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Editor's Note: Start Your Engines!

Dance Retailer News

The race to back-to-school season has begun. Are you ready to serve the gaggle of dancers who will soon descend upon your store in search of the apparel, shoes and accessories they’ll need to return to the studio? We’re here to help.

First, you’ll want to arm yourself with the latest dress-code information from your local studio partners. What Dancers Want (page 38) shares insight from several studio owners about how they’d like to be treated by local dance merchants during the back-to-school season. From valued services to preferred communication tactics, these dance professionals detail how they want local storeowners to manage and facilitate dress-code requirements for their students.

Once you know what you’ll need, don’t wait too long to restock your store. To make the ordering process easier, we’ve compiled the latest deadlines and incentive information from more than 30 manufacturers. Refer to our chart on page 20 before placing your seasonal orders.

Finally, the period running up to back-to-school season is an ideal time to make sure your store is equipped to meet as many of your customers’ needs as possible. Dance retailers have the opportunity to provide (and charge for) several unique services that can improve customers’ overall shopping experience and strengthen a store’s brand identity. “Beyond the Leotard and Pointe Shoes” (page 24) showcases several dance stores that are selling unique, valuable services. After all, product selection is just one way that brick-and-mortar retailers can differentiate themselves in today’s extra competitive marketplace.

—Colleen Bohen