September 6, 2011

Moving from one end of the retail experience spectrum to another

Filed under: Uncategorized — by xrematon @ 10:23 pm
Tags: , ,

“Do you know what voltage your lights are? 12v, or perhaps 6v or 24v? Are you sure it’s the transformer you need? Not the connector? Or the wire? We can help you with all of those.”

I was standing in a very small shop local to me, trying to find the magic missing bit which would make the lights work in the kitchen. Though the hardware store was barely the size of my living room, it was truly an Aladdin’s cave of endless very useful items, carefully stacked in boxes on the racks of shelves and hooks that covered all the available wall and ceiling space. Albeit not large, this retail establishment offered a deceptively large selection of goods, which the expert shopkeeper helped me negotiate.

Most of the shops I have been to round here are like this: small but perfectly formed. The large, rather souless shops of greater London had been my usual fare but no longer. Carrying out a very superficial ‘compare and contrast’ exercise, it strikes me that these smaller shops rarely offer a smaller range of stock but just less space. Take the petshop for example: our old store had big glass enclosures for chickens, rabbits and other ‘eye-candy’ pets; our new pet shop has nothing like this but it does stock a very good selection of animals including beared dragons, geckos, as well as the obligatory rabbits, hamsters etc.

Or what about the bike shop? The old place, a Halfords, turned out to sell more car accessories than two-wheeler equipment. Our new bike shop is another treasure trove.


However, in all of these shops, the killer feature isn’t the good stock range, but the staff – properly knowledgeable and passionate about what they were selling, even it is transformers for halogen lights.


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