Your store may be turning off potential customers without your even knowing it. Plenty of fully functional stores have this problem. How can you be sure yours isn’t one of them?
Retailers used to redesign or remodel their stores every seven years. That was usually frequent enough in the days of “same old, same old” at retail. Today, customers expect the places they shop to offer the newest look surrounded by the latest technology. Without it, they get bored. When they get bored, they stop coming around. And when they stop coming around, your sales suffer. It’s as simple as that.
Changing neighborhood demographics also can lead to a sharp decline in store traffic. How many retailers have operated in the same location for 20 years, yet fail to notice that they are catering to the patrons of 15 years ago rather than the people who have since moved into the neighborhood? Again, shopper traffic dwindles because of shopper boredom, though the root cause in this instance is inattentiveness on the part of the retailer.
You aren’t likely to see it on David Letterman any time soon, but just in case he runs short of material, I’ve compiled the top 10 reasons that suggest your store needs a makeover.
No. 10 - You can’t visualize what the store looks like from the front entrance.
No. 9 - The neighborhood has changed right before your eyes.
No. 8 - You’re having difficulty recruiting and retaining employees.
No. 7 - You can’t remember when you bought the items on your shelves.
No. 6 - You can’t remember when you bought your shelves.
No. 5 - Area competition doesn’t bother to visit your store anymore.
No. 4 - Overhead signage doesn’t match the departments below it.
No. 3 - Customers make a beeline for the exit after picking up their prescription.
No. 2 - Thieves no longer think there is anything worth stealing.
No. 1 - Even your family won’t shop at your store.
Take a look at your store, and ask yourself if you are providing shoppers with the best possible in-store experience. Be honest! If your answer is no, let me know what you’re planning to do about it.
What other reasons do you have to consider a store makeover? How can retailers cost-justify an investment to improve the shopping experience?
Dave Wendland is VP and co-owner of Hamacher Resource Group, a retail healthcare consultancy located near Milwaukee, Wis. He directs business development, product innovation and marketing communications activities for the company and has been instrumental in positioning HRG among the industry’s foremost thought leaders. You may contact him at (414) 431-5301 or learn more at Hamacher.com.