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Maintaining Your Self-Storage Merchandise Store to Maximize Retail Profit

As a self-storage operator, you likely have a retail space where you sell moving and packing supplies; but if you don’t properly maintain this area, it could negatively impact your sales. Here are some tips for keeping your store fresh and well-stocked, which’ll ensure you produce maximum revenue from this add-on profit center.

Lainey Becker

November 19, 2022

5 Min Read
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All Storage in Fort Worth, Texas

Creating and maintaining a retail store at your self-storage facility is a great way to provide customers with the supplies they need to successfully store and protect their valuable possessions. It can also be a great revenue generator for your business. By implementing the right merchandising strategies, you can increase your retail revenue by as much as 25%! The following guidance will help you keep this area well-stocked and fresh, allowing you to achieve maximum return.

Set It Up Right

Your retail center is one of the first things your customers see when they enter your self-storage office, and proper merchandising is all about presentation. It’s a direct reflection of your facility’s cleanliness, organization and attention to detail, which is why it’s critical to keep this area well-maintained. Profitability increases when your space fresh and full of with products with attractive, cohesive packaging.

The first step is to designate a reasonably sized area for this use. Key factors to consider are the number of products to display, the size and number of fixtures needed to showcase them, and the amount of foot traffic to expect. This area must have room for multiple customers to move around while they shop but be small enough so it feels cohesive.

Next, focus on product categorization. The right organization of regular merchandise and impulse items will help stimulate sales. Items should “flow” in a way that makes sense to the customer. Think of it as telling a story through product placement. When a customer sees packing tape, bubble wrap and boxes grouped together in a compelling way, they should instantly understand that they’ll need all of these items and feel inspired to purchase them.

Evaluate and Adapt

The decision to replace or expand your self-storage retail offerings and layout will depend on the type of services your facility offers as well as customers’ needs and product sell-through. To determine whether it’s time to expand or condense your inventory, do the following:

Listen to customer feedback. This is an invaluable gift that can help you make smart merchandise decisions. Are there items for which shoppers repeatedly ask? Are there products you see customers routinely ignore? These are good indications that you should add or eliminate an item.

Analyze your sales data to identify trends. These reports should tell you which items are your best-sellers, which have steady sales and those that haven’t moved in a while. This information can help you decide which products should be added, removed or simply relocated to get more attention from buyers.

Look at your display for visual cues. Does it look crowded or sparse? Which products are running low or more frequently handled? If you’re constantly running out of an item or feel there’s an increasing desire for more choices within a certain category, it might be time expand your product offerings. Conversely, if you can’t remember the last time you sold a specific item, it may be time to revisit where this product is placed, staff knowledge of it or how much you keep in stock.

Keep It Clean and Stocked

Always keep your self-storage retail area fully stocked, as customers tend to shy away from empty displays. It’s important to set a re-ordering cycle so you don’t run out of popular supplies. You want to order when product levels are low, not zero!

Creating a replenishment and cleaning schedule is critical. Customers will quickly pass on items with damaged or dirty packaging, so keep the area tidy. Remember, your merchandise is often one of the first things people see, so it’s vital to maintain and care for this space.

You may even need to redesign the area once in a while. When you see retail sales stagnate, it’s a clear sign that it’s time for a refresh. Customers will always need moving and packing supplies, but if they can’t find what they need due to clutter, disorganization or lack of stock, they’ll go elsewhere, even if it’s less convenient.

Make It Clear

When it comes to creating a well-rounded, profitable retail center at your self-storage facility, it’s important to use plenty of clear, accurate communication. First, signage is critical. It directs customers to their desired items quickly and cuts down on confusion and complaints. Shoppers are much more likely to purchase items with detailed product descriptions that are easy to read. Good signage also helps reduce the number of returns, as it’s less likely that someone will purchase the wrong item.

Second, make sure all prices are easy to find and read. This is one of the most important pieces of the retail puzzle. Despite having a helpful associate to answer their questions, even the most patient customer will become frustrated if they have to repeatedly ask how much things cost. Most won’t even ask; they’ll simply go somewhere that’s more organized and has the foresight to price items in a presentable, professional way.

When properly set up, presented and maintained, a retail-sales area can be a very profitable endeavor for your self-storage business. I hope these tips and tricks will put you well on your way to creating a space that generates revenue and meets the needs of your customers.

Lainey Becker is an account manager with Supply Side USA, a supplier of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products for the specialty retailer. The company sells to more than 10,000 outlets in Canada and United States, and specializes in creating retail-merchandising programs for the self-storage and parcel industries. To reach Lainey, call 800.284.7357.

About the Author(s)

Lainey Becker

Account Manager, Supply Side USA

Lainey Becker is an account manager with Supply Side USA, a supplier of packaging, shipping, moving and storage products for the specialty retailer. The company sells to more than 10,000 outlets in Canada and United States, and specializes in creating retail-merchandising programs for the self-storage and parcel industries. To reach Lainey, call 800.284.7357.

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