When it comes to retail, the right application of feng shui can bring quick and immediate results. A better feng shui energy in a retail space will attract more customers, more sales and a better mood for the people who work in the store.
Shopping Is an Emotional Experience
Shopping is all about an emotional experience—we buy things to make us and our loved ones feel better, in other words, we are shopping for an experience, not just a particular item.
By applying retail feng shui basics the vibrant energy in your store will take care of that special experience customers are looking for!
By now you know that good feng shui does not mean decorating with oriental looking items. Good feng shui means creating energy that feels good, looks good and works for the purpose of a given space.
Feng Shui on a Subconscious Level
It does not matter if your retail customers know about feng shui or not; on a subconscious level we are all attuned to the feng shui energy movement and react to it accordingly.
The energy of your store is felt even before customers decide to enter, so you should start applying feng shui by first stepping outside your store and taking a good, fresh look at your front entrance and your immediate surroundings.
Here are some basic feng shui retail tips:
1. Step outside your store and take a feng shui look at your main entrance, your store name, your window displays, and your neighbors. Do you stand out or do you blend in?
If you were to see your store for the first time, would you come in? If no, why? Feng Shui-wise, you want to create a strong and clear flow of energy to your front entrance. A strong flow of feng shui energy is created by a strong and clear presence, which includes a clean, crisp store name, well-lit, and fresh window displays, as well as by using appropriate colors for the feng shui direction of your main door.
2. Come inside the store and notice where your attention goes. This will help you understand where the energy flows. Is your attention pulled to the right or to the left? Or maybe you are not drawn to come in at all, even though the store has many beautiful things? The important thing to understand is that you need to create pathways for the feng shui energy to flow, you need to direct the energy to create a pleasant experience and draw the customers in, then help them explore by themselves what you have to offer. Imagine Chi, or feng shui energy as water, and see where would the water flow, as well as see where would it get blocked.
3. Avoid the common bad feng shui retail mistakes. Take several photos of the front entrance (inside and outside) and then look at the images; this should help you get a fresh look at your own space and notice bad feng shui items that you might be already used to, such as an open trash can in plain view, exposed electrical cords, boxes, etc. Here are more mistakes to avoid:
- mirror directly facing the front entrance
- direct door alignment (back door aligned with the front door)
- fluorescent ceiling lighting
- stale air or strange smells
4. Create a primary focal point, as well as several secondary points/areas for exploration.
This has to be very clear from the moment the customer steps into the store. You want to avoid the overwhelmed feeling of "too much staff" with no breathing room. On a feng shui energy level, this can create a feeling of a very loud, uninterrupted noise; nobody is attracted to that. Music is created by the silence in between the sound.
5. Locate your desk/cash register in a powerful feng shui spot, also called "commanding position", which is usually diagonally from the entrance.
6. Have the name of your store in a high and well-lit place. If you want to build a loyal customer base, your name has to be known to your customers. Being inside a store and not knowing where you are (hmmm, who on earth am I buying from?) is a bad feng shui retail experience.
7. Create good energy in your store and keep it fresh.
People buy based on emotion, and the feng shui definition of emotion is the energy in motion. Be mindful of the:
- quality of air
- several levels of lighting
- good music
- vibrant scents
- slightly rearrange or change your displays regularly.
8. Create an exploration feel for customers. When it comes to successful retail, the best ones offer customers a little adventure or a discovery of their own. This means designing several different pathways in your store, not just one straight line from beginning to end, creating several independent areas with different energies (colors, lights, smells, heights, and shapes, etc)
9. Respect your customers sense of independence and curiosity. Best retail stores I have experienced are the ones that let me explore things in a variety of ways—touch, smell, sight, etc without needing to ask for help; as well as the ones that combine their items in unusual, fresh ways.
10. Spread out the beautiful items, or pair them in unexpected ways. In other words, jazz up the store!
Once you have the basics covered, you can explore feng shui deeper and see where your Fame area is located and treat it properly by strengthening the feng shui element of Fire; strengthen the Wood and Water feng shui elements in the Money area, etc.
The feng shui work you can do for the success of your retail store is endless and fascinating. Start with the basics and do not forget to play and experiment—this is always good feng shui!