Two Levels of Retail Value:- “Do you have” vs. “Do you want”

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Brand Autopsy: Borders Reducing its Borders:

Borders recently tested a front-facing display strategy where more books were stocked with their covers, not spines, facing customers. Sales increased by 9.0%. The strategy was so successful, all Borders bookstores will be switching to the front-facing strategy in the next couple of weeks.

This will mean reducing their stock in stores by anywhere between 4700 and 9300. However research showed that customers actually perceived an increase in stock following this strategy.

Seth Godin has a very interesting take on this that relates to the Two Levels of Retail Value that I discuss with my coaching clients – “Do you have” vs. “Do you want” the change in strategy from Borders is an interesting Customer Experience strategy that will have a measurable impact on the bottom line (I’m not going to predict which way it goes in the long-run yet) and is based around increasing the level of value that the store experience operates at…

Essentially stocking everything with the spine facing out is saying we are packing in as much as we can and we expect to have whatever you need… putting the covers of the books out is saying to the customer “Have you seen me…? you might WANT me?”. As Want is a higher level of value than need, we should expect the return on this strategy change to be significant…

If I can find any results over the next few months I’ll keep you posted.

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