Feng Shui for Your Pet Store
Pet retailers can apply a modern approach to an ancient practice in order to improve the energy—and sales—in their stores.
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese system of creating harmonious environments to achieve prosperity, balance, happiness and good health in all your environments. This harmony is achieved through an awareness of energy flow, the balance of the natural elements of wood, fire, earth, water and metal, the correct placement of objects in an interior space and the balance of yin and yang (masculine and feminine, light and dark). Not easy—but not as complicated as it sounds. It all starts with energy. Energy must flow comfortably throughout your store. L-shaped stores, small side rooms and lower ceilings may all contribute to stagnant energy in your store. And, of course, the first that should be on your energy-flow list is a good HVAC system.
An awareness of how energy flows requires looking and sensing your store with an open mind and a fresh view. Walk up to your store and look into its eyes—the windows. What are they saying to potential customers? Are they awake, alert, clear, bright and with strong focal points? Are they dirty, clouded, unfocused and confused? Your windows tell the world who and what you are. They represent the soul of your store. Next, stand at your entrance, look into the store and answer four important questions:
Come to the Seminars
Thu., March 17, 9:15 - 9:30 AM
Thu., March 17, 10:30 - 11:45 AM
Thu., March 17, 12:30 - 1:45 PM
1. How do you want to walk through your space?
Do you move instinctively to your left (toward the past, accumulation and profit) or to the right (toward your future, the transformation from strangers into customers/friends)? The left side of the store is powerful for lower-priced or sale items, while the right side can be the best place for powerful focal points and full-priced merchandise.
2. When you glance into the store what is the first thing you see?
If your focal point is the stockroom door located directly in line with the front door, you are watching your money flow into the front door and out the back.
Focal points anchor your store and give it a visual structure. They lead your customers from wall to aisle and back again. The energy created by straight aisles doesn’t meander or stroll, it rushes from beginning to end, storefront to back. People caught in these aisles hurry from one end to the other because they have to—they’re caught in the rush and flow of energy.
To get people to stop and shop, develop aisle patterns that curve through your store. Create eye-level focal points to reward the customer for shopping slowly. Eye level is where information is processed from the gut to the brain.
3. How many lights have burned out?
Lights strengthen energy. If you have dark areas, they suck the life out of your better-lit spaces. It is vital that you maintain a balance of good light in your store. Darkness is depressing and discourages sales. Energy dies in dark areas. Replace bulbs with LEDs. You’ll save a ton of money in the long run, not to mention the planet.
4. What is your clutter condition?
Clutter clogs your profits. It holds you back from a strong future. Clean up and you’ll “clean up.” They really do work together. j
Linda Cahan of Cahan & Company, West Linn, Ore., (www.lindacahan.com) is an internationally recognized expert in visual merchandising working as a consultant for independent and corporate retailers since 1971. She also gives seminars, trains retailers and writes for several retail magazines. Author of Feng Shui for Retailers and 100 Displays Under $100. Linda’s expertise is also shared part-time with students at The Art Institute of Portland, OR. Formerly, she taught at Parsons School of Design in NYC for 12 years.