August '20

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86 • RV PRO • August 2020 rv-pro.com RV I N S I G H T Crazy About Clutter A conscious, coordinated effort to de-clutter your showroom and parts department will result in a cleaner, more appealing environment that will help spur sales. I f you aren't watching Marie Kondo's Netflix show, "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo", you probably know someone who is watching it – and annoying you with comments like "does that chair bring you joy?" Kondo believes each item in your home should have a purpose or bring you joy, and that each item should have a place and be kept there. Her book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," and popular TV show sparked an uptick in thrift store donations across the United States as people purge their belongings. For many of us, hearing we need to de-clutter, we flash back to childhood and react as if our mother is telling us to "clean up your room!" I know how annoying it is to be told to throw out stuff you think you need, but your store will feel, look – and smell – amazing. Decluttering is a major trend in life and busi- ness improvement because it actually works. If you have a small store and tiny stockroom, clutter may seem like a necessity. There may be no other place to put stuff. I understand. I once felt that way about my closet – then I got rid of things I didn't wear. Suddenly, there was room to move the hangers. Clutter kills sales! While you may think of it as simply unfin- ished tasks – such as the UPS boxes that are coming or going, the mail that needs to be looked at, the broken pieces that have to be fixed or returned to the vendor, the big thing that doesn't seem to fit anywhere – what your customers see is disorganization and mess. Those two things unconsciously impact and negate your perceived professionalism and cred- ibility. If you can't maintain your own store, how can you be trusted to help maintain a $175,000 motorhome? Clutter looks bad, feels bad – and people are even more sensitized to it today thanks to the glut of books and TV shows. ("Hoarders" is not a show you want your store to bring to mind.) I've been in several RV stores that had boxes piled along the walls and aisles waiting to be stocked or sold. I had no idea what was in them, but I did have the knowledge the store owner or manager was disorganized and unable to figure out where to put things. Clutter can negate your perceived professionalism and credibility. Simply put – clutter kills. By Linda Cahan Linda Cahan is the president of Portland, Ore.-based Cahan & Co., a consulting firm that works with retailers of all sizes and categories to improve their bottom line through creative, affordable, and appropriate visual merchandising, store design and renovations. For more information, visit www.lindacahan.com.

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