A Crash Course on CreativityAssignment 2: Paying Attention New Haven, CT Chi Min Seow 10/30/2012
Nica’s Market Before you enter the store Nica’s Market always has some outstanding storefront decorations. Right now, in response to the fall season, there are many pumpkins of various sizes on display. The store sign, which can be seen in the picture, is large enough and it sprawls across the store horizontally. The transparent glasses are always clean and people can always see how fresh their produce is when walking past. Environment As soon as I entered the door, the bell emitted a familiar ring, and I can immediately smell the fresh flowers right behind the front door. The indoor environment gives customers a sense of coziness with brown colored floor and compact rack arrangements filled with various goods. Personnel For its small size, Nica’s market hires a lot of personnel. All of them are usually very helpful. I am usually greeted with smiles when I walk in. They make you feel very special and will go the extra mile to answer your questions.
Products There is a hot food section behind the store that makes food from scratch. They also serve made-‐to-‐order sandwiches as well. Other than that, the products displayed at the racks are well organized and dust-‐free. Quality, sturdy racks are used in the store. The fruits and vegetables for sale are of superior quality and well presented. Customers Customers who frequent this store are normally college students looking to grab a quick bite or supplement their groceries. Due to the small walking lanes, customers have to make way for each very often. The outdoor seating area is a welcoming place for customers to consume their meals after purchasing them from the store. Other Observations The storeowner is someone who cares a lot about his store. It is a frequent sight to see him arranging goods inside the store.
Orange Street Market Before you enter the store The Orange Street Market is centrally located in the East Rock area in New Haven, CT. The storefront decoration is not bad either. Pots of plants and seating stables and chairs are the usual sight. Due to the windy day, the front door was closed when I visited. The goods blocked majority of the window, making it difficult to look into the store. Environment The in-‐store environment is very simple. Decoration does not seem like a high priority to the storeowners. The racks are arranged at a slanted angle from the front door in one column, making it difficult to have a good overview of the products sold. The high racks in the middle also made the store looks smaller than it actually is. Personnel The personnel did not pay a lot of attention to the incoming customers. The whole place feels slightly unwelcoming and cold. After walking around aimlessly for more than 5 minutes, no one cared to offer any help.
Products Due to its small size, the product choices offered by the store are limited. Besides some fresh product, meat, seafood and deli, other products are displayed in the middle of the store. The distance between racks in is very small, making it difficult to inspect the goods at the most bottom row of the racks. Customers Customers who come here are of various age groups. Compared to other markets in the area, Orange Street Market is not the most bustling market. Other Observations
Romeo & Cesare’s Gourmet Before you enter the store The storefront decoration is highly welcoming. In addition to the pumpkin, the storeowners also put out straw men to attract customers. The well-‐maintained plants and clean glass are good signs that the store is well run. Environment The in-‐store environment did not disappoint. There is a row of fresh vegetables immediately behind the front door. Inside the store, there are four columns of low racks, which enable customers to immediately see the items they need and walk towards them directly. Personnel The personnel are highly welcoming and patient. They took their time to ask customers if there is anything they could help with and are not pushy to make a sale. Food items purchased are delicately handled according to customers needs. Products The store seems to target Mediterranean cuisine. There is a section specifically reserved for different types of olives and another for different cheeses. The store
does not offer everything under the sun, but they do have a great variety of choices for customers. Customers Customers range from students to family. There was a family with a relatively large group of kids dining outside the store as I walked out. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the different decorations that have been put out. Other Observations A huge tree was uprooted right outside the store by the strong wind last night.
One Stop Mart & Deli Before you enter the store Much effort can be put into the decoration of the area in front of the store. As of now, there is a table with two benches and nothing more. Although it is fall season, the massive accumulation of dried leaves outside is not a welcoming sign. Environment The store is split into two halves. On one side there is a small kitchen serving fresh Middle Eastern cuisine, on the other side, there is a small section for groceries. The floor is covered with white tiles and due to the indoor kitchen, the walls are slightly stained with grease. Personnel This is a family owned store; the personnel are largely made of own family members. When I was there, I was looking for Tahini (sesame seed paste) in the store and was having a difficult time locating it. Luckily for the helpful personnel, the issue was resolved. He was also patient enough to introduce different brands of the same product.
Products The goods displayed at the groceries section are not well arranged and most of them are dusty. The freshly prepared food however, is made to order and seems authentic. Customers Customers are usually individuals or a very small group of people looking for quick meals. Other Observations There is a huge empty space in the middle of the store, which could be better used to display goods.
Hanmi Oriental Food & Gift Shop Before you enter the store Elaborative decoration is nowhere to be seen compared to other stores in the area. One major discovery is the cute store sign hanging right above the door. Other than that, there are two brightly lit signs written in Korean. Environment The store is very clean and well organized. There are three fully stocked columns of various products appropriately labeled. Personnel The personnel are very relaxed. They only stepped in when requested. When I first entered the store, I couldn’t see anyone inside, but after awhile, they came out to greet me. Products Besides food products, they also sell kitchenware and other materials for entertainment. There is a combination of perishable and non-‐perishable goods but they all are inclined towards Korean cuisine.
Customers There wasn’t anyone else inside the store when I was there. Perhaps it was at a low time of the day when I visited Other Observations The shop owners have a dog, which is as friendly as the owners.
State Fish Farm Market Before you enter the store The first glance of the store gives the impression that it is not very organized. Products can be seen stacked right behind the clear glass. Environment A strong seafood odor immediately caught the attention as I entered the store. There is a seafood section in the store, which is wide open to the air circulation inside the store. The products are all over the place instead of neatly stacked. Personnel The storeowner was wearing an earphone in one ear, giving an impression that customers are usually not given full attention. Products The products are not the freshest. Some of them are even near date of expiry. Customers Unsurprisingly, there was no customer inside the store.
Other Observations For a store situated at a heavily trafficked junction with a huge parking space right in front of the store, the business of the store could be much better.