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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Change And The Store Experience

A Change of Seasons originally uploaded by Jeffcl_2000.
Two articles from the January 2007 issue of National Floor Trends caught my attention.

Designs in Style: Customers are changing… What if you changed too? by Annette Callari asks whether your shopping experience "truly appeal[s] to shoppers on as many SENSORY levels as possible." She offers practical suggestions that stores can readily implement to adapt to changing consumer sensibilities, and explores a series of "What If" customer scenarios that will get you thinking.

Showroom Management: Should Your Store Design Have an Expiration Date? by Janet Carter asks an extremely pertinent question. In fact, you absolutely should have an expiration date associated with your store design to FORCE a more frequent revamping of your store environment.

I love her characterization of "tired-looking stores that are long overdue for a redesign." I have several of those by me [including the one with the permanent broken sign and the ever present - but only seasonally lit - Rudolph in the window] and bet you do, too. Please don't be one of them!

The reason to be concerned? These tired details communicate in no uncertain terms that your consumer - and particularly your woman customer - should go elsewhere if she wants to be delighted with product choices [i.e., fashionable and up-to-date], customer service and the overall retail experience. On the other hand, the sensory touches state on multiple levels that this is a store that understands marketing to women and meeting the needs of the primary decision maker. After all, the consumer has changed, evolving into a sophisticated and knowledgeable being with plenty of retail options to choose from particularly if she doesn't like your experience. It's quite simple. If you can't evolve with her, then you're in the wrong business!

For added perspective and ideas on how to keep your store looking fresh, interesting and relevant to your customers, consider these two previous posts : A Store That Floors: Aggieland Carpet One and Engaging The Consumer... Via Store Windows.

Change that keeps pace with your evolving customer can only benefit the store experience as well as your bottom line.

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