Before starting the overhaul of the yarn department there was one, huge decision that had to be decided. It was something that could make the department so much better or just really frustrate potential yarn customers. It would require much thought and research. What could it possibly be?
By weight or by brand? By weight or by brand….by weight or by brand?
If you you’ve never worked with yarn you might be wondering “what the heck is this crazy woman talking about?”. If you are a knitter or crocheter than you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve been to local yarn shops that have been organized by both methods. It’s very nice to walk into a shop that’s got all the brands separated. It’s fun making a beeline to your favorite brand and see all the other products that line offers. It’s also great going into a shop with yarn organized by weight because you see all the products at once for that lace weight shawl you’re about to start.
The average customer that walks into a local yarn shop already knows a little about yarn or is there to learn more and is willing to browse and ask tons of questions. They normally don’t feel overwhelmed by the lovely hanks of yarn filling the space around them.
However, a majority of customers enering Ben Franklin aren’t necessarily there for yarn and when they walk by the department they are either fascinated or intimidated. The yarn enthusiast that do come in specifically for yarn love our selection and enjoy browsing and picking out more lovely yarn for their projects. So, I had to decide what would encourage non-yarn (is that a word?) customers to enter the department but also please the yarn enthusiast as well.
I came up with a mixture of organizing by both weight and brand. As it stands right now, we have quite a few brands of yarn that are bulky/chunky, so I’m in the process of putting them in the same isle. But, we have a great selection of Cascade that I will keep all together, and then organize by weight. Most of our ‘baby yarn’ is Patons/Bernat so I will keep them all in the same isle and perhaps separate the brands out. I won’t know until I see how much space I have.
When I say ‘I’m in the process of putting them in the same isle’ this is a process. Your typical retail store uses slat walls and peg walls. Sooooo, in order to move the chunky yarn this week I had to disassemble whole walls full of shelves and shift tons of bulky yarn. I filled two shopping carts and three shelf mobile cart just to get the yarn out of the way.
My first attempt of installing and dissembling shelves was quite comical (not to mention a great way to work up a sweat). After this week, though, I am now a shelf master! I will be done with the majority of the rearranging of the department by the end of business day on Saturday. After that it will be the finishing touches on the ‘wall’ of Cascade and putting up signage. But, that’s for another time and another blog entry.