


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