There's an interesting interview with Michael Gould, chairman and CEO of Bloomingdale's, in the January 2 edition of the New York Post. The article outlines what Bloomingdale's did in-store to repositioned itself once again as a high end department store, including:
* Dramatically reducing the amount of product on the sales floor, making it easier for customers to shop more comfortably
* Eliminating "air pollution" by reducing the amount of in-store signage in stores by 90 percent
* Focusing on upscale designers to recapture an upscale perception
* Dramatically improving customer service with a new focus on the customer -- the number of store associates is 20 percent higher than it was in 2002. Bloomingdale's has also become more selective about sales events, reducing promotional days by 10 percent annually over the last four years.
Click here to read the article in its entirety:
All of this makes perfect sense to us. In the day to day workings of running a retail store -- or chain -- it's sometimes it's easy to lose your way. Judging by the sales increases Bloomingdale's is enjoying they are on the right track.
Look at your own sales floor. Do customers have enough room to shop? Does your product selection represent your brand well? Is it presented well?
Does all of your in-store signing serve a purpose or are there so many signs in your store that customers are confused? Hint: If customers ask where they are before they write a check, you have too many vendor signs. Trade vendor signing for signing with YOUR store name on them.
And is your customer service truly up to snuff? It may not be as good as you think. Hiring a mystery shopper just might do you a world of good.
Now is the perfect time to take off your blinders and look at your store through your cusotmers eyes!