Store atmosphere is created by the design, color, and layout of the store. Both exterior and interior design affect atmosphere. External factors: architectural design, signs, window display and use of color, which together create an identity for a retailer and attract customers. The image that is projected should be consonant with the ethos of the shop. Interior factors: store lighting, fixtures and fittings, and layout. Color, sound, and smell can affect mood. In this presentation we are going to compare two companies: Victoria Secret and Intimissimi.
The layout of both stores is free flow, fixtures and merchandise are grouped into free-flowing patterns on the sales floor – no defined traffic pattern. Works best when merchandise is of the same type, such as fashion apparel. It can be seen in the pictures that both stores layouts are very convenient with large corridors to ensure customers traffic inside the shop is as smooth as possible, E. g. individuals in wheelchair and mums with prams. . The difference we found between both stores’ objectives are that Victoria’s Secret colorful and varied products are more difficult to find, since the shop offers too many distractions as one enters.
For instance, glittering floor, different sections with many colors and lightening plus pictures of their own models hanging on the wall. On the other hand Intimissimi offers an easy to browse layout as it is mostly plain with less products displayed in the middle of the store. The distractions for the eyes are limited to the minimum. Additionally to the layout, both stores have followed the rule of the eye-height when it comes to exposed products on shelves.
The pictures clearly shows that the shelf is no higher no lower than the cashier’s head and this is done intentionally according to a research that reveals the most strategic positioning of goods in stores. Color has meaning and can be used to create the desire atmosphere in a store. The colors in VS are mainly pink, black, or white to ensure consistency with their brand, which portrays femininity and sexier image, while intimissimi uses only white, gray and black to sustain their sophisticated, classy image. And a bit of a word for each color: Black, psychologically means authority, power and control.
Alternatively, it can be seen as sophisticated, dignified and serious, seductive and mysterious. Negative side : if used too much depressing, pessimistic, conservative and serious. White connotes simplicity, cleanliness and purity. Pink - Psychologically pink is associated with compassion, nurturing, love, and romance. It is feminine and youthful in its softer shades, with more passion and energy in its deeper shades. Pink calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect.
Combining pink with darker colors gives it more sophistication and strength. The negative side is that it might too much pink could make a business look immature and girlish. Most criminals are jailed to cells with pink environment because it helps to suppress their aggression. They use lighting customers’ experience for example the lighting is successfully to manipulate very dimmed in the whole store which creates a feeling of more comfort and softness. Moreover they use it to attract attention to certain products, by placing the focus of the lights on them.
The display case also acts as a countertop customer interaction area for convenience. For example, if the customer sees the product he/she likes in a lighted display case, then the sales assistant can quickly pull the item and show the customer. * Inside the fitting rooms the lightening is strategically positioned and softened in order to hide imperfections and not feel too exposed. Wallpaper and mirrors aim to flatter, not frighten. The changing room is one of most important areas because it can be a total sales killer.
Therefore, Victoria secret invested in a more comfortable and inviting environment. * The same can’t be implied to intimissimi as their fitting rooms are too bright and it is obvious that they haven’t invested enough in terms of good fabrics, nice fixtures or fittings and not successful in creating atmosphere that would invite customer to spend more time than intented. It’s called intimissimi but there is no feeling of intimacy and comfort inside. * As we entered we noticed that the fittings and fixtures were flowing with the overall atmosphere of both stores.
These elements play an essential role in creating a suitable customer environment. Even if a single detail doesn’t match the atmosphere it can push the customer away. * The main fixtures and fittings of VS are drawers rather than hangers because it looks more organised and spacious. Easy access for the customers and employees to find the product size. The laces attached to the painted images of drawers on the wall make the atmosphere look girly, stylish and big dolls’ house. * As for Intimissimi, their fittings create a smart look of the retail store.
Some of the elements used,(pointing drawer, lamp, picture frame) suggest a modern bedroom and the two sofas with the marble table seem like a living room or a lobby area in a hotel. * The VS and intimissimi shop temperature was well-adjusted, not too cold either too hot. It play an essential role in keeping the customer satisfied and willing to spend more time and money in the store. * E. G . Pubs keep the temperature higher than a shop in order to influence the customer to drink more Odors can stir emotions or create a calming feeling. They can invoke memories or relieve stress.
Sight and hearing senses go to the left brain, but smell is hardwired to the right brain’s limbic system (The limbic system is the set of brain structures that forms the inner border of the cortex) , which is your emotional core. It triggers an emotional response, and the customer builds an emotional connection with the brand. ” VS stores waft the brand’s signature scent in the air to increase the sensory and emotive connection with customers. They have found out that the right level and fragrance will keep customers happier and willing to spend more time in store. Intimissimi uses their own fragrance as well.
The difference is that the shop assistant was spraying around the shop, while VS uses solid perfume air freshener. Music influence a customers’ mood. Slow tempo music relaxes the customer and causes them to linger in the store, whereas fast tempo music may be better for store and restaurant that need rapid turnover. Music isn’t just about speed, the type of music match the store. VS background music is fast paced, alternative rock style. It is not too loud, however it is buzzy and forces the customer to raise their voice. Intimissimi music is slow paced, classic music, lower volume compared to VS.
Facilities are another part of a store environment. Toilets, baby rooms etc. are all build for the convenience of the customer. In our case study toilets were only available in VS. Men, women and disabled toilets. After all, we were in a shopping centre and toilets are usually provided, so the shops do not necessarily need to have one. * In conclusion we would like to say that both stores have provided successful physical evidences to fulfil their targeted customers’ needs. Different tastes require different approaches and we observed that in both of the retail shops.