BrainTrust Query: Four Reminders About Effective Store Design
Commentary by Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor
Through a special arrangement,
presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail
Organization of a store is crucial to building sales because
the merchandise can only do so much with clever packaging.
A few weeks
ago, I started a business makeover for a client about an hour outside of Manhattan.
approach any project as if I were a new customer because they have fresh eyes.
pick up what the owner feels is obvious. If a store has gotten sloppy in how
the merchandise is organized, it will show in the way customers walk through
the store (and walk out quickly). My overriding philosophy in
my customer mindframe: "Don’t Make Me Think!"
are a few tips:
1. Follow the natural traffic patterns. For a typical
store in North America, customers naturally walk in and turn to the right.
That means the best and brightest "wants" should sit to the right.
Not at the back of the store or off to the left. If stores don’t do this
and put the counter on the right, at the very least it will cause commotion.
Putting sale items up front on the right will only depress profit margins.
it easy on the eyes. Just because there are 256 colors of markers
or ink doesn’t mean a store should use them all. Signage should be simple
and a quick read — not clever or tricky. The model should be a
freeway billboard, not an ad in Martha Stewart’s Living.
3. Make a cohesive display. Merchandise shouldn’t just be stuck
on an end cap. The customer should be made to feel smart about seeing what
items go with other items to enhance their purchase. The whole store should
be displayed, not just one product.
4. Take steps to maximize upsells. What
should be put at the register? If it’s weird, cheap stuff that customers
have to ponder ("Who
buys this?"), stores will be missing the easy money. Instead, register
items should be products anyone could use. It shouldn’t require much
signage either. Think: "Don’t forget the glue!" not "Glue
Discussion Questions: What are some of your pet peeves around store design
and merchandising? Are there any tips you would add to those given in this