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Over 1900 retail stores will close in 2020. When large chains, with large staff like Pier One, Forever 21, Sears, Gap, and Chico’s hire professional retail consulting organizations to run their store closing sale, you have to wonder why so many small retailers think they have the experience and knowledge to pull off the most important sale they will ever run. 

Small retailers need help too.There are quite a few very good retail consulting companies out there that help the small retailer maximize the results of his Store Closing Sale. But as with any group there are some questionable ones out there. 

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right professional. 

  • Make sure that the consultant that you hire has experience marketing and managing a Store Closing Sale. Many of the larger consulting companies contract with former retail professionals who have a good retail background, but no experience conducting a Store Closing Sale. This type of sale is different. 
  • Be cautious of anyone that insists that a decision be made today. It’s OK to make a decision if you have done your due diligence and are comfortable with the plan. Do not be pressured into acting hastily. 
  • Who is going to be working with you to run your sale? Many times one guy sells you the program and another guy does the work. Be sure you have the opportunity to speak or visit with the consultant who will be working directly with you. That “sales” guy will be long gone after your sale starts. 

• Can you cancel the agreement if they are not getting the results necessary? If not, don’t hire them. 

  • How is payment structured? If it is a flat fee, they get paid if they obtain results or not. The best scenario is a base fee (covers expenses) and percent of sales (based on performance). If they aren’t comfortable with that arrangement, they lack confidence in their ability to produce.

These are just a few of the things to look out for when choosing a store closing consultant.

All retailers should consider using a store closing consultant. The results that they will help you obtain usually more than pays for their fees. Just be selective and do your do diligence when selecting the one to help you.