Stores Corner

Stores Corner: Getting Store Donations – It’s All About Convenience

Stores Corner: Getting Store Donations – It’s All About Convenience 738 416 SVDP USA

Have You Heard?! SVdP Stores has a webpage on the National Website! The webpage offers tons of great information regarding all things stores!? 

The National Stores Committee is a group of SVdP stores folks that represent each SVdP Region and are committed to sharing best practices in support of SVdP Thrift Stores for success across the nation. Find great topical articles from the Region Reps here in the Stores Corner of the e-Gazette on the last Thursday of each month.

Getting Store Donations – It’s All About Convenience

By: Donald Schiffgens
Project manager /CFO
Saint Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, Port Saint Lucie, FL

Our Thrift Store, located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, is relatively small with about $275,000 in annual sales. The store employs five people in key positions and has about two dozen volunteers. The store relies on customer donations brought into the store as well as free truck pick-up service. We do not currently have collection bins and so, just recently, we got permission from the pastor of one of our five parish-based Conferences to collect home goods and clothing from parishioners on two consecutive weekends following each mass.

The collection effort was very successful as donors had the opportunity to clean out their closets and bring their donations as they attended weekend masses. In this collection effort St. Vincent de Paul became more visible in our parish and many people inquired about our mission and the location of our Thrift Store. It was a win-win for all! Watch your donations grow when your store offers donor convenience and if you advertise don’t forget to advertise for donations.

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what is happening in your area – the list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down here

Stores Corner: Skillful Merchandising Adds to the Bottom Line

Stores Corner: Skillful Merchandising Adds to the Bottom Line 738 416 SVDP USA

By: Ed Markiewicz
Council of Greensburg, PA

Achieving and maintaining profitability in our Thrift Stores requires implementing standard operational procedures consistently. Without a doubt having the right people, establishing effective intake processing and pricing procedures as well as a color rotation system, and utilizing the data from the Point of Sale system to analyze and implement the necessary changes are the basic requirements for a successful operation. But skillful merchandising can dramatically add to the bottom line and create a welcoming atmosphere for you customers.

How can this easily be achieved? Create a visual team with a creative spirit. Visual merchandising, unexpected pairings, thoughtful details, and repetition attract the eye. Using flexible space for events and seasonal items, a fresh look or display, and creating a rhythm to the store by placing visual elements that guide customer flow through the store are essential. Clever color placement as well as themed settings draw customer attention, and create a warm uniform effect.

Tell a story high on the walls to draw customer’s eyes to featured items. Use mannequins in a unique eye catching display not merely to display clothes. Be sure to showcase items specific to the area and use a simple signage system that often times is the most effective. It can lead to excitement and additional income opportunities, while capturing data at a granular level for deeper insights into the business.

Customers who believe in the mission of the store and enjoy shopping at the SVdP store can share the store’s presence within their own circle of influence: family, friends, and loved ones. Additional visibility for the store is always great!

Loyalty cards allow your store to capture customer data points, which can be leveraged into marketing opportunities. Ask yourself, how can we stay in contact with customers and make decisions on marketing and advertising campaigns?

From the data points captured through loyalty cards, stores can send out email blasts or text blasts, to the customer base for any special sales or promotions. Customer retention is much cheaper than customer acquisition!

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what is happening in your area – the list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at https://www.svdpusa-thriftstore.org/.

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