Earlier this month we asked our Cedar Chest shoppers and consignors to provide us some feedback on how we are doing. We want to share with you some of the valuable insight you shared and what we are working on to make your customer experience great every time you visit one of our stores.
WHAT WE'VE LEARNED
Almost 60% of respondents shop at Branford, followed by Old Saybrook at 55%, Clinton at 49% and Waterford at 28%. Our two largest stores are Branford and Old Saybrook, and we have many loyal Clinton shoppers. As Waterford is our newest store, we may need to work harder for you to include Design 2 Consign part of your consignment shopping experience. Some shoppers wish the Clinton store would not be an "outlet" and love the boutique feeling of the shop. Others love the bargains that the outlet offers.
91% of you love shopping for women's clothing, 63% love our women's accessories, followed by 53% who love our home decor selections.
Our staff received very high ratings for being professional, courteous and knowledgeable about our products. As we review the survey results with our team in each store as there were some isolated incidents where customers wanted to be greeted more warmly by our staff. We will work hard to train everyone on how to welcome each customer. Many respondents would like our staff to make helpful suggestions and consider wearing name tags for easy recognition. Great idea and we've talked about that!
We also received some very practical suggestions -- like adding more hooks in the dressing room of our Waterford store and get some better lighting in one area.
We asked our consignors to provide us with helpful feedback on their experience when consigning with us and learned a lot. As a consignor, you hope that all your items are selected and that everything sells quickly for top dollar. Our buyers expect that we carry quality items that are in season and in current style. It's always hard to tell a consignor that we can't take items if they don't meet our guidelines and this can sometimes lead to hurt feelings. We get that. Based on your feedback, we are looking for ways to provide easier ways to check balances and receive year end reports. A lot of this is dependent on what the capabilities of the software system are, but we will look into what can be done.
We also asked consignors what day or days work best to bring us items. This was split very evenly, although some would like Sunday to be an option, to accept more items at a time and take items later in the day. While we wish we didn't have to limit the number of items or have designated hours, it is all dependent on what staff is available. This area continues to be a challenge.
Finally, we asked you to give us other thoughts. Here's a sampling of what we heard:
"I started shopping at the shops when it was only Clinton, then went to Branford because it sold home goods and men's items also. Then Old Saybrook because it is more convenient. The layout, quality, staff, and prices are very good."
"I think this store in Branford is great. The prices are the best and the selection of merchandise is outstanding. Such a great variety!!"
"The staff at the Branford store is great as that is the location I frequent. I love to chat with them while I am shopping and always ask their advice when trying something on. I value their opinion. They are always personable and knowledgeable of the products in the store."
We thank you for taking the time to participate in our survey. We look forward to implementing many of the suggestions made as we look forward to 2017!
#1: Clear everything out
It's really hard to make decisions on what to keep vs. consign when you can't see it. This is also a good time to sweep or vacuum the floor of your closet.
#2: Remove damaged clothing
Clothes that show signs of wear and tear - stains, missing buttons, discoloration, holes (yes, even if it's your favorite T-shirt) should be discarded or donated.
#3: Decision time
If an item hasn't been worn in a year, it's unlikely that it will jump out at you tomorrow and say "pick me, pick me". It may be the wrong color, an impulse purchase, it no longer fits or just isn't your style - put it in the consignment pile. (Remember, most consignment stores rotate inventory seasonally, and items must be in style).
To save space, choose the right hanger. You can buy slender hangers that really help maximize closet space. Avoid hanging sweaters. Fold them instead. They won't stretch out or get those funny bumps in the shoulders. Begin hanging items and organizing them according to what makes sense for you; work clothes vs. casual, color coded, like items together . . . whatever works for you. Clothes should hang loosely, not crammed together, remember. Consider off-season storage if you have really small closet space.
#5: Consign it
The clothing that remains could mean extra money in your pocket. By consigning your gently worn, in style items, you are helping the planet and your wallet! Before consigning, be sure to read the store's consignment policy. Every store is different. You can learn more about how to consign with The Cedar Chest here.
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