In 1971, the first Starbucks café opened its doors in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. It was a local one store outfit that would later evolve into the mammoth company we know today.
All of what we know today came from a young executive named Howard Schultz taking a trip out to Italy and falling in love with the Italian coffee scene. Schultz was fascinated with the coffee houses and the romantic coffee experiences they provided. This was a place he referred to as not home and not work, but a third place in between. This thing he experienced promoted conversation between strangers and a sense of belonging to people of all walks of life. While a lot of people look at Starbucks today as a machine, the roots are still deep with the dream of providing people with an unforgettable experience.
The retail landscape has changed with the times but the most basic and fundamental question still remains: How do you get people in your store? It’s this idea of an unforgettable experience that separates exceptional companies from the “eh, it was ok” experience.
People like to feel special with great customer service. This is made clear by the way companies, like Nordstrom, retain their die-hard loyal customer base. But people also want to be excited. If you can’t create that environment people want to flock to, good customer service doesn’t happen.
In the retail world there’s a reason so much emphasis is placed on hiring the right people and putting the best leadership in place. People make the difference between a good experience and a great experience. If you have a bad experience somewhere, chances are you’re not going back. With the ever growing presence of online shopping, this idea is more prevalent than ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a global billion dollar brand or a local restaurant group.
When’s the last time you walked into an Apple Store and didn’t think they were giving something away for free? Or the last time you walked into a Boka Restaurant and didn’t feel like you were a VIP? They put the right people in place and create an experience that everyone wants to enjoy at the same time.
Listen, I’m not a retailer and I’m not pretending to know all the answers or how someone can increase their business. I’m just a guy trying to make it through this crazy thing we call life. But when I’m representing a tenant, it’s highly important to me to represent people that create great experiences.
I get excited to tell people when my clients are expanding into their neighborhood. I get emotional when I lose a deal knowing my client would do a better job and create a better experience. I want to be proud when I call landlords and say, “This is my client and we’re interested in your space.”
And on the other side of the equation I want my clients to know I’m passionate about their business and what they do. I want them to know they can call me at 8 AM on a Saturday if they’re in town and want to drive around. When a client opens a new store, I want to be one of the first people in line buying something. I give my clients a great experience, and that’s what separates me from my competition.
FjallRaven, represented by Michael Wexler, located at 1708 North Damen Avenue in Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago
Michael Wexler l Vice President
Mid-America Real Estate Corporation
Tribune Tower | 435 N. Michigan Ave., Ste. 2009 | Chicago, IL 60611
Direct: 630.261.6947 | Fax: 630.954.7302
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