Few would deny that the post Covid business environment is vastly different than was the pre-pandemic world of an “entertaining experience.” The fundamental need to congregate is still strong, for sure, but the shopper is often looking for something much more fundamental, basic. After three years of at home shopping, learning, working, cooking, eating, sleeping, playing, and most of all communicating, we find a very different shopper heading out to the mall only to find it empty and uninviting.
Now what? Well for one thing, it is not only the shoppers that are effected. It is business owners, especially small independents and specialty retailers and restaurants that, if still around, are faced with the afore mentioned “now what?” Actually, if a business is still around, if they have made it this far, it is likely that they surely know who their customer is. From this it is not difficult to conclude that the “now what” probably resides happily there. If a business owner begins to think of it in terms of how to organize their physical space around the customer that they know so well, the one they are trying to court, things start to fall into place. If they are willing to Lazar focus on the needs of this particular customer, it is possible that even difficult business problems, like being tied to a long term lease on more space than the current market demands, can be solved.
Consider the restaurant in the photo. One look tells the shopper that this is a place for families with kids, also leading them to assume that the menu agrees. There is absolutely no shopper “decision paralysis” here. To a family out for a walk with a hungry toddler and a school kid with a friend, the place is an oasis that may easily become a destination. How is this accomplished? By simplifying, perfecting the basics, and paying attention to conscious consumerism, which is not a bad thing considering the need for continuous online decision making by many families. It is clean, local, and appears healthy. it offers a bit of relief, a safe way to escape the confines of everyday efforts, and even meet some friends.
All this can be accomplished, often with existing fixtures and an interior refresh. There is a fundamental rule for any business temporarily closed, or hard pressed due to recent events, but intending to begin again. Whatever you do, keep up your windows, and make your space look prosperous. The place in the photo accomplishes this in spades.
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