Thursday, December 17, 2009

Store Renovations: WHY!?

Store Renovations = Great way to annoy your customers

Seriously, what's the deal!? Why do stores feel the need to move all their inventory around every two years? Does some exec walk through the store going, "hmm, the peanut butter just isn't working over here where we decided to put it last time. Why not put it over there where the soups are. Speaking of the soups, they'd be more efficient over there. And these potato chips; all wrong. They'd be more feng shui a little closer to the produce section."

Seriously, what is the rationale behind this? There is no logical reason to shift your store all around like a giant rubik's cube! But somewhere, somebody is writing something down on paper in such a way that convinces someone else that a renovation has to be done. What is it? How are you convincing your bosses that a renovation is a good idea?

Here's what happens: Some executive, likely with a job title that has the word "planner" or "coordinator" in it, sits around with no work to do. So they have to come up with something to make it seem like they're actually getting paid for a reason. It's about job security. So what do they do? They plan and coordinate merely for the purpose of planning and coordinating. But since they don't really have any creativity, all they can come up with to plan and coordinate is a store renovation. Now they're not just getting paid for doing nothing, they're actually getting paid to halt the store's productivity. It's like paying the hospital for infecting you with a virus.

Stores, Stop it! Stop listening to whomever this is who keeps deciding to renovate. I don't know who they are, but fire them. They are a drain on your resources. Renovation is not only pointless, it is a bad idea. And I'm not just whining because something changed. Renovation is a bad idea!

So, basically, you're compromising productivity while pouring manpower into the act of pissing off your customers. Customers hate this. They avoid your store while the renovation is underway because nobody wants to navigate a cart around misplaced isles and bustling employees. But then, once all is said and done, you create a circus as lost shoppers hustle around trying to find your misplaced items.

Your customers don't go to your store wanting to partake in a fun scavenger hunt as they try to locate the items on their list. Your customers want to go in, get what they're there for, then go home and throw their shoes off.

This would be bad enough if only one or two people frequented your store at a time, but that's not how it works. There are a lot of people in this world, and many of them are shopping at your store all at the same time. A store can be chaotic enough as it is with people not watching where they're going, suddenly stopping right in front of you, and leaving grocery carts in the middle of isles. But throw in the added element of people not knowing where to find things because everything's been changed around and you have a zoo.

Now, Albertson's was the guilty party today, but they all do this. In fact, Fred Meyer probably does it more than any store I've ever seen. But there's absolutely no real reason for doing this. I don't care what's on some piece of paper explaining why stores need to renovate, or what rationale a bunch of people around a conference table came up with. There is no reason for it, other than to preserve some useless job titles.

Stop it! Bad store!

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