The Power of Paint

As published in Home Furnishings Business

There is an abundance of examples of retailers who have used consumer-centric retailing (CCR) to boost sales. Last month, we discussed how a 
CCR initiative at Walgreens increased the chain’s earnings in a down economy while freeing up $500 million in cash through inventory reductions.

In the furniture sector, retailers we speak with see the benefits of revamping their stores to focus exclusively on consumer wants and needs—as Walgreens did. Yet, in the current economy, it’s hard for some furniture stores to consider making substantial investments in store renovations.

My message to those stores is that a comprehensive store renovation—based on in-depth research on key consumer segments the revamped store can reach—will produce similarly positive results, but there are also relatively low-cost projects that retailers can try as a first step toward becoming a more consumer-centric retailer.

Once your organization has readied itself to become more consumer-centered, the outward (and inward) appearance of your store is what will announce customers that it’s being transformed into a different type of shopping experience. It’s about prompting curiosity and using an appealing physical presence to issue an open invitation both to consumers who haven’t visited in some time and those who’ve never been in your store.

This is the story of the Power of Paint, but we’re not talking about purely cosmetic changes. Let’s say you’ve brightened your parking lot with a type of sale banner you’ve never used before; It’s only going to be successful if the store itself has changed. The customer who enters your store should find new products arranged in vignettes that aren’t only appealing, but inspire them with ideas of how their favorite room can be similarly transformed. The lifestyle vignettes may be accompanied by POP displays that make it easier to navigate the store. Hopefully, the store’s added a coffee bar (or better-quality brew) and different music to help signal the changes in your merchandise and approach.

With that in mind, let’s consider how much a few gallons of paint—along with a substantial update of your merchandise and displays—could help transform the way consumers see your store. Paint is the most inexpensive way to transform your store into a consumer-centric experience. Coordinated color schemes easily create a totally new look and make your store look fresh, updated, and inviting. Colors boost any store’s mood and energy, creating a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for consumers to shop. The power of paint is unlimited.