Toronto-based fashion merchandising firm J2 Merchandising is expanding its operations into all of North America, as the company continues to grow and work with top retailers. Founded by the highly-experienced team of Jodie Wolfe and Jackeline Varela, J2 Merchandising addresses an ever-increasingly important need for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
Shari Waters once said: “Visual merchandising is the art of implementing effective design ideas to increase store traffic and sales volume”. It’s now more important than ever, and J2 Merchandising co-founder Jodie Wolfe explained how strong merchandising can enhance retail sales, while poor merchandising can negatively affect store productivity. In an age of e-commerce and increased competition, retailers need to entertain and inspire consumers, with the in-store experience and enhanced window and other displays being more important now than ever, said co-founder Jackeline Varela.
Ms. Wolfe and Ms. Varela act as a team, developing and building the visual look and feel of fashion retail spaces and products. They each have over 20 years of merchandising experience, and have held executive positions with top design companies in North America. Many retailers they’ve worked with say they won’t go anywhere else — after J2 Merchandising works on stores, sales often increase substantially. The company employs some of the most talented retail and merchandising experts in Canada, led by J2 Merchandising’s experienced founders.
The company is expanding its operations into the United States this month, beginning with a foothold in New York State. J2 Merchandising will subsequently move into various other markets as it acquires new, national clients.
Ms. Varela explained the complexities of brick-and-mortar retailing, and how her company offers personalized services which includes setting/resetting shelving displays, pricing and tagging/re-ticketing products, ordering goods and placing reorders when necessary, training sales staff, conducting inventory of stock, implementing content management systems, negotiating prices with suppliers, producing sales projections, obtaining feedback data from consumers and store staff, analyzing sales information, stockroom sweeps, and even planogram resets for mid-season changes and new production releases. Many retailers struggle because they lack these and other skills.
A recent study by industry trade publication Retail Info Systems News found that only 3.7% of retailers have accurate planograms in place. That can affect the store at every level, though third-party merchandisers such as J2 Merchandising can solve these issues by training staff, creating consistent and informative marketing displays, creating reliable merchandising systems, and initiating accountable audit and problem solving services. Ms. Wolfe noted that with proper planning and implementation retailers can see tremendous financial success and growth, while also engaging with consumers and enhancing brand reputation.