Establishing the Retail Store Image: Six-Step Method

Establishing the Retail Environment/Store Image

Six-Step Method (Section 2, Part 1)

Every retailer must decide upon which retail/store image elements or cues, such as exterior and interior décor, customer services, and product selection, are the most critical for developing a successful retail organization. The elements implemented in order to establish the unique personality of the store must attract and motivate the target consumer to visit that particular store. These image elements are usually identified or alluded to in the retailer’s mission statement and then addressed in more detail in the retail organization’s strategic plan. Therefore, the store designer, architect, and/or visual merchandiser must be aware of these elements and must use them in order to communicate with the store’s target consumers.


Profile the Target Consumer/Conduct a Market Segment Analysis

As previously discussed, the visual merchandiser must first pinpoint the consumer with whom the retailer is trying to communicate, then determine how to create the visual presentation in order to entice the customer to come into the store or department, and finally, motivate the customer into making a purchase while visiting the store. In most cases the retailer has identified the market segment or segments of the overall population that the company can offer the best value proposition, yet realize a profit for the store. However, there are population shifts constantly evolving, of which both the retailer and visual merchandiser must be aware.


Demographic Factors for Segmenting Markets

Demographic factors that the retailer and visual merchandiser examine when identifying a market segment include population statistics such as age, generation, gender, income, occupation, and education. As previously discussed in Part 1: 1-1 of this Section, age has a large impact on products or services a consumer purchases, how to communicate with the consumer, and buying behavior that might be indicative of that particular consumer.


Psychographic Factors for Segmenting Markets

Psychographic factors that help to segment consumers into specific target markets include beliefs, values, attitudes, opinions, interests, motivation, perception, and morals. These concepts are learned from a person’s family unit and from community groups and culture, as well as religious and political organizations within a region of a country, the country, or even the global community.


Life-Cycle Stages & Lifestyle Factors for Segmenting Markets

Life-Cycle Stages are the stages a consumer passes through during his lifetime. These stages may or may not encompass marrying young, having children, buying a home, divorcing, having children going away to college, and/or having children leave home, with the couple becoming “empty nesters”. In each of these stages, family members will have specific product needs and will react or be motivated to buy through the employment of different marketing techniques and merchandise presentations.


Geographic Locations & Population Density

Other marketers examine the population composition of geographical regions in the United States. Many elderly people live in locations where there are fewer children. Some areas of the U.S. tend to have older residents, families with fewer children, and a substantial White and Asian population. The West has more families with children and more U.S. Hispanics and Asians. Thus, the visual merchandising techniques and methods in these areas are very different, since married couples with young children tend to have different product and merchandising preferences as well as different values and attitudes (i.e., psychographics) about purchasing these products and services.