In what seems a generation ago George Carlin mentioned seven dirty words that were considered inappropriate for broadcast on public television. For some the word “retail” is considered a dirty word. I beg to differ.

The word “retail” can be an adjective, noun, verb or adverb. Its definition doesn’t change but the connotation has been sullied in many industries. It is this dirty connotation that many consumers and retailers alike are burdened with, but instead of generating a list of attributes that continue to plague your dirty retail environment let’s concentrate on what could make your retail environment “dirt” free.

The “retail” experience goes beyond the use of the word as a simple modifier. It reflects the absence or presence of marketing know-how on the retailer’s part and the positive or negative vibe the client feels. 

Simply, a dirt-free environment is... free from dirt. I know that you think this is silly but it really matters. Run the vacuum. Train Miss Grouchy at the desk to smile. Arrange a barter deal with a local florist for a weekly delivery. The overall logic is common sense. You wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that’s dirty. Why would you expect your clients to shop where it’s dirty? Dirt reflects laziness. Fingerprints on the demo lenses and cases, non-manicured staff reeking of cigarettes and a bathroom environment that has you desiring your local truck stop doesn’t bode well. Step it up regardless of your target demographic.

Fellow opti-peeps, please stop looking at yourselves primarily as opticians. Look at yourself through your clients’ eyes, knowing they are seeking a true retailer. Close up at five and you are dirty. Close Saturdays. Dirty. Won’t neutralize a prescription? Dirty. Won’t put a nose pad on for somebody who has never been into your store before for free? YOU are dirty. 

Our particular Eyetique experience is a series of practices we incorporate beginning the moment the lights come on. A smile through the phone can make all the difference. A store front should be appealing. As soon as that door opens be thankful that it opened and somebody chose to let YOU serve them. Relax. Enjoy your time with your clients. The concept is easy. Be creative: Great music, fragrant aromas, smiling staff and a meticulously merchandised dispensary builds a winning retail experience for
all. Do it. See you again soon. And so will your new clients.

Brad Childs
VP and COO, Eyetique, Pittsburgh