February 18, 2004

Locations in Retail Space

Tom Moseman has advice for retailers that put their store displays in high-traffic areas.

Beware the "butt-brush" factor.

Badly placed store items can get brushoff

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Published February 17, 2004

Tom Moseman has advice for retailers that put their store displays in high-traffic areas.

Beware the "butt-brush" factor.

Moseman, whose Envirosell Inc. is sort of a feng shui adviser to merchants, banks and fast-food chains, spoke at the National Retail Federation's Retail Advertising Conference, which ended Friday in Chicago.

Among Moseman's tips for customer-pleasing store designs: Think twice about putting point-of-sale displays in busy areas, including where checkout lines creep back.

"We're posterior-sensitive beings," said the senior vice president for the New York behavioral research firm, whose clients include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Lowe's Cos.

Invade shoppers' personal space, and they're likely to move on and not buy the product being highlighted. "Understanding the butt-brush factor is extremely important."

For stores that stack jeans, Moseman recommends putting husky sizes on top. It saves the amply proportioned from bending over.

Likewise, petites don't have to scale shelves.

And avoid displaying merchandise close to store entrances. Here's why: Shoppers entering a store need to pass through a "decompression zone," giving them the chance to slow their gait and scope things out. Shoppers who haven't decompressed tend to breeze by goods.

Considering displaying interactive devices? Don't bother unless you want children to use them.

Sinking sales: Spiegel Inc. said sales at its Eddie Bauer stores open at least a year dropped 7 percent in January compared with the same month last year.

The Downers Grove company also said catalog and online sales fell 28 percent, mostly due to a planned reduction in catalog circulation and a change in mailing dates.

Spiegel debuted its revamped semiannual catalog and Web site in late January. The comparable 2003 semiannual catalog was mailed in late December 2002.

Environmental Sears: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, which give an "Energy Star" seal of approval to products reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recognized Sears, Roebuck and Co. for selling more environmentally friendly appliances than any other U.S. retailer in 2003.

Of course, Sears sells more major appliances, green or otherwise, than any other retailer.

Sears increased the dollar volume of its sales of Energy Star-qualified appliances, including Kenmore, Frigidaire and Maytag brands, by 30 percent in 2003. The goods account for 60 percent of appliance dollar volume for Sears and 40 percent of unit sales.

The least expensive Kenmore dishwasher is $229; the Energy Star version starts at $279.

Energy Star appliances use a third less energy.

Lowe's was recognized last year.

Bad break: What if you opened a store and then broke your right wrist?

"It's not very easy," said right-hander Elisabeth Brusson, who in November opened French jewelry store Renaissance Ethnique at 2050 N. Halsted St.

Last month Brusson, who moved from her native France eight months ago for her husband's job transfer, took a spill on ice and now has her arm in a cast.

"I've learned to write a little with my left hand," she said.

But arranging product displays is next to impossible. That duty now falls largely to her one employee.

It's Brusson's first stab at entrepreneurship. How are things going? "Not bad," she said. "You have to learn to be patient."

Chicago Tribune | Badly placed store items can get brushoff

Posted by Craig at February 18, 2004 04:49 PM