A great location is well merchandised.
There’s a national chain of ice cream stores that offers over 30 flavors. The chain generally has friendly staff, good, not premium ice cream, there’s no ‘fro-yo’, no gelato, but without a doubt, it is one of America’s historically recognizable brands. What has made it so successful?
At the retail district, shopping center and individual store level, merchandise selection is supremely important to long-term success. There was a time in the U.S. when most ice cream parlors offered a mere scoopful of options. Then in 1945, an upstart brand entered the frozen confection business with over two and a half dozen ice cream flavors on display. In 2019 parlance, these guys were ‘disruptors’. I’m so glad that they were. Throughout my childhood, I consumed countless scoops of ice cream, sherbet and frozen ice in celebration and solace. I was rarely alone. The success of this brand was tied to its ability to offer something for everyone with its seemingly countless opportunities to explore new tastes. This is an example of exceptional merchandising.
Many landlords are accused of building the same ‘ol shopping centers as everyone else. The centers have the same layout, same stores and the same customer experience i.e. vanilla, cookie-cutter development. There are legitimate reasons why landlords stick to a successful and economically feasible development and leasing formula. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, the most economically successful retail environments (centers or high streets) are the ones where there is thoughtful, deliberate and yes, expensive merchandising strategy at work. Tenants that occupy space in these well-merchandised areas have a greater opportunity to sell their goods and services to a larger audience.
People are satisfied to make transactions, but they are excited to shop. The landlords and tenants that recognize this nuance curate environments that facilitate the former and simultaneously encourage the latter. Terrific merchandising increases visits, dwell time and gross revenues in nearly all retail projects. Push your retail partners to improve their merchandising efforts.