Technology has made bricks and mortar retail a difficult place. It requires the brand, if it desires a physical retail presence, to make a special effort to engage the customer. A truly immersive experience helps, as does stocking unique items which are only available in store above and beyond that it all comes down to the retail staff themselves. It's those staff members who interact directly with the customer and, especially in the world of luxury goods, are the front line in selling the emotional and the rational benefits of purchase.
Last Sunday I had the perfect (and I use that descriptor deliberately) retail experience at Jack Spade's Brewer Street, London store. Readers of my blog will know I'm a Jack Spade fan but I had only gone in to kill a few minutes before a nearby lunch appointment. Regulars will also know this is usually a fatal mistake for me.
Firstly Jack Spade staff always seem to have the Jack Spade DNA running through them. They look like their customer base and behave as if the company is theirs. It's a recipe that's conducive to selling.
Dan walked over and engaged me in conversation about the bag I was looking at. Quickly establishing that I'm no stranger to the brand but also taking time to explain the functional qualities of the fabric. We chatted some more and I decided to purchase.
Now, for whatever reason, I've always managed to not be on their database (the lifeblood of a luxury brand) as he completed the transaction he causally signed me up and then after finding out what bags I had bought previously gave me a 20% discount card to use against all future purchases. It was entirely discretionary. The power lay with him and he obviously knew when to make the offer. He then said he would keep in touch and drop me a postcard.
And he did. Reinforcing the message with a little call to action for me.
It's a textbook example of hiring the right staff and empowering them to act in a way which can only help the business. And here I am writing about it.
They also make awesome bags so go and take a look !