Retail and sales present exciting opportunities for the application of feng shui and geomancy. Not only is it necessary in these cases to promote the prerequisite prosperity, recognition, and success, but this has to be done against the background of changing trends, fashions, idiosyncrasies, and the vagaries of the marketplace. Despite this unpredictability, our techniques are very well suited to this area of business, and we have successfully advised sales establishments of all types and sizes, from mom and pop corner shops, to regional realty concerns, national supermarket chains, and multinational traders.
A CHANGING MARKETPLACE
In all cases our objective has been to increase sales, expand market share, and add to the recognition of the brand or product. Increasingly, our efforts have also focused on the creation of transformational experiences for shoppers and staff. Customers are demanding that products perform not only as functional objects but also as part of the their personal journey of discovery. From the design of the product to its manufacture and display, sales efforts now present a coordinated effort that is aware of the economic, psychological, and spiritual needs of the producer, the consumer, and the sales staff.
As a consequence, the retail sector is undergoing rapid transformation. Part of this trend has focused on the need to enhance a business’s edge against increasingly competitive markets. In addition, a new market consciousness now pays a great deal of attention to the inter-relationships between consumer and ethics, between dollar spent and its impact on the biosphere, and to the communal imperative for sustainability. Staff recruitment, development, and satisfaction are also part of this trend. These, as well as the more traditional concerns for profitability, recognition and success, are part and parcel of the needs our services can address.
THE FENG SHUI PROCESS
A feng shui analysis of a retail concern begins with a careful description of the client’s market, including standard parameters such as customer demographics, income distribution, shopping patterns, and geographical location. This allow us to categorize the retail product and to match it to its potential market. Often, this analysis can shed light into areas not covered by standard market analysis. For example, although merchandising experts are keenly aware of the psychological need for welcoming environments, they often disagree as to how to achieve this in terms of decor or materials. By focusing on the energetic aspects of this discussion, feng shui can suggest many possible scenarios which would satisfy the aesthetic or stylistic needs of a particular brand.
The reason for this versatility is based on the fact that feng shui focuses on the “energetic” qualities of the environment, as opposed to its aesthetic ones. Thus, for example, it is possible to increase the appeal of a particular product by enhancing its attractiveness through color, texture, context, lighting, as well as it position in space, its relation to doorways and corridors, and even its orientation in space. A competent feng shui consultant will provide many options in order to fully conform with the client’s particular demographic, aesthetic, or branding needs.
Feng shui has well-established tools for the design and decor of retail spaces. In addition to analysis of the site, its architecture, and decor, feng shui can also provide useful information as to the impact of the retail space on income generation, brand recognition, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, basket size, and return visits.It also is extremely helpful in enhancing staff and management performance, providing tools to reduce internal conflict, absenteeism, turn-over, vulnerability to customer complaints, community resistance, and political or legal complications. Feng Shui tools can also be used to improve communication, decision-making, teamwork, and social connectivity.
Feng shui also postulates the importance of timing in the introduction of a particular brand or product, offering optimal dates for launching, marketing, or discounting product. Astrological tools can also be used to schedule optimal timing for store construction and Grand Openings, and can even be used to determine ideal timing for contract negotiations and signing.