Stores

Stores Corner — Centralized Processing

Stores Corner — Centralized Processing 1200 628 SVDP USA

Do you know about the SVdP Stores webpage through the National website with tons of great information regarding all things stores!?

The National Stores Committee is a group SVdP store folks that represent each SVdP Region and are committed to 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.

Centralized Processing
By: Lori Malcolm — The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Archdiocese of Boston

Clothing sales are one of the largest revenue streams for our thrift stores. A centralized processing system can be an efficient and cost effective alternative for demographics that may not be able to support the volume and quality necessary for a successful retail operation.

The supply of product and its continued rotation is the corner stone to increased sales.  Donations of textiles at the retail site is one method of product supply.  However, it may be limited in volume and quality by the retail store’s demographic. Consequently, supplemental means of supply are often times required.  These include clothing drives, corporate donations, or a collection bin system. Each should be reviewed locally for feasibility purposes.

The sorting process is the most important element of a centralized processing system. Determining the necessary labor and standards expected are most important in establishing a training regimen for staff. The site location, building, physical set up of workstations, and the material handling equipment required for efficient production also need to be carefully considered. In addition, an exit strategy for all store returns and donations which do not meet standards must be established.

Lastly, product distribution and its logistical requirements must be addressed. Standard retail store order quantities and delivery frequency must be determined based on the size of the retail store and its rotation cycle.  Delivery logistics, including transportation labor, trucks, and hours of operation must be determined and accounted for fiscally. Careful consideration must also be made for trash, both fiscally and logistically. Finally, an effective hangar management system (storage) with its associated material handling equipment requirements should be carefully considered in order to assure the most efficient and cost effective operation.

Please contact your local National Store’s Committee representative for examples of successful centralized processing retail operations. More detailed information and tours can be arranged.

Connect with a Region Rep to learn more about what they are doing in your area – list of committee members can be found under the Resources drop down at by clicking 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/.

Stores Corner: Staying in Contact With Your Customers is Critical

Stores Corner: Staying in Contact With Your Customers is Critical 738 416 SVDP USA

Customer loyalty and gift cards can be a positive add-on for a store. Having a Point of Sale (POS) system allows for ease in these types of special add-on programs in daily store operations. These programs create customer 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 Thrift 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/.

By: Rick Bologna
SVdP Stores Director / Central Texas

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