Retailers should think twice about skimping on the daily cleaning of their stores. That’s the big take-away from a recent study by M/A/R/C Research and National In-Store that examines how consumers’ perceptions of store cleanliness affect shopping experiences. The study offers insights into the impact of store appearance by seven retail categories, including grocery, drug stores, mass merchandisers, department stores and consumer electronics. Retailers were evaluated on the appearance of their parking lots, restrooms and lighting, and on in-store litter.
Across all the surveyed categories, more than a third of all respondents indicated that store cleanliness was extremely important (it was most important for grocery stores, followed by department stores). Fourteen percent said they would stop shopping at a store that was not as clean as they would like; 29% said they would only visit the store to pick up a few items that they could not find elsewhere. By category, the impact of unclean stores was greatest for supermarkets (19% said they would stop going to the store) and drug stores (17%).
“Clearly, cleanliness is an important component of the consumer experience. It impacts consumers’ willingness to shop at a given retailer and also influences frequency of shopping and the length of time consumers are willing to shop. All of this has a direct impact on the amount of spending a retailer captures,” said Randy Wahl, senior VP, M/A/R/C Research, Irving, Texas.
Long lines greet iPhone debut
CUPERTINO, Calif. The long-awaited debut of Apple’s iPhone was greeted with long lines outside of Apple and AT&T stores on June 29 with some people camping out days to get one. Analysts expected Apple’s new smart phone to sell about 200,000 units during its first weekend in release.
The combination phone and Web browser is selling for $499 for a basic phone and $599 for a version with 8GB of memory. The sleek phone that’s operated with a touch screen also comes with an iPod and a camera. The phones are being sold exclusively at 166 Apple stores and 1,800 stores operated by service provider AT&T. Apple ceo Steve Jobs said he hopes to sell about 10 million iPhones during its first year on the market.
CE vet Callahan passes on
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. CE veteran Phil Callahan died from what is believed to be a heart attack June 26 at the age of 57.
Callahan spent several years at Mitsubishi and also held positions at Sumiko, Hitachi and Princeton Graphics Systems. In June 2005 he founded a public relations and consulting firm named Callahan Public Relations and Consulting.