A Good News Story
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been frequenting strip mall locations in suburban areas. This was part because I got tired of seeing the same national chain retailers that dominate the scene in shopping centres, over and over again. The media reports the fortunes of large chains on a regular basis, and I wanted to see how the independents were fairing.
In one particular suburb, there was the usual scene of 'For Lease' and 'Closing Down Sale' signage which has become prominent since the economic crisis. There was also the usual sight of empty stores, with the predictable two staff standing behind the counter waiting for the day to end.
But what amazed me was a handful of stores which were full with customers. Not of people browsing, but walking out with shopping bags filled with goods.
None of these retailers had a sale on. Curious I looked at the pricing; the product was not cheap (nor was it expensive). The merchandising and ticketing was not 'technically correct' as described by the manuals. But you felt comfortable and continuously engaged in the products displayed.
So why were these stores so busy?
Because they are authentic. They are real. We spend most of times discussing the concept of unique selling proposition and branding, yet these retailers had built concepts that were exciting. You could tell these were businesses that love built. You could feel the passion through the selection of product, the way it was merchandised and commitment of the staff. It was like the retailer said "Stuff it! I am building this business they way I want to build it".
You walked around the stores like it was a discovery. The product was exciting. Customers would pick up the product and enthusiastically show it to their shopping partner. We talk about selecting unique product assortments. These retailers had obviously not studied this theory, as they were too busy searching the world for exciting and top quality product.
The experience was like home style cooking. The meal might not be what 3-star chef serve, but you love it, have fond memories, and always return for more.
Retailers spend so much time copying what others are doing, yet have not built a business that means something to them. Customers can feel your passion.
'Rogue Retailer' Shaun Mooney is offering a FREE Report 'Secrets to Instant Retail Profits' (valued at $29.95). To receive your copy, go to http://www.fastretailprofits.com/free_report.html