The quilt store owner wants to pull in the customers so that they have that feeling that they could stay all day! The look of the quilt shop interior can speak volumes to a potential new customer. One person told me that if the quilt shop is stark and looks like the inside of an organized pharmacy versus a Hallmark Gift Store then she doesn't buy and she doesn't return. Wow! I thought about this comment and realized just how true it is. A quilt store needs to be aimed to be in business for the customer, and not just to make an income.
Highlight Fabric Lines
I have a very good friend who has a degree in marketing. She said to me recently that "you want the customer to walk in the door, spot that new line of fabric delightfully displayed with its matching pre-cuts, individual fat quarters, patterns to use the fabric on, and several samples. You want that customer to think to themselves that they HAVE to have that fabric and that they can't move beyond that display until they bundle it in their arms!" In her words, "you don't want that customer to pass over a line of fabric that they really like because they have no idea what they can make from it". Quite often the customer needs to be guided or given ideas when they spy that "ooooh" fabric! Don"t expect a fabric line to simply sell itself.
Another mention to me was that customers really like it when they know where a specific line of fabric is going to be. For example: the civil war fabric, or 1930's line, or even the children's fabric. A few quilt stores I love always keep their distinct lines of fabric in the same area of the store. The owner of the store will make neat displays of the new fabric lines in that category with the pre-cuts and new patterns with samples, but I always know which area of the store I want to be for my specific taste in fabric. Don't worry - I always look everywhere else too! There's ALWAYS something I can't leave a good quilt store without!
Do you know that there are actually quilt stores that will not cut fat quarters? It always dumbfounds me. Why would they choose to lose that type of income? Recently, three of us were in a quilt store and wanted quite a few fat quarters cut so we could make our upcoming projects. We ended up leaving the store empty handed. No purchases at all. The owners comment was that she didn't want a bunch of fat quarters lying around that she couldn't sell. We all noted that the store was not the "homey" type at all, it was perfunctory. We marked that quilt store off our list. What a shame, eh?