In retail, size matters

Jan. 2, 2013

It may seem like there is nothing small about big-box retailer Costco, but a recent article on pointed out a psychological paradox that could be a reason behind the store's success.

At a deeper level, the customer's experience of "small" and "large" retail is not always about the scale of the store. It is possible to have a store that is physically large, yet psychologically small.

Costco is a jumbo place that sells everything in big packs. Yet, it's very simple and basic. There is no music and the flooring is grey. Conversations can be heard; the staff wear normal clothes, not uniforms and yes, its founder was a 'normal' guy like us! Costco, like its founder's story, is psychologically small and approachable. Both Costco and its customers seem to tell each other, "We just want a deal and want to live well". Physically, the store, its aisles, trolleys, packages, are all huge. Psychologically, they are small. That seems to work, somehow.

Read more about store design and layout.

Topics: Consumer Behavior , Customer Experience , Customer Service , Retail - Warehouse , Store Design & Layout

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