One of the best aspects of being a retail consultant is that I have the good fortune to visit some of the latest and greatest stores being built around the world. There’s nothing better in my job than seeing something new for the first time. The bad news is that I’ve seen a lot of stores so the bar is set pretty high. The good news is that I am almost always surprised by something new.
It seems like one of the goals of a retailer should be to make a customer say, “Wow!” Deliver something to them that they haven’t experienced before. Chances are they will tell some friends about it and that “Wow” moment can be multiplied many times over.
Wows can occur in the form of an outstanding customer service experience, a great price or promotion, unique private label offer, merchandising excellence or brand new merchandising ideas. Wows can show in a passion a retailer has for the community they’re serving or the pride an associate takes in their work. The key to a Wow is making it memorable and being able to deliver it again and again.
In my recent travels, some Wow moments jump to mind:
• In Seoul, the retailer Emart has created an extensive line of home meal replacement products under the name Peacock. This is the first market outside of the U.K. where we have really seen this take hold.
• The latest stores from Hy-Vee integrate their health and wellness programs in an imaginative way, from recommendations in the deli case and center store to nutritionist led tours.
• The new Brothers Marketplace (from Roche Bros.) features an old-fashioned soda fountain and grill, echoing back to the former store’s role as a center of the Medfield community.
• The latest from E LeClerc just outside of Paris has three breathtaking displays for wine, from a volume driven display to a gorgeous high-end wine cave.
• Market Bistro from Price Chopper has so many Wows it’s hard to know where to begin; from the Italian Market to the beer Growler Station to the outstanding and inventive food court, it is clear they set out to reinvent the food experience.
It seems that too many retailers in the industry choose too often to play it safe and find themselves in danger of losing share to those who take greater risks. It’s time for more Wows!
What’s the latest Wow you’ve seen lately?
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