I’ve been around the country the past few weeks, with stops in Manhattan, Cambria, and last weekend Lake Arrowhead. In each place, I happened upon a great retail experience.
Great stores with great concepts. Sure two were fairly new. But one had been there for years. And they each had their own experience based on the products they were selling. Here’s what they had in common.
1. The owners were on site. Ready to interact and engage, the owners had great stories to tell about their concepts, their store experience, their merchandise and more. They would talk as long as you wanted to. Or could just as easily leave you alone if you liked. They knew how to read customers and cater to their level of interaction. And it wasn’t just he owners, it was their staff as well.
2. The store had great merchandise. Unique (to their community and their category of business), it wasn’t the same old same old stuff. In each place, I could have purchased ten different things (I did exercise some restraint however). The commonality for each was that some of the merchandise was found overseas – Europe, Argentina and other countries were represented. Perhaps that’s part of the reason their merchandise mix stood out as different.
3. The store had a soul. No matter whether the concept was brand new (and felt new) or 15 years old, you felt the store’s soul the minute you walked in. There was a sense of ahhh. A sense that you had just found a small gem that you wanted to hang out in, to browse, to discover, to experience.
4. The store had a sense of discovery. Not overly organized, nor overly cluttered, the store had enough to look at, to touch, to interact with that you were drawn into every nook and cranny, making sure not to miss a thing.
Check out these great concepts: