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Purpose: To help you identify the components of effective retail atmospherics.
Background: While we all respond—positively or negatively—to the atmosphere of retail stores, you might not have not given thought to the elements that create that atmosphere. This exercise is designed to highlight both the importance of an effective store atmosphere, and the components that converge to create it.
Exercise: Identify local businesses that have standout retail atmosphere. Consider both positive and negative examples and to be as specific as possible about what works and what doesn’t. Remember that the effectiveness of a retail atmosphere is highly dependent on the target audience. The retail atmosphere at a store such as Hot Topic, for instance, is compelling for many young people, and, repelling for some of your parents (which may be part of the highly successful strategy). Choose one of the topics below. Consider how you could use atmospherics to maximize the effectiveness of their venue. Consider everything from decorations, to layout, to scent, to furnishings, to signage, to color, to music. Report your results in essay format.
Your college or university campus
Music store
Vintage clothing store
Office supply store
Pancake restaurant
Toy store
Questions for Reflection:
What elements seem most effective? How important are atmospherics?
How are atmospherics perceived differently across cultures? Why?
Are great atmospherics enough for a competitive advantage? Why? (Think Victoria’s Secret, Hooters, Bath and Body Works, etc.)