Observa(on Lab A Crash Course on Crea(vity Pravin Vilas Tulachan
Context • I went to a fairly new shopping mall called City Center in Kathmandu, Nepal to conduct my observa(on lab • The mall is eight story building with smaller shops • I visited the mall during on Wednesday around 6:30 pm and also post a major one week shopping holiday.
Secina Digital World • Before you enter the store: This was a modern and well lighted store and it had a mockup display of the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phones at the leP display. The store looked well stocked with the latest electronics gadgets from Korea and Japan. The store was invi(ng and rightly assume it had the latest gadgets. • Environment: There wasn’t any no(ceable color varia(on except for the neutral colors and the stacks of wall-‐to-‐wall products was overwhelming. I felt excited but unlike Apple Store where one could play with devices, here you had to ask the sales person to show you the gadget. The leP side of the store was devoted to mobile phones while the center of the store was stocked with cameras and video cameras while the right side had other electronic devices. The counter at each loca(on had their premier gadgets displayed with clear glass.The ﬂoor was standard mall type of creamish (le. The ceiling was about 14 P high and the store was brightly lit. There were no music and except for the noise of people outside the store, it was preWy quite. I think a soP music would have made the shopping experience more comfortable. The temperature was normal, neither cold or hot. There was no cash register but instead the owner of the store was the cashier, who took payments and gave change back. Except for the mall security outside, the store had no visible security mechanism that I could observe. I would have stayed longer if they had a live working demo unit of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the staﬀ were friendly and helpful and the environment was invi(ng and the enhanced the perceived value of the merchandise.
Secina Digital World • Personnel: The store had a small island of several phones that customers could play around with and when I did that the sales person appeared and answered any ques(ons that I had. The staﬀ were friendly and knowledgeable and did not seem to have a script they followed and wearing their regular business a[re. There were three sales person, all men ranging from late 20s manning the mobile phone sec(on to the owner, in his late 50s at the camera sec(on. • Products: The ﬁrst product that I no(ced was the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that was prominently displayed in leP display window and then walls of digital cameras when you walked into the store. The products were arranged by func(onality such as mobile phones on the leP wall, cameras in the middle wall while other electronics to the right wall. Yes, they had a small island table with several latest model of mobile phone that one could play with. Non of the items had price tag and since all the items were behind the counter in a class enclosure, one had to seek sales person assistance to check an item out. I could not see any items for impulse buying opportunity. • Customers: There were no customers while I was there for about ten minutes. This may be because this was the ﬁrst week aPer a big shopping holiday and it was in the middle of the week in the evening. • Other observa-ons:
GiP House • Before you enter the store: The store was located right next to the escalator and had windows with massive display crammed with products with a small open door in the middle. The leP display windows had designers sun glasses while the right display window had spor(ng goods. The store didn’t draw me in since the display windows weren’t appealing and couldn’t see the inside of the store from outside and I don’t relate high end designer glasses with basket ball and badminton. The sign was a decent size. • Environment: The store had a very neutral color and it was crammed with products with very liWle space for customers. The store had about ten people including me and it seemed crowded. The ceiling was high and it was well lit and there were no music and again no noise except the ambient mall noise of people in the mall. It had a comfortable temperature and no dis(nc(ve smell and no store security. • Personnel: As soon as I walked in the store sales lady immediately make eye contact, smiled and started cha[ng with me. She had a script where she emphasized that they have 100% money back guarantee and all their products are genuine from the manufacturer, a point she emphasized since so many stores are selling Chinese knock-‐oﬀs. She also men(oned that they have couple of other stores in diﬀerent loca(on in Katmandu. This store had four sales person, two men and two woman, all in their early 40s and no uniform but casually dressed. • Products: Even though the display windows had designer sun glasses and spor(ng goods, the ﬁrst thing I no(ced when I walked in were watches in front of me in center. There were the designer sun glasses on the leP and just a small frac(on of the inside the store had spor(ng goods. There were no demo samples and everything were behind the counter and required sales person assistance to examine their product. • Customers: There were a middle aged couple and the wife was trying out a designer sun glasses and certain to walk out with a sun glasses. Another three people looking at the watches and didn’t seem ready to buy those expensive watches.
GiP House • Before you enter the store: The store was located right next to the escalator and had windows with massive display crammed with products with a small open door in the middle. The leP display windows had designers sun glasses while the right display window had spor(ng goods. The store didn’t draw me in since the display windows weren’t appealing and couldn’t see the inside of the store from outside and I don’t relate high end designer glasses with basket ball and batminton. The sign was a decent size. • Environment: The store had a very neutral color and it was crammed with products with very liWle space for customers. The store had about ten people including me and it seemed crowded. The ceiling was high and it was well lit and there were no music and again no noise except the ambient mall noise of people in the mall. It had a comfortable temperature and no dis(nc(ve smell and no store security. • Personnel: As soon as I walked in the store sales lady immediately make eye contact, smiled and started cha[ng with me. She had a script where she emphasized that they have 100% money back guarantee and all their products are genuine from the manufacturer, a point she emphasized since so many stores are selling Chinese knock-‐oﬀs. She also men(oned that they have couple of other stores in diﬀerent loca(on in Katmandu. This store had four sales person, three men and one woman all in their late 30s and no uniform but casually dressed. • Products: Even though the display windows had designer sun glasses and spor(ng goods, the ﬁrst thing I no(ced when I walked in were watches in front of me in center. There were the designer sun glasses on the leP and just a small frac(on of the inside the store had spor(ng goods. • Customers: • Other observa:ons:
Denizen • Before you enter the store: The jeans focused store was well lit with display of mannequins geared towards younger hip crowd. I could see the lines of clothing and it was invi(ng along with a big pictures of hipsters at the back wall of the store. The sign was nice and big. It had two big discount sale sign even though it didn’t say what the discount amount was. • Environment: The layout encouraged me to browse the clothes on the rack. When I walked in I could see the table with clothes for sale in the center of the store. There were distrac(ng noise nor ambient music. The store had men’s clothing on the leP and women’s to the right and the store was well stocked with merchandise. Couldn’t see a cash register and no in store security. I thought the environment did help inﬂuence the perceived value of the merchandise. • Personnel: There were two sales woman in their late 20s and seem not to pay aWen(on to me when I walked in even thought there was no one in the store. APer being in the store for ten minutes and browsing the jeans, I had to seek the aWen(on of sales lady. The sales ladies were not wearing a uniform and I don’t think they matched the hipness of the store and not very friendly. • Products: The ﬁrst product I no(ced when I walked in were the merchandise on the display table in the center of the store. There were no “for sale” merchandise nor any of the items marked down even though the sign outside the store had “discount sale” sign. The merchandise were arranged by sex and size. The price tags were not easy to ﬁnd. No impulse item were visible. • Customers: The store was empty.
Spectrum Merchandise • Before you enter the store: The ﬁtness merchandise were clearly visible from the outside but seems to not arranged in an appealing fashion. It was just put there and the store wasn’t appealing and didn’t draw me in. The door was open and sign leWering was very large, bit out of propor(on. The store space seemed too small in propor(on to the size of the merchandise. It gave me an appearance that the store was too small and not well organized. • Environment: The store color scheme of the store was red and oﬀ white and the ﬂoor was simulated brown wooden ﬂoor. The ceiling was about 12 feet and the store was well lit without any noise or background music. No dis(nc(ve smell and no cash register in site. The store didn’t seem to have sold out of some of the items such as dumb bell that I was interested in buying. The merchandise were not aWrac(vely displayed and it seems they just piled the merchandise where there was space. There were very liWle choice of merchandise and the once they had were out of stock. • Personnel: When I ﬁrst entered the store I could not even see a sales man who was slouched in a low chair behind the counter. He didn’t even approach me for ten minutes while I was checking the ellip(cal machines. He was in early 30s but wasn’t dressed well. • Products: The product I no(ced were there thread mills and the ellip(cal machines to the leP. Because of the size of the merchandise and the size of the store, the store looked cramped even though they didn’t have lots of merchandises. To make it worse they had not taken the (me and eﬀort to arrange the merchandise in aWrac(ve manner. None of the items had price label. • Customers: There was on early 30s male customer talking to the sales person at the counter and no one showed up while I was there for about ﬁPeen minutes.
Le Mode • Before you enter the store: Even though the store didn’t have a big sign leWering, actually there was no sign out side only a small sign at the far end inside the store, I was aWracted to the store by the display. It was very well lit and rows of shoes with diﬀerent colors on the display along with hand bag. If I was a woman and into shoes and hand bags, this would be the store. • Environment: The store had a white ceiling, cream colored walls and beige colored ﬂoor, brightly lit that was invi(ng. There was no distrac(ng noise nor music in the store but rows of shoe and hand bag selec(on aWrac(vely arranged. • Personnel: There were three sales staﬀ, two young woman in late twen(es and a young man also in his late twen(es with very stylish hair cut. One of the sales woman made an eye contact and quickly approached me with ques(on as to how she could help with merchandise selec(on advice for my girlfriend seeing that I was a male. I no(ced that one of the woman was wearing the shoes from the store. All the sales people were dressed casually and matched the image of the store. • Products: The ﬁrst product that I no(ced were the shoes and a hand bag in the display window. Once I entered the store, there were racks of shoes from the eye level to the ﬂoor and hand bags on the upper level on both sides of the store. There was an aisle in the middle of the store with merchandise of shoes on both sides. I didn’t see any “for sale” sign or in store promo(on. Except for the hand bags, all the shoes were easily accessible by shoppers. The shoes were arranged by manufacturer brand name instead of price or style with the most expensive shoes displayed at the eye level and cheaper sandals lower towards the ﬂoor. • Customers: There were few customers all women in their thir(es and some along with some boy friends, who really didn’t want to be there shopping for her shoes.
Palm reader • Before you enter the store: This was an unusual business in this mall since it didn’t have a store front or an enclosed space. There was a tradi(onal Hindu Brahmin (priest) prac(cing fortune telling. I wasn’t aWracted to this business but for people that believe in palmistry, this was a convenient place. • Environment: This was simply a man si[ng at one corner of the mall with two chairs reading palms and giving out advice. There were mall noise of people since it was in open air but since it was at one corner of the building the ambient noise wasn’t too distrac(ng. • Personnel: There was one man in his late 50s wearing the tradi(onal Nepalese cap along with a a[re of a Brahmin priest, si[ng on a large rectangular mat. His a[re matched his profession of a palmistry and exhibited a sense of conﬁdence. • Products: The ﬁrst thing I no(ced was that it was his knowledge of palmistry that he was selling and no way to determine the value except by word of mouth reference. I also no(ced papers that he was write the birth date and other horoscope related informa(on before he would start looking at the right hand palm of his customer. • Customers: I saw one middle aged woman who sat on a stool next to him and was intently listening to the palmist. This is an in(mate interac(on between the customer and the palmist who I assume visits him at regular interval.