It is believed that, when it comes to retail, Feng Shui could provide one of the best solutions for immediate and easily obtained results. Feng Shui is seen here not just a mere marketing strategy, but a more complex set of procedures than entail also emotional and spiritual experience, due to the fact that shopping itself is seen as a challenging and entertaining experience.
Generally speaking, Feng Shui refers to an ancient Chinese set of aesthetic principles that are believed to use the laws of Heaven and those of Earth as well so as to improve human life. In other words, we perceive Feng Shui as a pragmatic way of arranging the objects that surround us in order to get a positive energy, or Qi, from it. Even though it isn’t scientifically proven, Feng Shui is the result of centuries of observation of human behavior in its living environment. The results are easily to be seen in the way in which people feel inside a store and the way in which they perceive the act of shopping.
Feng Shui can be effectively applied in stores as they should work as a whole, their energy being perceived from outside as well. Retailers are aware of the fact that a store is a complex environment and that on it depends the success of the business. This is the main reason for which all the constituent parts of a store come into discussion when starting applying Feng Shui, for every corner and simple aspect is important in setting the atmosphere.
In the following lines, we’ve gathered some tips and tricks to help you understand that Feng Shui is about placing the right thing in the right place. The principles are easy to apply, so, why not doing it yourself!
Feng Shui Best Practices In Visual Merchandising
The basic things you need to be aware of first are listed here:
- Entrance: in order to create a positive energy from the outside, make sure your entrance is as friendly and as interesting enough to lure people inside. To create a strong presence, you need to work on lights, fresh window displays, and appropriate colors. Everything has to flow and seem natural. Make sure that the entrance is big enough and that there aren’t elements of obstruction, like columns; obstacles of any sort have a negative impact on the energy that is supposed to surround the entire place.
- Direct attention: it is important to be able to create imaginary pathways for the Feng Shui energy, to create a balanced flux of customers and make sure they don’t wander chaotically when exploring the store. You need to avoid the feeling of too much stuff crowded on shelves by creating several independent areas with different shapes, colors, and lights.
- Balanced lightning: well-placed lights can help you increase the balanced atmosphere that should exist inside your store. Installing several levels of lightning could help you achieve the right intensity of light. Remember that in Feng Shui light is a vital element that has an important role in creating and maintaining the energy!
- Avoid miss-placed objects that could ruin the entire equilibrium, like open trash cans in plain view, exposed electrical equipment, empty boxes, and mirrors facing the front entrance, stale air, strange smells or other elements that might create a negative energy. It is easy to keep track of these objects and place them in the right place or subtly hide them.
- Stimulate your imagination and plan the right arrangements: try to place the cash register diagonally from the entrance, for it is believed to be a powerful Feng Shui spot, a “lucky corner” (in fact, all the corners opposite to the door, it depends on the structure of your store). Specialists suggest placing some plants and mirrors in these areas too, to help improving prosperity. Beware of the things mirrors could reflect, for they should never reflect doors and windows, other mirrors, sharp corners of furniture or walls and bathroom entrances. Another thing to be aware of is the bathroom placement. Apparently, bathrooms are “yin” spaces and should be concealed somehow from the viewers. Place signs to indicate the presence of a bathroom, but avoid placing the entrances too prominent.
- Provide a genuine experience by allowing customers independence to explore the items they want to purchase, without the need to ask for guidance. Let customers touch merchandise and don’t place it too far from their access. Freedom is another important feature for a genuine Feng Shui experience.
- Make use of gratitude and be friendly with your customers, because positive feelings are essential in Feng Shui: whether it is about a congratulating gift for loyal customers or a simple thank you addressed someone that has just purchased something, gratitude creates a positive atmosphere.
- Update your look: a fresh store layout is another way to ensure the balanced principles of Feng Shui. Whether it is about the window displays, shopping bags, packaging, something new is always a good strategy that will keep your customers entertained.
- Ideally, the presence of all five elements is the key to a complete Feng Shui: this is the place where you can use your imagination and make use of certain small installations that contain or imitate flowing water or flames. You already have wood and metal (furniture) and a fresh and appealing smell (air), but don’t forget about the rest! Water, fire and soil (earth) should be present too. Remember that flowing water is preferable to still water, because it keeps the energy flowing to the right directions. Also, you can add complexity by displaying some natural flower arrangements, to infer the presence of fertile soil; make sure you use round leafs plants rather that pointed leaves. Specialists recommend that you bring inside other elements as well, like other metals, fabrics or even rocks.
- Fix anything immediately: replace burned out bulbs and mend cases or other equipment that isn’t in its best condition, because they can become “yin” places, filled with negative energy.
Even if you don’t necessarily believe in Feng Shui, there are many Asian cultures that deeply appreciate it and it’s sure to be noticed by any Asian customers. Plus, some of the Feng Shui best practices are simply useful to apply in any store.