It’s an art attracting shoppers to any retail business let alone to an Australian newsagency where the old-school shingle encourages wrong assumptions and out of date expectations about the business and the products it sells.
I prefer to play down the shingle and attract shoppers based on product placed specifically for that purpose.
The knitting sand we have been selling this year has been excellent for attracting shoppers who might otherwise not have shopped the newsagency. The photo shows one group playing with the sand last Saturday. In a half hour period this sand was played with by these boys, a couple well into their 70s, a mum and her daughter and a thirty-something guy.
Some purchased, some didn’t. Some wandered into the shop beyond the sand after being attracted to the business. As some played, others with them came across to see what they were doing. This is where the sand works a treat for us – luring people from the mall who then step further into the business.
The sand acts as our shingle to these shoppers. It sets an expectation of what to find inside. In this case, it’s more valuable than the shingle itself as it has less boundaries than a business brand or a dingle like newsagency.
It’s a thrill when people browsing the shop express surprise that they are in a newsagency.
We have to do more of this, much more. The old school newsagency of papers, magazines, stationery, cards and lottery products is over. That model does not work for us, the landlord or our suppliers. The successful newsagencies today are those playing outside the old-school model, those attracting shoppers for non-traditional reasons – like to purchase sand.
It is an art attracting new shoppers. There are few rules and many challenges. The key is to be out there trying, outside the boundaries of the old-school shingle.