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Tag: mall design
As the shops get busier in the weeks before Christmas, the issue of queuing becomes more and more obvious.
Queuing is the bane of shopper’s lives and bad experiences can often result in aborted purchases, negative feelings towards a retailer and, sometimes, all-out rage! But how can you avoid these pitfalls?
Everybody has a general benchmark as to how long they think a queue will last. For example, you know that a queue at immigration will take forever; the bank will probably take a similar period of time and the post office could take much longer. On the shorter side of things, the cash-point should only take a few moments and the traffic lights will change any second – don’t even bother taking it out of gear. ]
But what happens when there is a deviation from the norm?
In simple terms, you feel good when you win and bad when you lose. This feeling is often amplified when compared against the progress (or lack thereof) of other queues at the checkout or as you exit an aircraft (not only is your queue not moving, the other queue is making remarkable progress). Similarly, beating that car in a traffic jam never fails to put a smile on your face.
Do you remember the last time you were in a packed pub, trying your best to reach over the bar and catch the barman’s attention? All you want is a couple of drinks and you don’t want to miss out on the banter back at the table. You eye up the opposition, make a mental note of your arrival time and, after much jostling, sharp elbows and dagger looks, you finally look the barman in the eye, get the nod and know you are next. At this point you relax a little, knowing you have claimed your place in the world. Even so, you are slightly on edge as you see your predecessor’s money disappear into the till, your neck is out like a giraffe and the barman looks up; only to turn the other way and deal with much later arriving member of the opposition – look at the smirk on their face! Feel the anger rise up inside of you. You feel cheated, wronged and have a distinct prejudice against both the barman and the sly queue jumper.
Do you want your customers to feel like this? I wouldn’t think so, but what can retailers do to keep the rage at bay? The answer is distraction.
M&S food make a wonderful job of it, bringing out your inner child with a dazzling array of sweet impulse buys (mini yum-yum anyone?) and in one fell swoop make you forget you are in a queue and you are at the checkout in no time (whilst making a significant contribution to profits).
But it’s not just impulse buys that beat the queuing blues. Performance works wonders as well; watching a florist create a stunning arrangement makes time fly by…
What were your best and worst queuing experiences?
A recent trend in the office is the increase in requests for measured surveys from retailers who are opening stores on the Continent. Although the physical process of surveying and drawing is the same, the geographic spread can bring with it a number of challenges; inefficient planning can dramatically affect your cost base.
However, nothing is insurmountable and you can avert a number of potential issues by following our top 5 tips for success:
1. Give your survey supplier as much warning as possible.
2. Allocate site surveys in batches wherever possible
3. Work with your survey supplier and let them know the bigger picture.
4. Ensure that all the agents and store managers know that the survey team is coming.
5. Be flexible on the drawing return date.
Obviously it’s not always about cost, but we believe it is important that our clients don’t pay any more than they need to, so if you are considering expansion into Europe and want to use a survey company you can trust, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Delving into any kind of retail development process can be tricky, especially sorting just where you need to start. From small everyday products to full on retail development projects, they all have a feasibility process.
What is a “Feasibility” study?
Really the name does say it all, but we need to look a little closer to really understand what goes into a successful retail feasibility study. Carrying out this process will allow you to look at whether your “grand plan” is actually possible.
One of the most important points to look at, and a good basis for any retail feasibility study, is whether or not there is a need for your product or service to begin with. I mean, if a town already has four 100,000 sqft supermarkets, do they really need or want a fifth one?
Anything from the aspect of a new building to the colour of a label, needs careful consideration to make sure that they are the best for your purpose. Then, whether for a product, service, site, or your own special project, the possibilities can be explored and planned out in as many versions as necessary until the “ eureka” moment. That’s when you know that you have done all you can to eliminate what does not work, or is not possible, and you can feel confident that you have the best scenario with which to proceed.
Being well prepared is the key to success, so an investment of time and funds in retail feasibility can reap rewards when your project is a roaring success!
Julia & Andrew
Retail Planners – CADS Retail
During a recent retail consultancy visit to Dubai, I was looking forward to challenging my preconceptions of retail in the Middle East and finding out for myself what progress looks like. The purpose of the trip was to meet with a major value fashion brand and report back on their in store design, layout and customer journey.
Part of the itinerary was to visit several of the new shopping malls and then take a trip to the Sharjah, one of the neighbouring Emirates, to get a flavour for the high street. The first mall we visited in Dubai was Ibn Battuta, the World’s largest themed shopping mall design that’s named after a medieval traveller who travelled at least 75,000 miles in his quest to visit the lands of every Muslim leader – that’s probably further than my Gran has driven in her lifetime and she has the benefit of a car to assist her, so a themed mall in Dubai can only be a fitting tribute to him. Nonetheless, once you are in from the heat you are transported to a labyrinth of halls representing China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia.
The quality of the shopping mall fit-out is fantastic; the ceilings are painted up as azure blue skies, there’s a serious investment in mood lighting, the walls are clad in a suitable vernacular and the scenes are dressed with palm trees, chandeliers, fountains and mosaics. The Elephant clock in ‘Persia’ is like nothing you’d see in a UK mall and I can only imagine what the costs would have been to erect this 20ft plus piece of visual theatre.
Overall though, I was more surprised to see the dominance of the fashion stores and the regular brands you’d see on any UK high street, such as H&M, New Look and French Connection. Equally amazing and perhaps the real missed opportunity, is that once you pass the threshold from ‘Egypt’ into one of these mega brands, you could be anywhere in the world.
My guess is that it would have been nice to see some investment from the retailers in the drama of the shopping mall design and development, taking the themes in-store to create some real theatre for the customers; what do you think?
More reports from the Middle East coming soon.