The small boutique seems to be making a comeback. With its return, though, arrives an accentuated need for store owners to make a quick read on some of the basics for store layout in this century. The old business etiquette rules are still the same. But never before has the consumer demanded a more streamlined delivery of goods while in a place with a product appropriate ambiance. Make the store’s layout one of the reasons the customer returns. If they don’t come back, they will tell every digital social network to which they belong exactly why.
Not every storefront can be entirely glass, but optimize the glass which is at the front door. Keep a clear view into the store. Tease the eye with the best product you have by placing it in direct view from the storefront. Use a lateral view mirror to reflect the image to pedestrians coming from the oppsiong direction. Remember the psychological effects of both scent and sound. Use both discretely at the entry to welcome the customer.
The Rack and the Walls
Throw away that rack. The customer with cash and a good credit limit is employed with limited time for shopping. Tailor the store so that customers can see the merchandise on the walls, even at a distance. Use wall space and mirrors to eliminate or minimize the racks and stacks of merchandise that require constant maintenance to be presentable. Use systems of brackets and stirrups to display the face of the merchandise, whether it is a garment or a board game.
The Service Island
Encourage employees to be attentive to customers in a subliminal way. Locate the place to pay and receive service as an island toward the center of the floor plan. Use high back swivel stools that are bottom heavy inside the service area so that when an employee needs to sit there is no need to retreat. The swivel seating makes it possible to see customers with ease. Point out the mirrors to employees. Explain the importance of checking the view in the mirrors from the aspect of recognizing someone who needs assistance.
Move the Store Into this Century
Use all of the technology available to make the store up to date. Process the sales from digital equipment. Go digital to track the inventory and process complaints and suggestions. Think small in terms of equipment. Mount the machines that are large and clunky out of view underneath a counter on a platform with runners. Use a scrolling LCD banner to attract attention to the merchandise when the store is closed. Keep wires and cables out of sight and to a minimum. Clutter kills today's sale.
- Photo Credit Stores Door image by Hedgehog from Fotolia.com