How to Turn Unused Outdoor Space into a Profitable Revenue Stream

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Take a minute and think back to your grade school English class where the teacher taught you that every paper needs to have a hook, line, and sinker. Do you remember how the trickiest part was coming up with the hook? You learned that without the hook to pull the reader in and persuade them to continue reading, the work you put into writing the perfect paper wouldn’t matter.  This theory applies to retail as well. If the front of your store doesn’t tell your brand story or entice someone to walk through your doors, it will not matter how good your in-store environment is because it will remain elusive to your consumers.

The front of your store is the welcome mat. It’s what pulls shoppers in to see what awaits inside. Your front porch needs to be inviting from far beyond the parking lot.  In this article, you will learn about two ways to turn your unused outdoor retail space into a new profitable revenue stream, that will pull shoppers in!

Breathe Life Into Your Front Porch

Did you know that 26.6 Billion dollars is spent each year on live goods? And, 2.5 Billion of that is spent on the growing trend of food gardens alone. Creating a live goods destination on your front porch is a simple and effective way to make a great first impression that draws customers in and generates a new revenue stream.

At SPC, we have designed and implemented thousands of live goods programs of most every size and type.  Here are a few things we’ve learned along the way that have contributed to the success of front porch live good strategies:

  1. Have Healthy, High-Quality Live Goods Offering – It’s better to be narrow than deep when it comes to your live goods product mix. Make sure to choose plants that are easy to maintain and that you have the resources available for maintaining a healthy product mix.
  1. Create Visually Interesting Displays – Plants and flowers add a colorful, fresh and vibrant energy to your front porch area. It’s a wonderful way to tell a story and cross-sell with other products such as grills, patio furniture, and lawn care essentials.
  1. Help Shoppers Succeed – Educate, inform and engage them in the live goods lifestyle. If they succeed in having a green thumb, they’ll come back to shop with you and will become a loyal customer.

When properly implemented, these tactics will transform unused space into a front porch live goods program that will make your store more attractive and convenient for your shoppers.

Take It To The Pump

C-Stores are not exempt when it comes to creating a visually appealing entrance that is welcoming to its customers.  In fact, C-Stores have been expanding their product assortment to such an extent to meet customer demands, that they are slowly running out of merchandising space inside their stores. Therefore, it has become more prevalent that C-Stores consider using their sidewalks and islands around the pumps for additional selling space.

At SPC, we have successfully designed and executed outdoor merchandising programs for C-Store chains across North America. Throughout our experiences we have seen time and time again that C-Stores chains who implement an outdoor merchandising strategy benefit in these three ways:

  1. Expand the Sales Floor – Bulk merchandise, such as cases of water and soda, coolant, and windshield fluid take up a lot of space. Creating an outdoor sales floor is a great way to bulk stack these larger items to free up space in-store for a new product mix.
  1. New Revenue Stream with Minimal Investment – C-Stores can take advantage of seasonal products such as fire wood, mulch, windshield solvent, or de-icing salt that they would typically not carry due to limited space. Placing these items at in the Front Porch is a great way to pull shoppers in from the pump, offer additional convenience and promote add-on-sales.
  1. Create Visual Excitement – Make shopping fun, easy, and convenient with organized and well defined displays. Utilizing a multi-level merchandising approach versus traditional pallet bulk stacks, creates a visually stimulating selling space.

Invest In A System That Works

Regardless of the type of retailer you are, there are plenty of ways to utilize the un-used space in front of your stores that you are already paying for. However, as good as any idea may be, if you don’t have the tools to properly execute an outdoor merchandising program it becomes a large undertaking.  At SPC Retail, we pride ourselves on being the experts in designing and executing outdoor merchandising programs. Our displays are extremely versatile, easy-to-assemble, durable, and affordable. Many of our customers get decades of use out of our displays, using them year-round, indoors and outdoors.

Check out our blog post: 5 Retail Displays for Outdoor Merchandising

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