2022/2023 Alpaca Owners Guide

and t he prof i t s . I n general , mos t small alpaca ranch stores do a brisk business

practice, practice. With time, each display will exceed the previous one’s quality. Along with this, be willing to be flexible. Sometimes you think something is going to jazz a potential customer out of her socks, only to notice that she just walks right on by. Tweak a drape here, exchange a color there, move something to the front that was in the back, and voilá! Suddenly, the customers are paying attention again.  Third, make sure your display has a good traffic flow, both for the customer’s ease of movement and safety and so that customers can readily view all your wonderful products. Try to always leave at least four feet of walkway through and around display fixtures. Otherwise, the customers will always need to excuse themselves when they pass by each other, and that’s a distraction to them, if not an actual irritant. Remember, it’s good to have lots of customer interest; but if your display looks crowded with people because of poor traffic planning, a casual customer might pass you by. There are times when it makes a lot of sense to commit to a larger space even though it costs more. Comfortable customers spend time in your display, and time spent often leads to money spent!  Fourth, and most important, make sure that your display is kept neat, even during high activity such as a sale day. This is especially important at an off-ranch event where you are competing with many other vendors for customer attention.  Fifth, give quite a bit of thought to your display fixtures. Don’t make the assumption that you will always be selling just at your alpaca ranch store, and therefore all the fixtures can be built-in or for indoor use only. You never knowwhen an incredible opportunity might arise to do an off-ranch event that will boost your sales to the next level. When you’re considering fixtures, don’t forget tables with attractive table drapes. Not only does draping the table hide the legs and make the display look more professional, it also gives you a place to store extra inventory, lunch, or your cash box. A solid color for table draping works best, so as not to compete with the merchandise.

in toy alpacas, bears, gloves, caps, and scarves, especially if they can be matched up in sets. Other good sellers include sweaters priced at or below $150, and sofa throws priced from $100 (usually blended with wool) to $200 (100 percent baby alpaca).  Displaying Inventory There is a certain technique to displaying inventory that will hold true whether you are displaying it in a very humble setting, such as your tack room or a trunk in your living room, or in a boutique at a vacation destination.  First, set up an attractive display, being cognizant of: (a) color combinations that work together, and (b) rhythm, or how the display looks when you step back and get the overview. Is it too angular? Is it not angular enough? Is your eye drawn first to one central theme area, and does it then glide effortlessly to highlights

of the rest of the display? Do you experience sensory overload within seconds?

 Second, be distinctive. Does your display have a consistent theme or appearance to it? Practice,

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