Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dress to Shop

At this time of year most stores focus their energy (at least in the US) on getting customers into the store.  Special pricing, new merchandise, entertainment and extended hours are announced everywhere you look.  Ads appear on-line, in print, on billboards, TV and radio.  Come in.  Hang out.  “Buy Things Please!” they all seem to say.

Imagine my surprise when a friend in London pointed out that Harrods has "guidelines" (rules) for how customers should dress and behave in their store.  (  Wear clean clothes and carry your backpack in your hand they instruct the reader.   Groups are limited to 4 people (but what if your family totals 5?) Follow the rules or don’t come to visit seems to be the message.

Anyone who has had to navigate through the crowds at Harrods can appreciate their limitations on group size, but telling the customer how to dress in order to shop in your store?  Clearly they are confident in the draw of their brand, that their profits will be secure even if they have to turn some shoppers away.  

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