Furniture Everyday

Bill McLoughlin

5 strategies to leverage the power of your store

April 20, 2017

Hardly a day goes by that a story isn’t published somewhere about the decline of retail stores and the growing dominance of the Internet. And there’s little doubt that some stores, both within the furniture space and without, will go away.

However, there is a growing awareness that store-based retail offers some powerful opportunities for consumer engagement, entertainment and interaction that simply can’t be duplicated by a computer screen or cell phone, as Amazon’s increasing experimentation with stores attests.

Furniture Today’s High Point Market issue offers several case studies of retailers who are using their stores to create powerful consumer experiences that cannot be duplicated online. In addition, Doug Stephens, aka The Retail Prophet, offers several concise, actionable and highly achievable suggestions about how store operators can leverage their physical space to win in today’s ultra-competitive retail marketplace.

Here are five strategies retailers can or are using to leverage their stores more effectively:

  1. “The more you can appeal to all of the senses the more engaging you can be,” says Stephens. “There’s no reason you couldn’t walk into a furniture store and instead of the smell of new fabric, you smell food that someone has cooked.” This applies to music selections and lighting as well. Furniture defines the home, there’s no reason a store can’t feel more like a home.
  2. Jordan’s, known as the king of “shoppertainment,” uses its massive in-store entertainment experiences as a traffic driver, not only to get customers in the store but to flow customers throughout the store as they wait on line for the movies or zip lines. It’s much the same way Disney uses its rides as prelude to a shopping experience.
  3. Jerome’s has brought the online experience in-store using an app that lets customers scan product get reviews, view videos and create shopping or wish lists right on the sales floor. And in time this capability will extend to filling out a credit application via the app.
  4. Outdoor living specialist Outdoor Elegance has turned its stores into multi-sensory lifestyle outposts, offering grilling classes, hosting barbecue competitions and other events aimed at aligning the store with consumers’ aspirational outdoor lifestyles.
  5. Furnitureland South and Johnny Janosik have created the brick-and-mortar equivalent of the endless aisle, combining massive stores with inventive merchandising extensive, often in-home design services to create a lifestyle rather than a shopping experience.

These are just a few of the ideas you’ll find in our High Point Market issue. And as always, if you have more to add, we’d love to hear from you.

Have a great market.