John F. Dowling
Barron’s (May 16, 2016) has reported that Macy’s stock price has slipped 15%, Kohl’s is down double digits and even Nordstrom was down almost 9%. However, consumer spending was up, especially online sales. Does this spell the end for brick and mortar stores? Hardly! When was the last time you enjoyed an online meal? Not a meal ordered from a restaurant online and then had it delivered, but even if you did, it’s not the same as going out to dine at a restaurant. Dining out is an event. Big Retail needs to understand the same dynamics about shopping. Not all shopping is an event, but some of it is and more of it should be.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ May 14/15, 2016), “When shoppers do visit malls, they are increasingly spending money on entertainment such as movies, and bowling and services like hair salons and fitness centers.” Bingo, an event! Why not bring these events into the store?
Plan for brick and mortar repointing:
- Venue Value: In accordance with your target market needs, add a Restaurant- one worthy of the trip itself or a Day Spa, or Sports Bar, or “Customer” theater. This makes the outing an event, keeps the customers in the store longer and adds potentially higher margin revenue.
- Experience Value: Employ Wardrobe Assistants that work by specific appointments with customers. They become the customers’ personal fashion and shopping assistants throughout their stay in your store.
- Special Events: Have fashion shows, product demonstrations and individual fashion, design or sports coaching-depending on your store’s focus.
- Basic Value: Do not forget or neglect the basics; make sure your merchandise is available, presentable and organized logically. Sales staff has three functions; Help the customer, Help the customer and Help the customer. They need to be visible, available and helpful.
- Time Value: Check-out. Please make your customer’s experience is closed on a positive note with a quick and accurate check out. There is nothing more aggravating to a customer than making them wait to give you their money.
Shopping online is fast, easy and convenient; Big Retail needs to provide their customers with a valuable shopping experience when they visit the store. Your store is a major barrier to entry and should be utilized as such. It’s time for a paradigm shift.
[Image Courtesy: Ian Muttoo]