A comfortable retail environment provides a place for shoppers to rest, examine their potential purchases, for spouses or children to read a book or play a game, and for physically challenged or elderly customers to rest for a moment. Providing a place to rest can be a hard sell for store planners for obvious reasons: real estate should be filled with product, right?
Well, yes, and no. Maximizing product on the floor is a no-brainer for driving sales especially when it is presented well. Primary real estate should be relegated to front of department displays or tables, but providing a spot that encourages your customers to catch their breath need not be mutually exclusive.
Holiday shopping can be exhausting, especially in these final days. While many customers are determined to get in and out as quickly as possible, others are determined to do all their shopping in your store. Help them make it to the finish line!
A bench or some sort of comfortable seating can be the difference between someone gathering up their energy and their purchases to wait in line, or a customer that abandons your store. If you are not sure where to place a bench or a simple resting spot, watch your customers. Do they tend to ‘drop’ in a particular place? How are you helping them make it through your cash wrap, especially in stores too small to provide shopping carts?
You needn’t have an entire area devoted to seating. Boutiques could scatter small stools artfully throughout. Apparel stores could place a stool outside the dressing room, and larger stores could add benches outside the rest room or on a stair landing.
The key is to be thoughtful. Your customers will thank you!