Growing up in rural New Brunswick, going into "town" would mean the opportunity to go into Levines, Calps, or McCalls, all locally owned department stores. My Favorite was Calps, it specialized in high end clothing, perfume, and accessories. The visual display in that store is probably what got me hooked on wanting to be a shopkeeper. I was mesmerized by how beautiful everything looked, and I would stare at those displays and study them..... they made everything look and feel so special.... because it was. The stores had staff that treated you like a true customer, even if you were "only looking"..... because they knew one day the "only looking" would turn into a sale.
Going shopping was not a chore, it was a delight, it was inspirational. Retailers worked hard to make sure their stores were in tip top shape.... spend some time watching Selfridges on Netflix..... an insight into the history of department stores and retail at large. Retail, was about fantasy, showing the client how beautiful their life would be with this product in it.
Today, retail is a far cry to what is was just 30 years ago. Store displays are mundane, poorly done, or simply non-existent. Where is the beauty? The magic? The dream? Gone. Staff? In Department stores, non-existent, service, is now more or less, self serve. Anyone who knows me...... I spend a lot of money when I go clothing shopping, mainly becasue I only go once every couple of years.... that being said Im known to drop a couple of thousand in one go.... give me a sales associate who will grab me different sizes, look at my figure and say try this on... and Im spending money.
We wonder why Brick and Mortar retailers are struggling.... simply, everything that made retail so special, retailers have taken away. The demise of Brick and Mortar is not on-line shopping, the demise came about 10 years earlier, as retailers cut back on staff, visual display, and lack of creativity. Its like they gave up.
And yet some of us Brick and Mortar stores are thriving. Why? Because we have not fogotten what brought you to our stores in the first place.... gracious staff, beautiful products, displays that inspire, and an environment that is creative and stimulating. I often hear in my store ....... "I just love your store, it just feels good". Its my all time favourite compliment, and you can only get that experience..... from a Brick and Mortar store.
Shop Local. Love Where You Live.