The other day I was driving down a highly-travelled road in my town and I passed a particular clothing store. I have been in this store many times, and have actually made some purchases there. But I would be the first one to tell you that the inside of the store could use some work. If my memory serves, the carpet is old, the ceilings are kind of low, and the decor feels very outdated. The merchandise is hung up on racks so tightly that one feels as if they are digging while they’re shopping. And yet, year after year, this store remains open. They have probably been in their current location for at least ten years. The other day, the person I was with and I were discussing this very thing, and we came up with a hypothesis as to why this may be. It’s two things really:
- Window Displays
The store is located at a literal crossroads–you have to either go to the right or to the left of it as you approach it on the road. The owners/managers of the store must be aware of the high-visibility factor of this location, because they are constantly changing their window displays to show their current inventory. Even though I have no real need to shop there at this point in my life, I still glance at these displays just about every time I pass the store.
Now I know what you’re thinking: “That’s all well and good, but you already told us that the store itself isn’t that nice inside. It doesn’t matter how interesting the window display is, if a store isn’t nice on the inside, it’s not going to do well.” But here’s the thing I didn’t mention before–they have a very large inventory, and their prices are significantly lower than other places that offer similar merchandise around town.
So basically, they get new customers to try them out by their window displays, and they keep people coming back by keeping their prices competitive. It makes perfect sense. Have they driven some people away by the fact that the inside needs a little work? Perhaps. But they obviously are doing something right.
I think anyone who has a physical location for their company could learn a thing or two from this place. They seem to have figured out that people driving by really do look at their windows–they’re a place to display current inventory and to give a quick, 2-second impression of what could be found inside. Some people might be tempted to think that this type of a thing is too old-fashioned and that surely it isn’t effective anymore. But I would be willing to bet that it still works, and works very well. The key is to get people in the door. What happens after that is…well, a whole other blog article. :-)