Monday, December 1, 2008

25 Holiday Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #7

During my over 15 year retail tenure, I got to have amazing experiences in understanding the strategy behind the physical layout of a store. I was able to be part of new store openings and remodels. There is a true science to a layout of a store and it has everything to do with the way that we shop not only with our wallets but with visual cues and emotional cues.

Without getting into the hardcore theory and strategy, I will give you two of the easiest examples... Sugar cereal is lower on the aisle so that it is at eyelevel of the kids who will beg their parents to buy them the sugar cereal. Trust me, I know as I am a bit vertically challenged and have to seriously stretch to get at my Grape Nuts and "good for you" cereals! Candy is at the checklanes so that while mom is unloading the cart, kids have yet one more chance to beg for sugar! This leads me to my next shopping tip...


Avoid departments in a store that are YOUR weakness.

Yes, this seems like a no-brainer, however, retailers have worked long and hard to get the weakness departments right in front of you. Why put toys in the back of the store? TO MAKE YOU WALK THROUGH EVERY OTHER DEPARTMENT FIRST...AND YET ONE MORE TIME TO GET TO THE REGISTERS! Shoes and handbags are my vices. I will actually walk out of my way in some retail stores to stay away from those departments. Do I lack restraint? No. But, during this time of the year, when it is easy to spend a little here, a little there...impulse buying is simply not a sound shopping strategy if a budget is in place!

I even recommend using store maps. Don't wander, retailers depend upon you wandering through the store, impulse buying, picking up this little box of chocolates, that candle. The reason so many retailers have special tables and merchandise displays up this time of the year is to capture the wandering eye and the wandering consumer.

p.s. If you have a wandering eye, let it wander here! Barefoot Contessa Pantry items are wonderfully delicious! Fantastic food items for your holiday needs, or gift-giving needs!

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

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