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Wake Forest, Page 158, and Martin Lindstrom, Part Two

Posted By Wanda Jewell, Wednesday, July 20, 2016


After sitting with Martin Lindstrom and Page 158 booksellers Dave & Sue for an hour or so, with Sue taking furious notes, Martin then headed outside with all of us, and started by talking about flow; how many cars drive by, how many people, who are the neighbors?  What can drivers see of the store?  How to best use your signs and chalkboards.  The front door had many window clings (I had confirmed the SIBA cling when I’d visited the day before.) He sent me in the store to ask a customer what they had seen on the door – customer had not seen anything.  Get rid of the clings.

And then the windows.  Use the windows to focus customer attention.  Remove clutter.  Focus the eye.  He opened the door to the store.  What do you see first?  We saw a fire extinguisher, a window shutter filled with business cards stuck every which way, and a free weekly paper stand plus a wall display of coloring books.  Is that what you most want folks to see?

Is there a focal point for the eye at the back of the store that draws the customer on in? There should be.  Create a flow.  How would you walk thru here and what would you see?  Is that what you want them to see?  How do the books look on the shelves?  Are they displayed in a way that customers feel as though they can find what they are looking for?  Clear signs?

Remove clutter.  If it doesn’t sell your brand, your books, or your message, get rid of it.  Use your brand.  Tear page 158 out of old books and make placemats and give them to local restaurants to use if they’d like.  Make sure you are always promoting your store.  Don’t let events overwhelm your brand.

Martin gave them homework while we went to lunch.  Dave & Sue were to take all of the ideas and divide them up into 3 columns, Yes, we will & right away; Yes, we’re interested, but need some time; and No thank you.

Martin departed around 2pm.  But the fun continued for me.  With permission from Sue & Dave, I played in the store until 6pm. I moved displays, re-shelved books, facing out titles every few feet, redid the front window, organized the kids section, and paired all of the plush with their books.  I took down old posters, and spread the blank journals throughout the store, shopping all the while.  I had a ball and I appreciate their trust and their willingness to let me play all day.  I loved every second of it.

Sidebar – Lunch was amazing.  Not the food so much, it was tasty but not what I remember.  What I recall is my time listening to Martin talk about his life, he travels 305 days a year, taking 60 days off. There is not time for a family, and Martin seems content.  He lives between Australia and Sweden, and both places sound fascinating.  He expressed interest in our politics, not surprisingly, and his interests are varied and scintillating.

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