Harper Grey: A Lesson in Temperature From the 3 Bears


The Savvy Shopper - Harper Grey

Oh, my darling retail shops. You tease me with your fickle fervor. First you’re hot, then you’re cold. You make me perspire and bring a flush to my cheeks. Then your icy-hearted  indifference blows chilly, freezing my fingers and nose and leaving me out in the cold.

Seriously. What is up with the crazy temperatures of stores? I went to the mall last weekend to do a bit of browsing and I was uncomfortable the whole time. I left without purchasing anything, mostly because I didn’t browse for long in any one store.

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Professional Image: Three Steps to a Great Store


Professional Image: Restoration Hardware

What differentiates a good store from a so-so store? Three principles: visual appeal, simplicity and ease, and an enjoyable shopping experience. All three of these components depend on one important quality: a professional image.

Visual Appeal

A great store is able to showcase its merchandise in a cohesive way. All of the fixtures call attention to the merchandise. The layout of the store allows the customer to easily see the product and decide how to navigate to it in order to take a look. The merchandising and signage calls attention to the products’ benefits and adds brand awareness. The overall look of the store has a cohesive feel – everything including signage, décor and fixtures coordinate to create a specific, definable brand. This works for national chains. If you were shown a photo of a GAP, Ann Taylor or Banana Republic, you’d immediately be able to recognize the store just based on the fixtures and design. There’s a reason that large companies design their stores this way: in addition to the visual appeal, the branding is immediate.

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Harper Grey: What did you say?


The Savvy Shopper - Harper Grey

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, approximately 28 million Americans suffer from a hearing impairment. This number has doubled during the last 30 years – partially due to an aging population, and partially due to the invention of the Walkman. OK, I made that last part up. But I’m here to tell you: lots of people my age suffer from Def Leppard concert-induced hearing loss. When I was in junior high school, all the cool kids got Walkmans for Christmas. I suppose my parents hoped that by purchasing a Walkman for me, I’d turn into one of the cool kids. That didn’t work so well, but I did manage to blast my ear drums with decibel levels high enough that I could drown out even my little sister’s loudest tantrums.

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Pandora at City Creek: An Insiders Perspective



This week I had the pleasure of taking in the new City Creek Center development in Salt Lake City (read my review here). I had a couple goals in mind, but mainly I wanted to see how a brand new mall was utilizing signage in its various forms. As I mentioned in my review, City Creek did not disappoint. But I also wanted to get some perspectives from store owners, managers and sales associates to get their thoughts on the project and how they planned to market their stores. Initially I wanted a few quotes for this afternoon’s post, but after having the privilege of talking with Randy Castleman, I knew that I had to share our entire conversation.

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A Review of Salt Lake’s City Creek Center


City Creek Center

The new City Creek Center in downtown Salt Lake City opened on March 22nd last week but since I was otherwise engaged in Florida at the ISA Expo, I haven’t been able to see the new $1.5 billion dollar redevelopment for myself. The project has been getting national attention. Erin Harper at the Huffington Post went so far as to ask the question if it was sexy (full article), a term not usually associated with Utah. So this week, I was on a mission. Not only to take in the massive 700,000 square foot complex, but to see how a brand new development like City Creek uses signage.

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Industry Lingo Confusing Your Clients?



I like to think that my background in writing and English literature has given me a reasonably comprehensive vocabulary. But the day I started writing for Signs.com, I kept hearing a word that didn’t make any sense to me. My new boss told me it was important to learn about the quality of different “substrates.” Hmmm . . . OK. My only exposure to that word was from high school science class – I thought “substrate” referred to the various layers of the earth. From the context of the conversation, I finally realized that he was talking about the different types of materials used to make signs (vinyl, plastic corrugate, magnetic sheeting, etc.). But I felt kind of stupid for not knowing the word.

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