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Resort: The 5th Season

If January and February are typically your slow times, how about jazzing up sales with a resort selection? It�s easier to do than you might think.

First, go through your racks and shelves, and your pakaways, and pull out items which could be used for resort/ cruise/ travel. Think about what people do on vacation and what they�ll need to pack.

Then decide where you will set up your �resort shop.� The best spot is your swing shop area, front and center, so all who enter see it. Alternatively, choose a spot that is well-trafficked and able to be highlighted with travel posters, straw baskets (pile sandals or scarves in them), or ceiling-hung banners made of lengths of bright floral fabric. 

Promote your resort area with spectacular window displays, with discount coupons for local travel agents to give to their customers, even a press release to your paper (Summer arrives early at Encore! Travelers save big on cruisewear, have more money to spend on vacation). Feature your resort selection in your ads, social media, web site and blog, store newsletter, and bag-stuffers.

Be aware that much of your sales from your resort rack will be to folks who aren�t going anywhere, just anticipating warmth! For this reason, have a little speech ready about We�ll be getting many more spring items in around (date.) Be sure to check back then! You might even make up a bag-stuffer to put in with their purchase saying the same.

Traditionally, resortwear focuses on warm-weather travel, but if you have a good proportion of skiers, snowmobilers, or cold-weather campers in your customer base, you might set up a space for these interests. Decorate with left-over holiday greens and snowflakes, and borrow ski gear props from local merchants.

Creating your resort shop:
1- Begin your area with any summer pakaways you�ve saved for this purpose. Use 2- and 4-ways spaced on an area rug, interspersed with small tables or shelf units for accessories. Add one or two large display pieces: a big silk plant, a parasol, a deck chair. Sign your area: Dreaming of warmer climes, or something that hints at resort wear but also "gives permission" to those who aren�t going anywhere, just adore those lime green capris!

2- Fill in with bright colors of regular merchandise. Red polos, white- and-yellow striped sweaters, cheerful prints.

3- Add non-seasonal items like chino slacks, denim minis, cream flats, canvas handbags.

4- Accessorize like mad. Pin silk flowers on plain T-shirts. White chunky beads turn a fall denim jumper into a resort sundress.

5- As more goods come in, start using straight racks and, probably, sizing.

6- Once the area starts getting too full, pull out less tropical/ cruise items and put them back in regular stock. Eventually, your resort swing shop will seem to blend into your spring merchandise. Then it�s time to redo. A red-and-pink romantic Valentine�s area, perhaps?

Show these in your resort section:
Swimwear and coverups
Dressy clothes for Captain�s Night
Totes, hats for sightseeing and shopping
Shorts, T-shirts and tank tops
Khaki slacks/ skirts
Cardigans for cool sea breezes
Sandals and sneakers
Easy-pack nightwear
Sunglasses, bright fun jewelry, scarves
Travel accessories: suitcases, toiletry kits, books to read on the plane

Resort is not just for women:
Kidswear: Gather nautical-inspired outfits, fruit- or flower-prints, travel games. Decorate with sand pails and toys, Mickey Mouse items, cars, trains, planes. For novelty, cut foamboard into speech bubbles, using Are we there yet? She�s on my side of the seat! and Can we stop at the snake farm?

Menswear: Hawaiian-style print shirts, shorts and sandals. For props, �tropical drinks� (paint the inside of a stemmed glass with pastel paint, add a drink parasol). Or try a backdrop of world maps, bomber jackets and trenchcoats.

Home decor and furniture: Two ideas: �Take a trip in the comfort of home�: group souvenir-style items by continent (Italian glass, Spanish leather, German steins) or show a �resort� party theme: Imagine you're in the tropics...(floral items, beach-y things), Imagine you're in Asia (Asian-influence furniture and decor), or whatever you have.



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