I walked into an REI store yesterday, eager to spend my dividends from the past two years (and some of my own money as well). I thought there might be a Patagonia jacket with my name on it. Surely there was something in the cavernous men’s section housed upstairs at this location. It was a warmish day here in Southern California (who can argue with 80 degrees on the first day of December?).
The problem was that the upstairs of this REI store was warm. I noticed it the minute I walked in the store. Air conditioning not working? Good corporate citizenship calling for increasing the thermostat a few degrees in the name of global warming? The problem was, for me, it was too warm. I’m not good at trying on clothes anyway. And nothing makes me want to try on clothes less than when I’m too warm.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Nothing turns a shopper off more than an uncomfortable store experience.
We’ve all walked into a store in summer when the air conditioning has broken down. You walk in, then immediately walk back out. And unfortunately, in our patience-less world, we won’t put up with anything less than perfection (we are getting much more picky as a society and our expectations continue to rise).
Remember, it’s not about you. You have to make sure your store is comfortable for your customers. If that means you have to throw on a shawl, a cardigan, a crocheted poncho or any other item to warm up a bit, then do it. Your customers will thank you for keeping the store cool enough to try on clothes and will linger in your store longer (and potentially spend more). Plus, you’ll save a few bucks on your energy bill this winter.
How are you providing a great store experience for your customers?
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