3 Reasons to Create a Children’s Section in Your Store
Almost everyone has children in their lives
Whether your customers are parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles, everyone knows someone who has children – and those kids are the most important people in their lives. This is a category that’s been neglected by lighting showrooms. We emphasize living rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and dining areas but the one spot in the house that’s neglected by lighting stores are the nursery and children’s rooms. Just putting up one ceiling fan or two table lamps is not enough. You must do a full presentation and make a statement.
Some of you are probably saying that people go to furniture stores or places like Babies R Us for that category, but why shouldn’t you have some of that market, too? Every new parent wants their baby’s nursery to look good. It’s an emotional sale. Grandparents would love to buy a little table lamp for their new grandchild. An aunt, sister, or friend would enjoy buying a little photo frame, wall art, or some cute decorative accessory as a gift for the new addition to the family – but none of these people can buy it if that idea isn’t sparked by a presentation they see in your store while shopping. If you don’t show it, they’ll just go buy those products at the place where they buy cribs or what not. My point is, people are buying these products. There is a market for it.
Retailers, we need to take a second look at what we’re not doing. There are missed opportunities all around us. Everyone is diversifying their product mix, so why not do something for children?
When I hear people say, “Why should I offer kids’ lamps and accessories when they will only be using them for a few years?” I say, “Have you bought shoes and outfits for children lately? You can spend $100 or more on something that is only going to last three to six months. A lamp, ceiling fan, lighting fixture, or decorative accessories will be used for three to six years.”
It’s easy to set up
I would suggest that you dedicate two grids to the display, one for girls and one for boys. This will provide a fuller presentation and make more of a visual statement. You can separate the grids, if you like, by hanging a fabric panel in between the two grids to isolate the looks. Bring in accessories like table lamps, photo frames, valances, wallpaper, little area rugs, a toy chest, a rocking horse, mobiles, artwork, and gift items.
I’d put the children’s area close to the cash register area, not by the front door and not all the way in the back where people won’t see them. The children’s section should be up front where kids accompanying their parents shopping will easily see it, too.
It’s an opportunity to bring new customers in
The first step is to set up a children’s section, but the next is even more important. Promote that it’s there. Take a look at the birth announcements in your local paper. That’s your audience! Send out a note of congratulations to the family and enclose a coupon for 10 percent off on children’s products in your store.
Create an ad that looks like a birth announcement card that reads, “Come Celebrate Our New Arrivals: Jack and Jill!” or “It’s a Boy – and a Girl! Help Us Celebrate Our New Addition With 10% Off Your Purchase” and run these ads in the Sunday paper or print them as flyers or an e-blast.
You can even take it a step further and have those large umbrellas that they sell for baby showers. Start up your own baby shower registry and invite customers to write down their wish lists. You can hang the baby shower umbrellas over your children’s display to attract even more attention. You can even rent out or sell the umbrellas while you’re at it!
My point is: generate excitement and create another reason for people to come into your store. Everyone has children in their extended families, so why would you pass up a golden opportunity to offer something extra that taps that need? The success comes from your execution of the section – make it a true children’s section that looks well-pulled together – and by promoting it to the community.