Retailing Savvy: The Future Is Now

If “assistive robotics” could be the future of assistive technology, then smart retailing — i.e., creating effective store designs, attractive product displays, etc. — should be a current goal of any HME supplier hoping to expand cash-pay sales. Retail strategies are especially important to suppliers who serve baby boomers and their families — generations who appreciate and even expect high-quality retail environments.

Mobility Management asked Alison Embrey Medina, executive editor of Display & Design Ideas magazine, about the impact that effective store design and fixture usage can have on a customer’s retail experience, and what retail strategies HME suppliers should keep in mind. Among her suggestions:

•    In retailing, the entire environment counts: “The complete package of store layout, visual merchandising, lighting, fixture usage, signage and graphics programs — even the ceiling and floor have impact in a retail selling environment.”
•    Less can be more: “A store that clutters the windows and racks with unending ‘stuff’ doesn’t scream ‘professionalism.’ Think wide aisles, open sight lines and clean product presentation. A customer doesn’t walk into a small (business) and expect Bloomingdale’s, but what a nice surprise when a small retailer gets it right, presenting merchandise in an easy-to-get-to, visual way.”
•    Customers are interested in more than just price points: “Price is obviously a motivator when wallets are thin, but it is not the end-all, be-all of purchasing decisions. A visual aesthetic that captures the eye and draws a customer’s attention can have as much impact as a sale sign. Customers are looking to get the most bang for their buck, but a quality retail display never (hurts)… Creativity is key.”

DDI magazine is an industry publication that helps retailers to maximize sales through effective store design and visual presentation. Visit DDI online at For more retailing strategies, check out future editions of MM’s new Ops Management column.

This article originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Mobility Management.

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