5 Ways to Create a Cozy Store Environment

December 21, 2017 Suzanne Karzoun 0 Comments

Just because the weather turns cold and snowflakes appear doesn't mean that your store environment shouldn't be warm and comfortable throughout the winter. In recent years, the Danish custom of hygge has grown into a popular home decor trend, thanks in part to the power of social media. The concept is simple: take pleasure in the simple things by creating a warm, cozy place that is designed to connect people, as well as provide comfort.

Retailers can use this concept in their stores to invite customers in and create an atmosphere that will make them want to stay—and return! The techniques can be used across a variety of stores: from coffee shops to bookstores, from hospital gift shops to hardware stores.

1. Set up seating near doors or dressing rooms
A simple chair or an outdoor bench welcomes customers to relax and take a short break from their shopping excursions. As the weather gets cold, it would be a kindness to move the furniture indoors so that they can keep warm. An added extra touch could be including a pillow and throw or blanket to set the scene.

Pro tip: Setup our wood and metal folding ladder or a few baskets near the seating to feature throws and pillows to sell. 

2. Immerse the senses
The more senses that you invite your customers to use, the more connected they feel to not only the items they purchase, but your store. (Tru Vue)

Red Glitter LED Candle with Remote
Lighting is an essential part of a cozy environment. The natural, soft glow of sunlight offers a more relaxing place; think about vacation spots, most do offer an abundance of sunlight. Take away the posters on the windows and let in the light. As the sun goes down, turn on LED candles (for safety reasons) and allow the glow to soothe the soul.

Make sure your products are easy to see and that there aren't any dark areas in your store.

While most stores will pipe in the non-stop Christmas and Holiday music, studies show that if you select pieces of music with a slow tempo it influences customers to walk slowly through stores and thus, they end up buying more. (ThinkGrowth.org)

Allow your customers to hold and touch items they are interested in. We've found that in certain products, such as our flags, door decor, apparel, and fashion accessories, if a retailer takes the item out of the package - sales will increase. Therefore, we've designed our new packaging with touch in mind.

Keep the store temperature warm during cold weather, as research shows that customers who feel warm are prepared to pay more for goods than customers exposed to the cold. (Weatherads.io)

Pro Tip: Place a basket of plush toys near registers for children to touch. 

There can be regional differences in which scents are comforting, but for the holiday season - the smell of freshly baked cookies or spices like cinnamon are the most common for in-store use. You can combine the senses of smell and taste by selling food goods during the holiday season.

You can help elevate one of the main reasons why customers leave the shopping experience by offering food to satiate hunger. This has the added bonus of allowing your customers to indulge in "comfort foods". You can choose to go about this in several different ways: offer freshly baked goods in a sample dish, supply a simple cup of coffee, sell chocolate by the registers, setup a water fountain or water cooler, or even work with a popular food truck service to bring in new customers.

Pro Tip: Setup a display of giftable drinkware by water fountains and coffee pots.

3. Go Natural
Bring the outdoors inside! Greenery is connects to nature and the outdoors, all while you and your customers remain warm inside. Decorate with wreaths, florals, or even planters filled with low maintenance succulents.

4. Comfortable Clothing
Encourage your teams to dress warmly, yet professionally. Cozy up with capes and shawls. Dress-up a simple sweater with a scarf. Need ideas: Shop our selection of winter apparel and accessories.

5. Savor the Moments
As the stores fill up with customers and workload increases, take the time to unplug from the digital world to embrace all of the successes throughout the year. Thank your employees, teams, and coworkers for their loyalty.

Simply taking a few moments conversing with your customers will not only put a smile on their faces, but it will also put a smile on yours.

At Evergreen Enterprises, the concept of family includes our retailers, customers, and teams. We take the opportunity to thank you for your support throughout our 25 years.