Christian Retailing

Gift merchandising training draws a retail crowd Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 10 July 2018 06:16 PM America/New_York

DonnaMcCollough gifts Unite

Christian retailers filled the tables and some stood to hear three gift merchandising experts teach the Ignite Your Gift Sales session. Sherry Morris of Carpentree, Michelle Amster of Integra Interactive and retailer Donna McCollough shared tips at the session held at the Church Bookstore Connection Center at CBA’s Unite 2018.

Sherry Morris, marketing manager at Carpentree, was pleased to speak to the retailers to inspire them to go back to their stores and try something new.

“It was a joy to be here and talk to the retailers and try to just give them a vision for what merchandising can be, because we all need that little bit of creative spark to take us from one level to the next level,” she said. “A lot of people already had the basics, already know it, but when you stop and you think about merchandising and what you’re trying to accomplish to help your store take that bottom line up, then it’s really good to think, What can I do to reach the next level?

The session was a continuation of last year’s training at Unite in Cincinnati.

“We’re trying to take what we taught last year about the five basic techniques of merchandising and encourage people to scaffold that to the next level,” Morris said. “What is good merchandising? What is better merchandising? And what is the best merchandising? And we gave them a rubric to try to help them to think about that. We wanted to just give them another tool to encourage them.”

McCollough, co-owner of Dove Christian Supply in Dothan, Alabama, talked of sharing the gospel any way the retailer can, including through “lifestyle product.”

Beyond more prominent product displays toward the front of the store, McCollough encourages retailers to have secondary displays to draw customers in “further and further” into the store.

McCollough talked about using simple things such as an old window with chicken wire to display jewelry. Morris added that going to flea markets, estate sales and perhaps a friend’s barn to pick up inexpensive or free items to use in gift display and attract attention.

It’s also important to make a statement and to have adequate gift product on display, McCollough said. She pointed out that it has to be full enough so that customers “know you care about the product.”