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April 14, 2011

Sounds like an easy request, right?  Well, I’d like you do more than help the economy, though that’s appreciated.  I want your eyes to do the shopping for me……and yourself.  After more than 20 years in all aspects of Retail from all levels of management, store development, merchandising and buying, I can’t shop like a ‘normal’ consumer.  I “READ” a store.   Whether you realize it or not, so do you.  Now I want you to know you’re reading it!

BILLY REID, one of my favorite stores


Stand in front of a store before you go in and look at all of the layers you see.  First you’ll notice it in its entirety then you’ll suddenly start dissecting it and you’ll do it in layers.

Layer #1 – the front – windows, entrance and maybe the first thing inside the door

Layer #2 – the entrance itself and what is immediately inside

Layer #3 – you’ve entered and you hear the sales person greet you – likely that’s where it ends – you don’t hear anything else.  You’re reading.  You’re reading the front table or first mannequin or first T-Stand or highlighter of product

Layer #4 – the snapshots start.  You’re surveying the store in small increments and this is when you decide – I’m staying or I’m leaving.  This store speaks my language or doesn’t.  Listen to what your eyes tell you.   If you’re outside observing – watch the consumer – guarantee this is exactly what you’ll see and it happens fast, but, watch!  It’s fascinating!

Layer #5 – the music, the smells


Shanghai Tang - another favorite

If you’re in Retail, do this and encourage your staff to do it.  This happens in a mere 7 seconds and you have them or you don’t.  If you’re a consumer who’s never worked in Retail – think about it.  Did the store get you or lose you and why?  What did you ‘read’ in the experience?  What did you ‘hear’?








How are you conveying your message?  What are you ‘saying’ to the consumer?   As a consumer – what are you hearing?


and she walks with her purchases.....what's next?



You’ve made a purchase or the customer has.  What’s next?  Where does that shopping bag go?  Does it get thrown away?  does it line the trash can in your bathroom (ewe) or the kitchen trash receptacle under your sink?  Does it live on?  Does it carry things to and from your office?  Do you re-use it?  How do you feel about it as you walk with it?  A brilliant woman I know in Canada made a great comment to me about her company’s bags versus the competition.  “and besides, wouldn’t you rather carry a little pink bag?”  She was right.  It was and is part of their living iconography.









Lastly, buy something!  Our economy needs your help!

Really, lastly, TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE.  I want to know!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 5:32 am

    Brilliant reminder. A true wake up call about what you are REALLY experiencing when you go shopping. Oh, and about those bags . . . I think I might have to consider adding a warmer color to my brand palette! 🙂

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