Retailwire: Of Sense and Sentimentality in Store VM

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Retailwire: Of Sense and Sentimentality in Store VM

Post  Anand on Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:03 pm

Visual merchandising has taken a turn for the comfortable this holiday season as stores attempt to help put shoppers more at ease and into a state where they'll be more likely to spend their money.
Doug Hope, founder of GlobalShop and publisher of Display & Design Ideas, offered an example to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Think about the old Rich's [now Macy's] at Lenox Square. It was one gigantic Mylar attack of chrome and mirrors. You almost had to have sunglasses. Now, they're really toning it down with wooden floors, painted surfaces and fabric wall-coverings," he said.

Stores are looking to make the shopping environment more welcoming by pumping in pleasurable aromas. According to Mr. Hope, stores are using a variety of scents including cedar, apple pie, vanilla, and green tea to help set the shopping mood. "Our sense of smell is one of the most important as far as memory and mood are concerned," he said.

Two others tactics that are being utilised, according to Mr. Hope, are in direct contrast to one another.

On one hand, stores are looking to make shopping easier on the ears with a variety of noise-cancelling steps including the addition of carpeting on floors, cloth-covered walls and ceilings sprayed with material that muffles sound. "The mall has a certain din going on, and that din isn't exactly pleasant," he told the Journal-Constitution. "It really does take sound absorption techniques in this day and age."

On the other hand, there is the explosion of digital displays in stores, a la Wal-Mart TV. Stores are also making increased use of kiosks to provide consumers with information and, in some cases, sell product.

Anand

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