If you own a consignment store, improving your business is at the forefront of your mind.

As it turns out, though, this is easier said than done.

How do you generate new revenue streams and keep loyal customers coming back? How do you ensure you’ve always got the new inventory your shoppers want? What about displays and marketing? One great option is to offer retail items. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge due to the upfront cost associated with the approach. That said, though, it can also be a major boon to your store in the long run.

If you are considering adding retail to your consignment business or are simply researching new revenue streams, here are a few tips to make retail work for you:

1. Start Small

If you’re going to start offering retail items, you’ll want to start with baby steps.

Instead of diving face-first into the world of retail, take small, conscious approaches. To begin, look for items like sunglasses or jewelry, which are inexpensive to purchase, easy to display, and likely to sell quickly and frequently.

Does your consignment store sell something besides clothing? Consider options like candles or lotions.  As you start looking for retail items, begin by researching companies that sell affordable and exciting accessories and run these options by your employees and frequent customers to see what peaks the most interest.

2. Plan Your Inventory

One issue consignment stores face frequently is the “game of chance” that is relying on consignors to provide inventory. While this approach is fine during busy times, it can be a real challenge when things start to slow down. After all, consignment stores can go through unexpected lulls or periods where they’re full of inventory that doesn’t sell very well.  

Luckily, adding retail elements to your business can allow help stabilize this. If you’re considering adding retail elements to your store’s offerings, plan your purchasing schedule so that it keeps your store inventory consistent.  

When you do this intelligently, it allows you to take full control of your inventory and plan things according to your priorities and needs.

3. Differentiate Yourself From Your Competition

One of the most significant benefits of adding retail offerings to your consignment store is that it gives you a way to separate yourself from the competition. Keep this in mind as you shop for your retail offerings.

As you purchase retail items, be sure to match them to your consignment store style. For example, colorful, beaded earrings will likely perform well in a consignment store that sells funky clothing, while high-class candles will be perfect in an upscale furniture store.

4. Pay Attention to Sales

If you’re going to dive into retail, you’ve got to pay close attention to how it performs once it’s in your store. For example, if you purchase something and it sells well, that’s a solid indication that you’d be wise to carry more of the same item.

If your retail goods aren’t selling as well as you’d hoped, though, you may want to consider adding another style, color, or option entirely. By being acutely aware of your sales trends, you can adjust your retail selections accordingly.

5. Poll Your Customers

If you’ve got a loyal base of customers at your consignment store, draw upon their experience as you decide what to carry in the way of retail items. Consider adding a sign at the checkout that provides retail customers with a few options.

Pay attention to what they like to purchase in your store and get creative about coming up with ways to fulfill these needs for them. The more closely you monitor your customers’ wants and needs, the more successful your retail pursuits will be.

Retail: Your Consignment Stores  New Secret Weapon

While lots of consignment store owners are concerned about getting into the world of retail, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you imagine it.