Store Environment: A Piece of Theatre or Real-Time Improvement?
At the end of last month a well known high street restaurant announced that after a successful trial of next generation restaurants it would be introducing a programme of “brand signatures” across its whole estate. These new restaurants will adapt their ‘layouts to make more of the theatre and performance of its chefs and is improving the in-store acoustics to remove unwanted noise’.
Store ambiance is something that any successful restaurant will have as one of their top priorities, as they aim to create the perfect environment for which its clientele can sit, relax and enjoy a meal. I think I am being fair in saying that this is generally tackled in restaurants and more broadly with retail stores as well, with “makeovers” or a “rebranding” where wholesale changes are made to freshen up the look of the shop.
But how do these stores maintain a continually good quality of store environment? Is store ambiance something neglected by retailers only to be rectified once every year or so?
This is not the case for Fizzback’s retail clients and is something that I think other retailers need to start addressing more seriously. By creating an environment that is a pleasure to shop in, customers are more inclined to return, and hence increasing their loyalty to the store.
Yet in the case above store ambiance is not something which can have a one quick fix: as in all things in life, environments if left alone deteriorate and change. For example one of Fizzback’s clients, one of the largest supermarket chains in the UK uses the Fizzback solution to quickly react to changing in store conditions.
Feedback gathered via the Fizzback solution relating to maintenance issues such as store temperature (a very difficult issue to monitor in large stores with varying temperature levels) are quickly routed to the relevant departments to deal with efficiently.
An interesting and useful insight was also discovered: employees weren’t noticing changes in store temperatures as their workload meant they were very active. Staff members were not feeling the effect of drops in temperature when the customer was. As our client was able to collect feedback in real-time they were able to quickly rectify the problem and adapt their business accordingly.
The shopping environment in the retail sector is something that is regularly looked at in terms of giving shops “makeovers” or a “rebranding”. What is just as important is the continual assessment and maintenance of stores. And there is only one true judge of whether it is continually up to standards: the customer.