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Footlocker, Macy's,

Queen K Shopping Center, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732 Queen K Shopping Center, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732

Ben Franklin's Craft Store, Queen K Shopping Center, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732 The Pet Shop, Maui Mall, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732 Tommy Bahama , Whaler's Village, Suite C, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761 Maui Friends of The Library Bookstore, Queen K Shopping Center, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732

Before you enter the store:

FOOT LOCKER

The store drew me in for the following reasons: (1) Big visual displays of shoe items on sale, (2) Bright lighting, and (3) easy-to-locate employees in striped referee-type shirts. Front entrance of the store was open; unobstructed. This made the store accessible and welcoming to customers, I feel.

The sign lettering was noticeably big and in a red corporate font. Footlocker's store set-up indicates to me that it seeks to establish itself as a sport shoe specialty outlet with knowledgeable staff and attractive products at competitive prices.

ENVIRONMENT:

The color scheme of the store reflects its corporate logo theme: black-white stripe patterns (the zebra) and red. As a customer, I find that it keeps in unison with the official or authoritative presence in the sport shoe market that Foot Lockers is trying to project to the customer or at least maintain in its customer base. The Foot Locker floor was carpeted, and it affects the environment in that carpeting makes walking comfortable; colorwise, I think, that dark carpeting is consistent with high-volume traffic and doesn't clash with other colors, banners, and marketing tools. The ceiling was relatively high. It gave the store a warehouse feeling. The store was very brightly lit. It aided the visual experience of being able to find, identify, and inquire about various products and sales.

The environment was loud as a result of human traffic and music emanating from ceiling speakers. Cause of loud environment: Trendy pop-music blaring over wall-to-wall speakers. Loud music did not enhance the shopping experience, and it gave the store a bit of a clubbish feel. Perhaps, it reflected more on the management or staff on duty than corporate policy. I am unsure at this writing.

The store was unusually cold. The store was crowded with merchandise.

The store had the distinctive smell of new shoes in boxes. The store cash registers were located in the center of the store directly intersecting with the entrance-exit area. There were no apparent floor walkers or store security other than employees on duty. I have mixed feelings about my time (wanted/wanting) to spend in the store. Product-wise, I wanted to stay, perhaps, longer or as long as it took to find the right shoes for me. However, customer-experience wise, I left much more quickly as a result of the music and temperature settings. I believe the environment plays a critical role in the enhancement of the perceived value of the merchandise.

PERSONNEL: It took exactly 2:07 min/sec before a (female) salesperson initiated contact with me. My salesperson did not seem to have a script, she was following. The ratio of salespeople to customers was 4:7.

The age and gender makeup of the employees on shift during my observation exercise was: 3 males, 1 female. The males were between 18-30 years of age, and the female was 35 years of age. The sales people wore uniforms. The salespeople matched their store's image.

PRODUCTS: The first product I noticed were glow-in-the-dark shoe laces. There was a central display of Sales of The Month shoes. The sale items were located in the central display area of the store. The products were arranged by size and sale. There were no free samples or demonstrations during my visit. All products were at eye-level by shoe size, color, and price. There were no items at least accessible locations. Products were mostly featured from smallest to largest shoe sizes rather than in a most to least expensive system. The product prices were easy to find on the product and in the boxes they were sold in. There were many impulse items near the cash register, ranging from shoelaces to shoe horns and stickers-shoe accessories.

CUSTOMERS: Most of the customers, myself included, were alone. There seemed to be a high-degree of foot traffic from the main mall walkway. I observed the average age of the customers to be between 20 thru 40-somethings. I did not notice any children, teenagers, or elderly-retiree types during my store visit. Customers entering the store did not tend to walk the same path or direction.

On average the customers stayed in the store at the minimum of 5 minutes to a max of 20 minutes plus. Customers touched many products, and it was encouraged by the sales staff. Seventy-five percent of the customers seemed to be in browsing mode while twenty-four percent seemed to be on a buying mission, and the remaining one percent (me) was on a secret spying mission. I estimated that 15% of the customers actually bought an item. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: I noticed that there was not a manager or supervisor on duty.

Before you enter the store:

The store drew me in as a customer by its large, clean glass doors which give an unobstructed view of Macy's sizeable ground floor and product displays. The door was closed. The store makes me feel that I might purchase more than one item. The sign lettering was very large (over 5 feet tall) and in black corporate font.

The sign tells me that this is a Corporate store with a huge selection.

ENVIRONMENT: The color scheme of the store varies from department to department. It affects me in the sense that I know what Macy's intended target audience(s) is/are (e.g. kids department was brightly lit in bubblegum pink for girls and dark blues for boys) while Men's fragrances had an executiveboardroom schematic of darker Scan-design type ambiance). The type of floor was a faux-marble shiny surface. It affects the environment by promoting a sense of quality or boutique-feel. The ceilings were very high. It feels massive and spacious. The store was brightly lit with strategically placed track-lighting features, focusing on product placement and sales placards.

The environment was not loud. Although there was considerable customer traffic on the (2) floors I visited and various departments within, the store was spacious and large enough to accommodate and evenly distribute sounds without being noticeably distracting or annoying to the shopping experience. Each department had its own unique music playing through speakers. For example, the Teens department was playing Justin Bieber music tracks while the Men's Clothing section played a much more mature Harry Connick Jr. Xmas tracks. The music, therefore, definitely sets the tone-environment by letting the customer subconsciously know where he/she is at the moment.

The store was pleasantly cool. The store was attractively crowded with an extensive line of products and merchandise. Macy's always, I've noticed, had its own distinctive smell of You're in a Macy's. I would categorize the smell as nouveau-riche. Cash registers are located usually in the center of each department towards an entrance point. Store security was very undercover during my visit. I did not notice any one with apparent detective skills or investigative personality traits. Perhaps, Macy's store detectives are that good? I wanted to stay in the store longer than anticipated because there was so much to see. The environment influences the perceived value of the merchandise, indeed.

PERSONNEL: It did not take long for sales persons to initiate contact with me. It was almost instantaneous upon my arrival. However, the contact was not pretentious or overbearing in a used-car salesman-ish manner. It was much more in the stream of Welcome to Heaven. Would you like to try some cologne? It's to die for... The salespersons definitely follow a script which is provided through some form of training, I surmise. I did not notice any difference in treatment of customers by the sales personnel. Each department I visited had a ratio of 3:1 staff to customers.

The age and gender of employees in each department varied between 20-somethings to 40somethings. The store employees receive a discount on select merchandise. And I gather from my inquiry that they are encouraged to buy store items for work attire.

The store employees did not wear a uniform other than a standard Macy's name tag identifying the sales person by name and department.

I believe the professional attire, the uniformity in script presentation, and placement of name tags matches the store's image.

PRODUCTS: The first product that I noticed was a Hugo Boss Men's Cologne.

There was a central display with featured products and themes: cologne for sporty types versus cologne for older gentlemen. There were also items for sales located variously throughout the store and departments.

The products were not arranged haphazardly but rather by theme, price, and specials (e.g. Xmas gift suggestions for mom and dad, husband and wife, etc..). There were free samples during my visit. However, the proverbial perfume-lady who offers to spritz customers either by permission or Seinfeldian-ninja style attacks was not available during my visit. The products were placed at eye-level. I did not find any items of interest or out of sheer curiosity at awkward or difficult locations. The most and least expensive items were placed in an escalating pyramid-configuration, letting the customer know his/her choices based on expense. Prices on all products were very easy to find. There were not any impulse items placed near the cash register other than Macy's store card displays and brochures highlighting the benefits of signing up for a store card.

CUSTOMERS: The customer flow was a mixture of couples and solo shoppers on the day of my store visit. The average age of the customers I observed ranged in the 20-40s group. However, in the younger departments, there was noticeably a younger demographic. I observed customers in the store between 10-30 minutes. Customers did touch products and were encouraged to do so by salespeople, and graciously assisted in their shopping experience. Most customers that I observed seemed to be on a buying mission. I estimate that 35% of the customers I observed actually made purchases of store items.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS: Other than three very attractive Latinas-salespersons who offered me exquisite service, I had no further significant observations to report about.

Before you enter the store:

The store drew me in without a doubt. Its impressive display windows showcase crafts and suggests a You Can Do-It-Yourself (DIY) theme.

The store's front door was open. An open door promotes a sense of welcome or Aloha as they say in Hawaii. The sign lettering was considerably large in corporate font.

The lettering tells me that it's not a Mom & Pop store, but M&P might actually shop here.

ENVIRONMENT: The color scheme of the store is white and red. It affects my imagination and opens the possibilities in my mind that a plethora of creative projects can be executed with what the store sells and suggests in products. The store had a white tiled floor, reminiscent of art class in high school. The ceiling was high with adequate fluorescent lighting panels. The environment was not loud. There was holiday Xmas music playing throughout the store. The store was cold but the sales staff were very warm. The store was crowded with merchandize. The store had a distinctive Xmas, pine-tree-Santa's-coming to town smell...wintery at best.

The cash register was located at the front of the store near the entrance.

There was no visible store security other than a creepy overly-Jolly Santa mannequin that seemed to be following me, undressing me with its eyes. It's a long story... trust me, the Santa was creepy. I've brought it up in therapy.

I stayed in the store for almost a full hour. The environment influenced the perceived value of the merchandise, indeed.

PERSONNEL: A (female) salesperson initiated contacted with me within seconds of my arrival. The salesperson did not seem to have a script she was working from. In fact, she complimented cologne on me which I had purchased from Macy's. I did not notice the sales staff treating customers any differently during my visit. The employees ranged in age from 30-somethings to 50 year olds. I did not notice the employees using any products from the store. The salespeople wore a uniform consisting of a bright red Polo-type shirt with dark slacks. The salespeople definitely match their store image.

PRODUCTS: The first product I noticed was the creepy Santa.

There was a central display area with a table promoting Holiday gift ideas and special sales. The items for sale were located throughout the entire store. The products were arranged by price. The most and least expensive items were located throughout the store, side-by-side. The prices were easy to find. There were a few impulse items next to the cash register, ranging from Holiday mints and candies to gift cards and key chains.

CUSTOMERS: Most customers seemed to be with someone or in groups. The relationships ranged from friends to married couples. The average age of the customers were between 30-40-somethings. The customers entering the store seemed to walk in different directions, paths. On average, I observed customers staing in the store between 20 minutes and an hour. Customers touched products and were encouraged to do so by helpful salespeople. The customers I observed during my store visit seemed to be on a buying mission. I estimate that 70% of the customers made actual purchases.

Other Observations: The Santa was creepy.

Before you enter the store:

The Pet Shop

The store drew me in because it had an easy to spot sign and store front. The door was open. An open door is inviting, I feel. And it allowed the sounds of birds and various animals to be heard from the entrance, raising excitement, curiosity, and wonder. The sign lettering was big enough to be noticeable. The font was capitalized in a fun design. Sign lettering and open doors tell me that I'm welcome as a customer or browser, and it gave me a sense that I was entering a classic pet store rather than a corporatized pet chain.

ENIVIRONMENT: The color scheme of the store was blue and white, and it affected my perception in the sense that everything was upfront, easy to access without being a distraction from the main product-the pets for sale. The store had clean, white tile floors. It gave the environment a sense of cleanliness. The ceiling was not high and it gave me the feeling that I was in comfortable store where a customer could bond with an animal (potential pet, addition to a family).

The store was adequately lit with fluorescent lighting. It made the products and pets visible. The store was not loud except for a loquacious parrot named Zita by the store front entrance. There was no music playing. The store was cool; a good balance between warm and cold. The store had a distinctive smell of a mild sanitizer and various pets which were neither offensive or distracting. It reassured me as a customer that the pets were healthy and the environment was clean. The store had many pet and pet-related products but it was not overly crowded, leaving room for accessible aisles and casual browsing.

The cash register was located directly in front of the entrance. Other than a talkative parrot there was no visible store security. I stayed in the store approximately 45 minutes, wanting to stay longer also. The environment did influence the perceived value of the merchandize, indeed.

PERSONNEL: It took about 3 minutes before a (male) salesperson initiated contact with me due to the high volume of customers in the store during my visit. The salesperson did not seem to have a scripted contact with me. There was no apparent difference in treatment between myself and other customers.

The ration of salespeople to customers was 3:7. The age and gender of the salespeople were the following: (2) females 18-30, and (1) male 25 years old. The salespeople were not using any apparent store products. The salespeople were professionally dressed in appropriate clothing with name tags. There was no apparent standard uniform. The salespeople matched the store image, indeed. Casual but professional attire seemed to be the dress code.

PRODUCTS: The first product that I noticed was the $1,500 talking parrot.

There was no central display with feature products. There were various sale items located throughout the store by section and pet-type. The products were arranged on shelves by price, color code, and pet-type.

The only free samples I observed were the dog biscuits and jerky treats at the cash register area. On a side note, I found the biscuits to be rather bland but the jerky treats had a distinct smoky pancake syrup taste and was surprisingly soft to chew.

The sale item products were at eye-level. The pet Jackson chameleons were in the least accessible areas.

The prices were easy to find by sticker and label postings on shelves and displays. The most expensive products (i.e. the $1500 parrot) were placed directly in front of the store. The least expensive products were at the rear of the store (i.e. $.50 guppies). The prices and products were very easy to find. There were many impulse items at the cash register, ranging from doggy treats to cat mouse pads and key chains.

CUSTOMERS: Most of the customers during my visit seemed to be casual browsers. Customers who came with others were either couples or friends. The average age-gender of the customers ranged from small children to 25 year old females.

Before you enter the store:

Tommy Bahama