Lighting the Retail Stage: Why Lighting is More Important Than You Think
By Eric M. Weinstein
Imagine you are sitting in a theater; the stage is dark and suddenly all the lights are turned on. The stage is covered with yellow light: there are hundreds of people on stage dressed in all kinds of costumes, some are softly singing, some are reciting lines and others are just standing still. Your eyes dart around and your head starts to spin because there is too much going on and you don't know what to look at first. You walk out wondering why in the world you walked into that theater in the first place.
Rewind. Let's start from the beginning. You are sitting in a theater, the stage is dark and suddenly you see is a single spot light turn on, throwing a white circle against the dark curtain. You can see in the shadows that there are hundreds of people on stage dressed in all kinds of costumes, some are softly singing, some are reciting lines and others are just standing still. A tall, dark haired woman dressed in an elegant silver evening gown enters from stage left and enters the glow of the spot light and looks out at the audience. The light is shining only on her. You sit there on the edge of your seat, eyes fixed on her figure, wondering what will happen next.
As you can see it is not just what is happening on stage that causes drama, it is the use of lighting to heightens and accentuates the scene that brings it all to life. The some thing holds true in the retail store environment. Imagine a warehouse super center, high ceilings and dim industrial lights cast their spooky glow on all the merchandise in the racks and on the tables. Nothing catches the shopper's eye; there is no drama, only the bland sameness of product in that semi-twilight. Now imagine a boutique in Beverly Hills; low voltage spotlights splash crisp white light against the side of the mannequins, the sequins on the gowns twinkle and the handbag glows, creating a scene, creating desire.
You might be saying I don't run a boutique in Beverly Hills and I sure don't sell sparkly dresses so why does this matter to me? There are two reasons why it matters: the first being that lighting is important so people can find what they are looking for. Shoppers need to be able to read the labels and see the merchandise and they cannot do that in the dark! The second reason is why not create some drama? People like to feel special and by creating a retail environment that is comfortable and has dramatic lighting the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Lighting is a sales tool in any retail environment. Use it to bring customers into your store, guide them through merchandise areas, call attention to specific merchandise, and draw customers through the buying process. It has been proven that good lighting can improve the profitability of most stores!
Remember the woman standing there in the spotlight? Imagine that she is your store's merchandise…we know what can happen next.
About the Author
Eric M. Weinstein is the VP of New Business at Specialty Store Services, a leading business to business provider of Retail Store Supplies and Displays.
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| Some other articles by Eric M. Weinstein|
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