Life is not easy for retailers today. Problems come from all sides, but the biggest of them is that consumers are simply bored to death with their stores.
They are so bored while scrolling down the shopping centers and malls, that they're tempted to "hang themselves" on ceiling sign hangers somewhere throughout the store.
## Why Is This Happening?
If you are a category buyer, your role would be to purchase goods from suppliers for sale on store shelves. It would be natural to assume that you would search for extremely interesting, original, eye-catching, trendsetting stuff to put in your store and attract as many people as possible.
You have to follow one rule: sales per square foot.
## What Is 'Sales Per Square Foot'?
Sales per square foot is an indicator of how efficiently a company uses its assets to make sales. For this reason, the higher the sales per square foot, the better. The formula for it is:
Sales Per Square Foot = Sales / Square Feet of Selling Space
So, there it is. Following that basic criteria, you have to supply your store with a considerable amount of the same product, expecting to sell it all.
And because all retail buyers do the same thing, the result is mass production of similar looking stores, which spontaneously leads to chronical lack of interest from bored to death customers.
## Online Marketing Not Helping
Products available online make this already bad situation in stores and shopping malls even worse. Online marketplaces offer wide variety of general interest products that can meet almost all the needs of the consumers.
Availability of these products is high and prices are often more competitive than in stores. And what is best - online sellers don't have to follow 'Sales per square foot' criteria.
## How To Escape This
In order to escape this crumbling situation, there is a need for a new economic model that goes after positive shopping experiences and not on volume sales.
For example, the store that follows this new model could function as an interactive media channel for consumer experience. Every brand selling their products could have a chance to present themselves with an interesting story, and everything would be happening in real time.
A store opened in Palo Alto, California, called B8ta, is among first examples of this new economic model. They first stock products the owners themselves find interesting, and then use that quality in sales.
The store lets companies apply to rent retail space, and they can then release a new product at the store within days. They also get instant feedback on sales performance and how many people stopped by their display.
The conclusion is that retailers have to change their way of old thinking in order to escape this dying state. They'll have to create, in their stores, an environment that is compelling and captivating for consumers and not lose them in the sea of online marketing.