The energy crisis poses further new challenges for retailers. In this post-covid era, where interaction with customers has gained new importance, it is more crucial than ever for retailers to send positive, welcoming and friendly signals to customers. Nevertheless, rising energy costs as a global crisis present society with a new challenge that also confronts retailers. Beyond the social responsibility of which every stakeholder should be aware, rising energy costs and the pure question of energy availability will have a direct impact on society’s future willingness to consume. “Everything must stay as it is” is rather simplistic said in this already difficult situation. The central question remains how we can collectively manage the tasks still ahead of us and support the trade.
Of course, the restrictions imposed by the federal government’s energy-saving regulations do not make things any easier for the stationary trade, which has already been weakened anyway. But the intention and the problems behind it cannot be viewed from just one dimension. As of today, we consider the cuts caused by the requirements of the current federal energy saving regulations to be bearable for the retail trade.
Store doors that must remain closed during the cold season to prevent energy loss; store windows that are switched off when the frequency in the city centers decreases, are perhaps even long overdue measures in times of global warming and the undisputed finiteness of fossil fuels.
For the VMM, the more conscious use of resources was an important building block on the way to making our industry more sustainable and resource-conserving even before the energy crisis. We would like to encourage the trade to take a stand with open communication and to show and implement a stance in the interest of the common good.
Shop windows are the business card of retailers and brands
In a good shop window, a brand’s competence, product, attitude and aspirations all come together and become readable and tangible for customers. More than ever before, they are now the business card of the retailer and the brands. A three-dimensional perception is created that cannot be experienced in any other channel. Shop windows stimulate the imagination and show liveliness. Style competence and look competence are given a special expression.
However, it is also clear that light on merchandise is irreplaceable and represents a central element of physical, multisensory perception. Merchandise staging and communication are imminent to the customer experience. This makes strolling in the city center more intense and a relevant experience that customers enjoy. Shop windows are a socio-cultural component of a society, and this does not only apply to fashion. Especially for retailers it is important to express their competence for goods and feeling for their target group through appealing and aesthetic shop windows.
People need places to meet others. The city centre and shop windows must provide joy and liveliness.
Especially in difficult times, people need distraction, diversion and exchange with fellow human beings. We are social beings and need places to meet and spend quality time together. People had always met in marketplaces to get supplies, meet others and exchange news. These are precisely the places we need today more than ever. For this “third place” to feel good and for us to enjoy spending time there, downtown retailers must provide this diversion with beautiful images, appealing storefronts and a positive message. A visit to the city center and window shopping must once again be a pleasure.
Light plays one of the most important roles in this. Only illuminated shop windows have a lively effect and arouse curiosity. Otherwise, our shopping streets would be “bloodless” and unattractive.
For this reason, the professional and competent design of shop windows and sales areas is elementary, especially in these times. With our expertise, we can support retailers in mastering these challenges.
It is now our joint task to support retailers in creating inviting shopping experiences to provide customers with positive experiences. Let’s work together to ensure that this year our merchants’ storefronts continue to tell life-affirming, inspiring stories and make visiting our shopping districts a joyful experience.
Here you can download the press release including the pictures for this article.