Earlier in July, the Harvard Business Review ( HBR) opined that the “pandemic is rewriting the rules of retail”. On the list of prescribed actions that retailers can take to secure longevity, especially in an uncertain pandemic world, was “rethinking the in-person experience”. Though retailers are currently unable to host large and splashy events, they can have extraordinary experiences available in-store that attract customers and encourage them to spend. Take Style Out (TSO) is one such experience.
Despite being scaled back this year, the annual economy-spurring event still made a considerable contribution to the bottom line of some of the Corporate Area's shopping destinations. In the final of the TSO 2020 recap, the #OTeam made stops in Cross Roads and on Waterloo and Constant Spring Road.
When a store offers its customers a compelling reason to visit, “it justifies their exposure to health risks and overcomes the inertia of the behaviours they adopted during the shutdown,” said the HBR article. TSO 2020 was compelling enough, even during a torrential downpour. The stores in which the most memorable time was spent were Signatures Boutique and Courts Cross Roads and Constant Spring Road.
Since its inception, an unmatched customer experience has been a hallmark of the Signatures Boutique experience. Upon arrival, clients were warmly greeted by co-principal Pat Samuels, who had an array of beverages at the ready.
In observance of COVID-19 protocols, Samuels spaced out Saturday's appointments and prepared for each by pulling items that would resonate with the respective customer. Everything was neatly arranged on personal shopping racks and placed in fitting rooms, deeply sanitised between customers. As CNBC reported, also in July of this year, people are buying a lot more “athletic wear, loungewear, casual clothing,” and Signatures Boutiques has those in spades.
At both Courts locations, elevated customer service was immediately evident. Those who were tasked with temperature-taking and sanitiser-dispensing knew the layout of the store and helped direct customers. First impressions matter. It seemed to be the day for furniture and appliance purchases with a smattering of customers looking at electronics and cookware.
Whether or not it was one of the rubrics by which success was judged, TSO 2020 offered hope. It signalled that collapse is not part of the economy's destiny. Resilience is the cup from which our nation drinks.