Venture-Lab Observation Lab 2012-1028

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This is for Venture Lab Crash Course of Creativity Assignment #2 Observation Lab
2012.10.30

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Venture-Lab Observation Lab 2012-1028

  1. 1. Venture LabCrash Course on Creativity Observation Lab Eugene Chen 2012.10.28 1
  2. 2. IntroductionSix stores were observed and reviewed in this report:• Best Buy (Sunnyvale, CA)• Ariake Sushi (Sunnyvale, CA)• Rite Aid (Sunnyvale, CA)• Curry House (Cupertino, CA)• Costco Wholesale (Sunnyvale, CA)• Trader Joe’s (Los Altos, CA) 2
  3. 3. Best Buy (1/8)• Front door opens automatically when customer walks in – a good sign of “Welcome”!• Commercial sign (“Call of Duty”) is easy to see. 3
  4. 4. Best Buy (2/8)• First thing you notice is a lot of recycle containers – this shows Best Buy is serious about environmental protection.• They put an air freshener next to containers because some recycled material may be stinky – very thoughtful ! 4
  5. 5. Best Buy (3/8)• The whole store is divided by product categories. Large blue circular signs can guide customers to find what they want easily.• The store has a high ceiling so it provides a spacious feeling. 5
  6. 6. Best Buy (4/8) • After you walk in thru the front door, a straight pathway leads you to the middle of the store. Products are arranged on the sides of pathway, and more popular ones are at the end of the pathway (e.g. video game, laptop, tablet, etc.) • A lot of staff walk around trying to help customers. However, after I walked around for 20 min, finally one staff came forward to offer help to me. 6
  7. 7. Best Buy (5/8)• Magnolia Home Theater section is a separate segment which is located at the corner of the store. Its design is inconsistent with the rest of the store.• This arrangement is not working well as very few customers walk into this segment. 7
  8. 8. Best Buy (6/8)• Multiple brands of the same product (e.g. tablet) are displayed on the same table side by side. Product spec info is listed next to the product.• However, it fails to provide guidance info to help customers to make purchase decision. 8
  9. 9. Best Buy (7/8)• Some manufacturers put their own product demo booths right in the middle of the store. It is obvious the store is used as a product show case for any manufacturer who is willing to pay for the space. 9
  10. 10. Best Buy (8/8)• A lot of wall space is used to showcase different models of flat screen TV. It impresses customers with its large number of product selections.• But it fails to think ahead for customers what kind of value-proposition is best from customer’s point of view.• More customers looking around but few are actually making purchases. 10
  11. 11. Ariake Sushi (1/6)• It is located in the center of a shopping plaza. Its sign is in large red text with white background, so it is easy to see from a distance.• Its front door is always open during business hours to welcome customers. 11
  12. 12. Ariake Sushi (2/6)• The first thing you see after walk-in is a long sushi boat set up. It is easy for staff to welcome customers, and it creates a friendly environment for customers to sit down and start to eat.• It puts three flat screen TVs on the wall (two are shown in this photo) so customers will not feel boring while they wait for the food. 12
  13. 13. Ariake Sushi (3/6)• The whole wall is covered with mirrors. Even the pillar is covered with mirrors too. This makes the small restaurant look spacious and brighter.• They used purple color to paint the top of the sushi boat area and it gives a contemporary touch, and also makes a statement that this is not an old-fashion style Japanese restaurant. 13
  14. 14. Ariake Sushi (4/6)• The sushi dishes have a clear price tagging system. Customers can consider the price and value before making purchase selection. 14
  15. 15. Ariake Sushi (5/6)• Wasabi and sliced ginger are on the table for the convenience of customers. Not a lot Japanese restaurants provide unlimited wasabi and ginger to customers like Ariake. It’s another way to show they care about customer satisfaction. 15
  16. 16. Ariake Sushi (6/6)• They created a different selection of sushi rolls, and gave them interesting names like “I miss U”, “Crazy”, “1+1” and “Oh! Yes”. They also made a large display board with pictures and names of their special sushi rolls. Customers who are curious about these interesting sushi names will order them from the restaurant.• Because of its uniqueness menu and friendly services, this restaurant is always full of customers. 16
  17. 17. Rite Aid (1/6)• This large Rite Aid drug store is located on a busy Sunnyvale street (El Camino Real). Its sign is clear and can easily be seen when you drive by the store.• It has an automatic front door and it opens whenever someone walks by it. 17
  18. 18. Rite Aid (2/6)• It has so much space inside it’s almost as large as a Walmart store.• However, there are very few staff, and the whole store looks quite empty.• Even so, the whole store is very organized and clean. 18
  19. 19. Rite Aid (3/6)• The way products are displayed in the empty space can make other drug stores very jealous. 19
  20. 20. Rite Aid (4/6)• In general, this store is well maintained. However, I found a hole on the pillar (above the fire extinguisher). It’s in the middle of the walkway, so it’s hard to believe it was missed by the store manager. 20
  21. 21. Rite Aid (5/6) • Because it has so much space inside this store, there is a whole section used for alcohol drinks. It’s almost like a small liquor store. • However, I only saw one customer in this area when I visited the store. 21
  22. 22. Rite Aid (6/6)• The Photo Finishing section has lots of products but no customer or staff. As fewer people want to develop photos now, this section of the store is never converted to other service or product which customers really need. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of wasted shelf space and business opportunities. 22
  23. 23. Curry House (1/6)• This Japanese style restaurant is located on the first floor of a three story building, and it’s on a busy business street in Cupertino. The second and third floors are for residential use.• Even though there are not lots of free parking space around, this restaurant is always crowded. 23
  24. 24. Curry House (2/6)• Its front door is well decorated. The plastic meal samples can be seen thru clear glass windows on both sides of the front door.• Decoration of the reception waiting area can also be clearly seen from the outside.• The “Open Hour” sign is posted on the front door to provide detail information of its business hours. 24
  25. 25. Curry House (3/6)• The decoration style of waiting area is simple and elegant. It is telling customers what it sells here is more than food. It is selling artistic tasty food.• A photo collection of all the other Curry House restaurants tells a story of its background without using words. 25
  26. 26. Curry House (4/6)• The interior design is also showing its artistic style.• The curvy ceiling design and hanging lamps deliver a consistent message with the rest of decoration.• Ceramic tiles are used int eh reception area, while hard wood floor is used for the dining area. This represents the intention to make the dining area a unique and separate space. 26
  27. 27. Curry House (5/6)• The specialty of this restaurant is its (curry) sauce and seasoning. This message is visible everywhere inside the restaurant. This means the management knows where its strength is and continues to keep its leading position in this area. 27
  28. 28. Curry House (6/6) • The uniform of waiters and waitresses is white shirt, black pants, plus a tie. At first glance, this seems inconsistent with its contemporary artistic style. But actually it represents Japanese style sincerity to customer service. 28
  29. 29. Costco Wholesale (1/6)• This Costco Wholestore is in the middle of a busy section of Sunnyvale. Its front door is always wide open and always crowded year round. 29
  30. 30. Costco Wholesale (2/6)• The first thing you see when you walk in to the store is an array of flat screen TVs. The actual products are under the display unit so customers can take it into the shopping cart as soon as the purchase decision is made. This is very different from the Best Buy store. 30
  31. 31. Costco Wholesale (3/6) • The most amazing thing about Costco is they can commoditize boutique store products like jewelry and music instruments. Traditionally these types of product require guidance from specially trained salesperson. But Costco can overcome this barrier and sell them on the un-staffed shop floor. 31
  32. 32. Costco Wholesale (4/6)• Customers can also select books and clothing without any sales guidance. As customers know more what they want, more things can be commoditized. 32
  33. 33. Costco Wholesale (5/6)• When large number of product selections are presented, labeling is a challenge. Costco separates the labels and products so customers have to do more work to match them. 33
  34. 34. Costco Wholesale (6/6)• There is always some good idea to save energy. Costco uses ceiling windows to brighten the interior of the building so more energy cost can be saved. 34
  35. 35. Trader Joe’s (1/6)• This Trader Joe’s market is located at an not- so-busy intersection of Los Altos and Cupertino, CA. However, it always has many customers shopping there year round. 35
  36. 36. Trader Joe’s (2/6)• Decoration inside the store is always so colorful and full of seasonal messages. Even though it has many branch stores around, its decoration makes customers feel like each store is individually designed and decorated. 36
  37. 37. Trader Joe’s (3/6)• Messages for customers are very clear and easy to understand: “Baked Today..” and “Today’s Coffee” – emphasizes the products are freshly made for customers (vs. the other mass- production products markets which you are not sure how long the products have been on the shelves). 37
  38. 38. Trader Joe’s (4/6)• Decorations throughout the store are consistent. The painting on the wall and the bamboo pillar (in the middle of the walkway) are examples how the decorator paid attention to the details. 38
  39. 39. Trader Joe’s (5/6)• Trader Joe’s provides guidance to help customers make purchasing decision. Wine product labeling is an example. Store manager’s review comments are written on the labels. This is very different from the other retail stores I reviewed above. 39
  40. 40. Trader Joe’s (6/6)• Trader Joe’s is never afraid to be different. The left picture is their specialty products, and the right picture is an old-fashion bell which they still use it for internal communication. 40
  41. 41. Conclusion• I am glad I learned so much from this assignment ! During the observation of these stores, I noticed so many things which I did not pay attention to before. I spent about 10 hours on this assignment, and I think the time was worth spending!• The amazing part of this assignment is to see stores with totally different styles can both be successful. For example, Costco Wholesales can convert almost everything into commodities, while Trader Joe’s can turn commodities into specialty products! Each one of them found a successful business model and makes it shine.• From these successful business examples I have learned there is more than one formula of success. If we continue to be creative when we face challenges, eventually we shall be able to find a solution which can lead to success. 41
  42. 42. The End(Thanks for viewing) 42

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