Have you ever walked into a local boutique and felt good energy all around? New York City is rich with boutique stores, specialty stores and tourist shops -- and each has a unique feel or energy.
But which stores have good Feng Shui designed to lead them to success, and which are destined to be next in line for a going-out-of-business-sale? A number of factors in Feng Shui can contribute to a store's success or demise.
Location, location, location
You know how there's always that one store in a strip mall that can't seem to stay in business? Locals may joke that the store's name changes from “Space Available” to “Grand Opening,” seasonally, because that's how often the sign in the window changes.
That location, for whatever reason, has bad chi. Perhaps it's located at the end of a t-intersection, or perhaps a bridge is crossing the entrance, blocking good chi. Or maybe there's just a history of bad fortune in the space. Identifying the difference between bad and good locations is one reason it's important to call on a Feng Shui consultant before buying or leasing space for a new business.
Attractive, brightly colored and moving window displays entice customers to enter a building. There's a reason the old red and white barber shop pole moves; even back then, store owners understood that dynamic displays catch customer's eyes.
Today, flat screens and “digital signage” (screens share information or marketing messages, controlled across a complex computer network) make it possible to create exciting moving images in store windows easily. How often has your attention been attracted to an electronics store with its display of news, sports and action movies playing on an array of television screens? Other retail outlets can use the same techniques.
Low-tech window displays can also be exciting and filled with life chi. That's why mannequins with lifelike features are also popular in store windows. And at Christmas time? City streets in places like New York and Chicago come to life with animated seasonal displays.
The human connection can make people stop and stare. I personally found myself in a running store the other day because someone was riding a stationary bike in the window that caught my eye and I wanted to see what was going on in the store. Another example of this was a person doing yoga in a window front that sold yoga clothing and made me stop, look and have a desire to go inside.
Lighting should be bright, so customers will easily find what they're looking for. However, it shouldn't be too bright, as this can cause headaches or make customers uncomfortable.
Doors should have the ability to be open. How many times have you tried to open or walk through a door only to find it locked forcing you to stop and open another door? Open all customer facing doors for easy access to your goods or services.
To entice customers to stay awhile and spend their money, a retail location should be decorated in pleasing colors drawn from nature. Store owners can employ the five-elemental color cycle for even better fortune.
Soothing music or energetic tunes that reach a store's target demographic also help customers feel at home and encourage them to buy. The pleasant greetings of sales staff add to a stores auditory ambiance.
Often called “merchandising,” in-store displays add to the Feng Shui of a retail establishment. Displays should be clean, but busy -- exciting, but not cluttered. Product displays can be enhanced with living chi, like plants and flowers.
Use the Ba Gua
Retailers can also use the Ba Gua to merchandise a store, placing clothing of particular colors in specific segments. The cash register should be in the Wealth or Helpful People corner, in the back left or back right of the store. This also puts the cashier in the command position in relation to shoppers -- and, from a practical standpoint, permits him to keep an eye on the entire store.
The best color for a cash register, like a front door, should be green or red, although you can also use beige or tan, since these colors all carry strong life chi.
Next time you walk into your favorite store, take note of the sights, smells, sounds, displays and the location of merchandise. Is the Feng Shui good? Does the store make you want to buy? It's fun to look around and see Feng Shui in use all around us.