When renovating a store, don’t forget to tell customers what’s going on

28May10

Although I stop in there periodically to grab a few things, I rarely walk all the aisles of the small and overpriced grocery store near me. But when I was there a few weeks ago, I noticed they had knocked down a wall and built a shiny new extension to the refrigerated foods section. To my surprise, they did a great job with the new coolers, floors and lighting, which makes the area quite a bit more inviting.

However, aside from a few arrows pointing to where some items could be found, there was no signage telling customers about the renovations. Maybe they finished them the day before I was there, or perhaps it’s been like that for six months. The point is that you need to keep customers informed about these things. Sure, regular shoppers will notice the improvements, but what about everyone else?

Ideally, the store should put up signage when they start any renovations, with this signage placed inside the facility and on the outside windows that are visible to passers-by. The initial signs would include a rendering of the work to be done along with some informative text, e.g. “Coming Soon: Our New Refrigerated Foods Section”. Then, when the work is completed, change the text to say “Now Open”, and swap out the image for an actual photo of the new area. By keeping customers in the loop, they’ll be more excited about what’s going on, less critical of any temporary interruptions, and more likely to shop there in the future.



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