It’s sage advice not to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to in-store layout and design, putting the best face on products is often a recipe for success.
That is what Target CEO Brian Cornell told a crowd at Tuesday’s (Oct. 27) WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit in New York City, Fortune reported. Cornell noted that putting more of an emphasis on intuitive and eye-pleasing store design has yielded significant benefits for sales. In fact, the mere addition of mannequins complete with outfit ensemble suggestions in the apparel sections of 1,400 of Target’s 1,800 stores has increased sales of displayed items by 30 percent, Cornell said.
“We realized we were making them [customers] work too hard,” Cornell said, as quoted by Fortune. “When you walked into our stores to browse, all you saw were a sea of racks or a string of search results. So we owed our customer a better presentation.”
The mannequins were also supplemented by consultants tasked exclusively with helping customers pick out matching clothing items or cosmetics in beauty departments. Cornell also explained Target’s ambitious program for its home section, which included “home innovation” areas complete with mocked up in-house displays that will give shoppers a chance to see their potential purchases as if they already brought they back home.
“There is an insatiable need to surprise our guests,” Cornell said. “We had to elevate our assortment and the shopping experience.”
Target is also building up a foundation for its new design philosophy, bringing on 1,400 “visual merchandising experts” by the end of 2015.