What Your Counter Is Saying To Your Customers.

September 29, 2011

In the past, behind the store counter was the exclusive domain of staff. These days, many stores are designed in such as a way that customers can see and even access this area. In addition, store counters now are usually smaller because owners rightly want to maximise their floor-space usage for the presentation of merchandise. This poses several problems.


While the typical POS unit is now much more sophisticated than the old cash drawer so are thieves skills. Closing a POS drawer is a simple task and becomes automatic. However, distractions happen all the time – some of them are carefully orchestrated- so it is vital that as a manager you reinforce to all your staff the concept of making the closing of your POS unit a “conscious” action.

Appearance – Top.

Frequently counter tops are piled high with merchandise. This is great if they are items a customer is buying but not so great if they belong to your store. If you are using your counter top to temporarily “dump” merchandise think again. What you are actually achieving is to cheapen the value of these items in the eyes of shoppers. Every item of merchandise must be handled with loving attention and respect. You wouldn’t expect to see a jeweler up turn a box of Rolex watches on to her counter would you?

Fundamental Rule:

Handle every item of merchandise in your store with loving attention and respect.

You have several alternatives, for example:

  • You could use a mobile unit to move merchandise around your store.
  • You could place and process only one or two items at a time.
  • If using your counter as a temporary “parking space” is necessary, do it outside normal trading hours.


My best friends-outside of my wife- and colleagues are both named Brian and have worked in the retail industry even longer than my thirty years.

One is a visual merchandising genius and the other has the most incredibly effective communication skills I have ever seen in a retail manager. One day while discussing efficiency, Brian the communications champion made the point that all staff should be able to access all the tools they need from behind the counter “blindfolded”. He brought this up after seeing a staff member scrambling to find a pen so that a customer could sign a credit card docket.

Brian the visual merchandising genius smiled reached for his tool box and opened it to display dozens of perfectly labeled compartments each holding precisely what was displayed. “This kit gets checked every night and stocked ready for action the next day”.

Keep your counter tidy, stocked and uncluttered, and make certain that everything has its place.

The Bar.

The bar is what you lean up against when you are in a drinking establishment. If there’s live music and the place is really rocking you could even dance while standing on top of it. The store counter on the other hand is not for leaning against or socializing behind. Unless you have to perform some work related function, get out from behind it. You will be demonstrating to shoppers your alertness to their needs.

To your success.

Written by: Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Providing Retail consulting services Melbourne

Leon is an accomplished business coach and retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create highly profitable businesses byattracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your free copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon on +61 425 83 3344                                                                                                                        or email info@retailfundamentals.com.au


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