This paper aims to apply the retail elements discussed in the book of Paco Underhill, “Why We Buy”. As discussed in the book, improving the state of certain but key retail elements of the store will likely improve its sales performance. For this study, the proponent opted to study the prospects of improving the retail elements of the Starbucks Coffeeshop located at 62 Boylston, Boston, Massachusetts and subsequently, the store’s sales performance.
I. THE STORE – The proponent chose the Starbucks Coffee Shop located at 62 Boylston, Boston, Massachusetts for this study. It is a very small establishment that provides that rustic makeshift feel typical of Boston. While the coffee shop is successful in blending with the building that houses it and appears to have tapped a substantial percentage of foot traffic to keep it afloat, the proponent believes that it can do more once improvements are implemented to it.
These improvements will be discussed in detail and will be conveyed after reviewing key retail elements. 1. Facade – As mentioned earlier by the proponent, the establishment blended well with the building’s color scheme and all with only the logo to distinguish it from afar. If one is new in the area and happens to pass this route to the office, chances are, the establishment will not register as on of Starbuck’s stores unless one looks up and sees the logo.
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2. Layout– In general, the interior follows a typical Starbucks coffee shop with varying seat arrangements ranging from a 2-seater coffee table to bar tables on the glass panel provided with stools to suit to the dining preference of its customers. Similarly, the tables and chairs are arranged in such a way to allow a free flowing process for the customer, i. e. , from the time one enters the store, to approaching the counter, then dining until the customer heads for the exit. The interior painting provides a warm and homey feel enticing customers to stay a little longer. . Display – Inside the store, you will see the usual Starbucks merchandising showing their valued coffee beans, thermo mugs, coffee press and music cds to name a few. In front of the counter, one gets enticed to indulge in a sweet spree with all the pastries the store has to offer.
The window panels while bare and boring from afar, allows passersby to get a glimpse of what is happening inside and what is in store for them and the proponent believes that this is the how Starbucks wanted it. . Value Added Amenities – The store provides its customers with mild pipe in music that stimulates an engaging conversation with friends. In addition, the store provides wireless fidelity connection to give customers access to the internet. 5. Customer – While the regular Bostonian walks to and fro school or work, most come from old rich descent. Life in Boston is a bit laid back compared to other areas in the United States making the theme of the store under study suitable for them.
II. THE PROPOSAL – In reviewing the Starbuck’s store, the proponent attempts to apply the following retails points crucial in improving the sales performance of an establishment. These elements are: 1) A reason to return; 2) Interception Rate; 3) Display windows; 4a) Touch, trial, or other sensory stimuli; 4b) Immediate gratification; 4c) Social interaction; 5) Adjacencies and 6) Design, merchandising and operations (Underhill 2000). As the proponent conducts the analysis certain areas for improvement will be identified in the process.
Among these areas, the proponent believes that application of certain modification on the stores design, i. e. , facade, and initiating activities that will enhance social interaction will not only increase the occurrence of repeat customers but will also enable them to tap other target markets. These two areas are discussed in detail below: 1. Design – Obviously, the operator of the Starbucks coffee at 62 Boylston, Boston, Massachusetts tried to blend in with the overall color and theme of the building, unfortunately, certain marketing concepts have been sacrificed in doing so.
For instance, while people passing within the proximity of the coffee shop will likely identify it immediately, people from afar will most likely miss it not to mention if these people are new or are just visiting the area. The proponent also suggests that applying a contrasting color scheme will not only help increase the visibility of the store but as a matter of fact, will improve the appearance of the building en banc. 2.
Social Interaction – Another avenue for sales improvement is in initiating activities that will enhance group meetings or social interaction in the store. To note, the baseline sales of the store is more or less dependent on the number of seats occupied. Oftentimes, the seating capacity of the store will be underutilized due to customers who would be dining alone. By initiating activities or promotions like group discounts, utilization of the store’s seating capacity, which as mentioned is a function of sales, will likely increase.
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