I’ve been avoiding Target lately. I know, it’s hard, even if that means I’ve got an extra $80 bucks in my wallet.
But my local store is undergoing a renovation, which includes remodeled departments, better sightlines and a new grocery department. You think I’d be over the moon with these better and added conveniences built into my one-stop-shopping destination. But, alas, not yet.
The reason: I don’t know where anything is any more. And there’s nothing more frustrating that when a quick stop in for a few items turns into a hide-and-seek journey that leaves me walking out the door without any of those things.
Sure, Target thinks it’s doing a good job staying in touch with me while they ask me to “pardon our mess.” I’ve received several catalogs in the mail, a couple of which included $10 coupons. The first one lured me in. But when I went to grab some dish soap, I found a relocated toy department. And it wasn’t until after much searching that I finally found Kleenex near the automotive aisle. So, I vowed not to return until the banner hanging outside the store read, “We’re finished.”
I know renovations are loaded with immense challenges, from complying with evolving building codes to determining the best new layouts and everything in between. And in the end, those solutions may truly create a better shopping experience for customers.
The key is sharing that knowledge with them without making them work so hard to find it. A few simple signs on the shelf telling me where I could now find my dish soap would have sent me happily on my way to pick up a bottle. And once the dust has settled, why not hand out store maps of the new layout to help customers reconfigure their shopping patterns?
Keeping them informed – rather than appearing to play games – is all it takes to keep customers happy, even while you tell them that light bulbs and cat litter have been temporarily moved to aisle three.