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Create a selling machine

NEW YORK -When you consider the look of your store, don't think in terms of architecture and interior design, urged Patrick Rodmell, vp of global marketing for the Watt Group.

At the "Short-term bang vs. long-term buck: Merchandising and store design track" session at NRF, Rodmell offered a checklist of strategic tactics retailers should use to not just get people in their stores, but to know what to do with them once they are already there.

  • Implement value engineering. That means retailers should invest wisely on store "touch points" like natural lighting and other environmental efficiencies, and also optimize staff and customer time.

  • Balance employees' productivity. At a Canadian Cotton Ginny apparel store, buzzers were installed in dressing rooms to allow customers to call for help.

  • Observe the behavior of customers. "Spend more time at your stores observing how long they stay ... and what they do there, and then think about how you can keep them there," he said.

"Think of your store as a selling machine," he said. "Everything in it needs to be designed to give you cost savings and to help you drive more sales."

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