This is the second of the “best of” biweekly blogs based on popular past posts. Please let me know if there’s a topic you’d like revisited!

We recently held an all-staff meeting, and it was so nice to gather everyone together and get excited about what is coming up next at the store. Food is essential at our gatherings, so we provided quiche and other brunch items (making sure to include gluten-free and vegetarian options).

After some time socializing, and a few general announcements, I asked several employees to talk about two or three favorite (or new) items in their departments.  It was a great way to get lots of people involved and to get a fresh perspective on some of our merchandise.

As you may know if you’ve read Specialty Shop Retailing, almost everyone at Orange Tree Imports is in charge of some section of the store, ranging from kitchen gadgets to Christmas ornaments. They do the restocking and displays for their area, and sometimes also get involved in buying.

Having the individuals talk about their best-selling items at the staff meeting made it clear that they take a lot of pride in their departments.  And I think that hearing the recommendations of their peers probably has a great impact on the rest of the sales staff. Customers love knowing which items are favorites, so the information will be helpful as we assist with their gift purchases.

At the end of the meeting we drew names for a table full of door prizes, many of them samples or gifs that we’ve received from vendors over the past few months.  Everyone got to take their pick in the order in which their name was drawn. 

We don’t have staff meetings often, but when we do I am struck by how valuable they are — not just for sharing information (we have the store newsletter for that, and occasional seminars presented by our sales reps) but also for creating the team spirit that makes working together enjoyable.

Happy Retailing,

Carol “Orange” Schroeder