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Quickfire marketing – Five ways to make your shop a destination store

Steve Hasler fires ideas bullets in his regular ‘Try This’ column

Positioning a retail business as a destination store requires careful planning. Typically larger shops build this positioning based on a combination of huge range or discounted pricing, both of which may be difficult for you to compete with, but smaller outlets can also become destination/experience stores by using these tools:

Always have something happening in your store. Schedule something for every single day, whether it’s product sampling, demonstrations or supplier talks. Is there a way customers can try your products for themselves before purchasing?

Not all business models work with having a café add-on, but you’d be surprised how many stores would benefit from having a refreshment counter or a small seated area, whether this offers high quality coffee, snacks or full lunchtime meals.


Garden centres are often great examples of how add-on services can create destination stores where visiting is an enjoyable experience. Almost all now feature a café but others have children’s play areas or creches, gift wrapping services, entertainment and many other things going on to draw in the crowds. Have a creative session with your team inviting ideas for add-on services that might work for you.


The internet is full of advice but nothing is more powerful than someone looking you in the eye and giving you the facts. Try to keep your advice factual and impartial and leave the decisions in your customers’ hands. Ensure your team is well trained and get regular educational updates on your products, the industry and its wider effect on consumers, including relevant areas of the law.


By stocking the latest trends in the industry you can become known locally as the innovator and consumers will be keen to visit and get their hands on the latest product. And they’ll tell their friends where they bought it!

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