My passion for wholesale confectionery can be traced back to my youth, sitting wide-eyed in front of the screen whilst a musically-talented man dressed in a bright, striped shirt swung around his sweet shop on a wooden ladder. Though I don’t recommend his sales tactics (how many free sweets does he give out in that scene?!), the classic wooden display shelves stuffed with delicious-looking treats should serve as inspiration for any ambitious shop owner.
When we are shopping, what usually attracts us first is a product’s visual appearance, rather than its taste. This is why perfecting your shop layout is key to drawing in new customers.
Reflect on Your Retail Space
Before taking any steps, pause. Stand outside of your shop and try to look at it as a new customer would. What do the windows look like? Do they catch the eye? Does your display reflect the type of confectionery shop you run? For example, if you specialise in sophisticated, grown-up treats, do the windows indicate this, or are they too bright and garish? Or, if you stock lots of child-friendly sweets, are your windows designed to entertain them? Not many parents can resist the puppy-dog eyes of their little ones, so it’s important to appeal to the kids!
Make sure that you change your display often, showcasing new arrivals and specialities of your shop. Get into the spirit of things at major holidays, as it can help you promote seasonal products.
Now, walk into your shop. Again, try to see it from the eyes of your customers. Can you move around easily? Is it well lit? Is it clean? These might seem like basic requirements, but you’d be surprised at how easy it is to become too comfortable in your retail space and lose sight of potential problems.
Display, Display, Display
You buy the best wholesale confectionery there is, so be proud of your stock and reflect this in your store layout. Make things easy for your customers by having a central point in the store – this might be a large table with a variety of wholesale confectionery on it, or it may be a Christmas or Easter display with some seasonal treats.
Remember to be aware of the heights of displays. For example, it’s no good having a children’s chocolate display table if it’s too high for any child to reach.
Don’t be afraid to let the products speak for themselves. If you choose wisely when ordering from your favourite wholesale confectionery retailer, you can select products that are show-stoppers in and of themselves. For example, Prestat’s brightly-coloured boxes filled with delicious truffles lend a touch of elegance to any store. Alternatively, Hope & Greenwood’s striped, retro fudge cartons will brighten up a dull corner and evoke nostalgic memories of one-penny sweets and exciting cinema trips in your older customers.
Without magic you may not create a Honeydukes Shop, but by following these simple tips I’m sure that your store will be sparkling in no time at all.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale confectionery suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.