If your store is having an identity crisis, it’s time that you sorted it out. People will respond more favorably to your store when it has a distinct personality and a unique style. A good way to pinpoint the overall image that you would like to project is by considering your ideal customer. What kind of atmosphere would appeal to her? Would she feel more comfortable in a sleek, coolly modern store, or would she be happier in one that had a more traditional feel? Would background music make sense, or would it only be a distraction? These small but important points will help you develop a unique atmosphere for your store.
Select Fixtures that Mesh with the Personality of Your Store
Once you have decided the general direction in which you’d like to go in terms of atmosphere, you need to invest in fixtures that bring it into living color. Achieving a trendy, shabby-chic look is easy when you decorate the store with vintage furniture and pieces of decor. If you’re looking to create an upscale ambiance, you should select sleek, modern items. These types of things form the backdrop of your store and make it easier to achieve the kind of atmosphere that you want.
A Note about Music
Music is a touchy subject among retailers. Some stores take things a little too far; you don’t want your customers to have the urge to plug their ears when they walk into your store. If you are going to play music, keep it at a very reasonable level. The right music can certainly enhance the atmosphere of a store. Consider the kinds of music that your target demographic would enjoy and go from there. Older clientele will appreciate low-key jazz, soft rock or oldies; a younger crowd will approve of hip indie tunes and music that’s currently at the top of the charts.
The Small Things Matter
By putting special touches on the small things, you can really drive home the style and atmosphere of your store. Don’t overlook things like shelf labels and price tags. If possible, find options that are unique. Generic pieces do absolutely nothing to enhance the atmosphere of your store. If you sell clothing, seek out stylish and eye-catching hangers. Find small, creative decorative pieces to keep things interesting. If mirrors make sense, try to find options that have special styles. The goal here is to show just how thoughtful and discerning you are when it comes to setting up your store; your customers are sure to appreciate the extra effort.
Don’t Overlook the Employees
There’s one final piece to the puzzle when it comes to achieving a fantastic store atmosphere: the employees. Your employees need to be professional and courteous; that is a given. They should also wear clothes that make sense when it comes to the rest of your store’s atmosphere and style. You don’t have to use uniforms, but it is smart to set a fairly strict dress code. You don’t want your employees to “clash” with the rest of your store’s atmosphere. If a dress code change is in order, go ahead and make it; it will pay off.
As you go through the process of creating a great atmosphere in your store, you may be unsure about where the finish line is. Here’s the thing: You’ll know it when you see it. After updating those hangers or switching the soundtrack, everything will suddenly just click. You will also know you are on the right track when you hear appreciative remarks from your customers. While you will want to make occasional changes and updates from time to time, you should try to stick with the same overall style. It’s one that your loyal customers will come to expect, and it’s sure to get you a lot of word-of-mouth business too.