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Tag: shopping 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?
Another hot topic from the 2012 Supermarkets conference we attended last month was the future of the large format supermarket and its design.
As mentioned in my previous note on the exponential growth of convenience stores, the growth from convenience stores and the discount chains – such as pound shops and discount grocery – is out-stripping the sales increase from ‘big-box’ grocery retailing.
By 2016, Market research forecasts an increase from 13% to 24% of supermarket sales to come from non-supermarket locations. Put simply, the rise in popularity of e-commerce, convenience stores, pharmacy, travel money, banking, etc. is reducing the growth potential from adding new space through large format openings or extensions, by offering an easier return on investment.
So what does this mean for today’s supermarkets? Well, the store of the future is likely to be heavily influenced by each retailers ‘clicks and mortar’ strategy. Putting dark stores in large conurbation areas on one side, more online deliveries (currently only <5% for grocery shopping) will mean less shoppers in store and perhaps a larger back of house area to facilitate home delivery or in-store collections.
Some retailers are already exploring ‘drive through’ collection points in car parks for those customers who might want to order online and collect their shopping on their way home. Less customers in store might free up more room for complimentary or destination franchise space within store to help drive footfall and make the supermarket feel more like a traditional high street or market all under one roof? There are lots of options, lots of opportunity and many cul-de-sacs to be explored.
What is clear, is there a changing marketplace with changing consumer habits and it is likely we will all see various trials and future store concepts being rolled out as the supermarkets jockey for the right idea and market position.
We hear all too often that the growth of multichannel retailing, as great as it is reported to be, has a detrimental effect on our high streets. Indeed a number of retailers either have closed, or are planning to close, a great number of their outlets because of their reducing profitability. These retailers say that they are placing more emphasis on their online offers, or simply blaming on-line shopping for the demise of their physical stores.
It is great then to see how some retailers are embracing this multichannel world of retail, using their store estates to assist and further promote online shopping by creating a buy-online-collect-in-store offer. Ingenious really, and obvious!
Online sales won’t suffer, in fact their growth will continue, maybe even accelerate. It could be that many people – like myself – who usually put off on-line shopping because they aren’t at home to accept the deliveries, will be encouraged to use the service knowing they can collect in-store at their convenience. The option of buying online reduces the time needed to be spent in a store, so the simple collection option seems much more attractive.
And there are still cross-sell opportunities…
With careful design and planning of the collection points in store, there also lies an opportunity to encourage impulse purchasing and boost the failing in store sales. A win-win scenario so it seems.
C A Design services are in the enviable position of not only having the ability through our Rhubarb Retail interior Design team to create the in store look and feel, but our large and flexible teams of CADS Retail planning experts can also quickly and efficiently provide all the planning support required to ‘roll out’ a concept such as this.
Contact our retail team on 01493 440444 for more information.
The long awaited Portas Review from retail guru Mary Portas has been published today. You can find a copy here:
Written with passion as well as sound business acumen, the report is well presented and easy to follow.
You can find a summary of the key recommendations from the report here:
We’re not fighting a losing battle just yet…
As we gear up for the launch of our brand new retail design division, Rhubarb Retail, it’s becoming clear that what’s judged as “good” retail design is very subjective. This is what makes our retail team’s job so difficult, but what they do understand is that all shoppers have a choice…
OK, I know that much is obvious to most, so let me explain: As shoppers, we all have the option to buy most things online, and yet despite the doom and gloom reports in the news, check out your local high street on a Saturday morning. It’s not completely deserted is it?
Surely buying everything from the comfort of our own homes would prove more cost-effective for most. You don’t pay for the privilege of getting to the shops, you don’t have to brave the unpredictable British weather, and you can find what you’re looking for with a quick Google search.
Despite this, the majority of people do visit the high street or shopping malls for more than just a quick purchase. Consciously or not, they are looking for a retail experience… of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, nor every purchase. But think about those products you really care about. You might research them online, but for a high-value purchase would you really hand over your hard-earned cash for something that you have never seen, touched, or tasted? Whether it’s the perfect dress, ingredients for the perfect dinner party, or the perfect car, you will want to go in-store and make sure that what you’re choosing is right for you, and the retail experience is key to this.
It’s for this reason that all stores need to provide a shopping experience – whether it’s the treasure trove of trinkets in a gift shop, or visual splendor of product and packaging in a delicatessen, visual theatre helps. It smacks of quality and makes customers feel special, giving them the personal justification that they should spend money on this product over any others they’ve found. This understanding is what makes brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotel Chocolat and Penhaligon’s etc so successful.
Maybe if retail design services and advice were available more cost-effectively to the independent retailer, we would see more of these experiential store formats?
The new House of Fraser ‘Buy and Collect’ concept could bring high end shopping in a smaller footprint / format back to the High Street.
Street furniture or concierge services could allow shoppers to ‘park’ their shopping, or have it delivered to their car?
For great retail design, we need ‘outside of the box’ thinking and a truly collaborative approach. This will put the life back into our High Streets.