March 31, 2008

How Much is That Doggy in the Window?

By Paul Bieber

A great song, but an even better lesson for glass shops! If the singer couldn’t see in the window, he doesn’t ask how much is the puppy, and the dog store doesn’t make the sale. As you travel in your service area, take a look at retail stores–can you easily see in their windows? If customers can’t see in, no sale! Stop, look and think how you could improve the look of their storefront.

If they have a fogged unit, jump in there and show what you can do. If their glass is scratched, it is an opportunity for you. If there is condensation around the window, with finger paintings on the glass, explain that IG will reduce the moisture, and more customers will be able to look in their windows. When you see a sun screen pulled down to prevent glare in the shop, point out how a blue, green or bronze glass would reduce glare without the reflective look, letting more customers see in.

If you see clothes or furniture in the window, they should be using lami because of it’s great level of reducing ultra-violet rays. If you see a faded red chair that has to be sold at reduced prices, lami could pay for itself real quick.

You have seen many storefronts with no merchandise in them–the shop owner is afraid of the smash and grab–he is also not drawing in customers. Suggest Laminated glass to prevent a break through; you’ll sell lami, and the shop owner will sell more of their product.

Starphire, by PPG, looks great in storefronts of jewelry stores and clothing stores. You can get laminated, tempered, insulated, or low-e Starphire that will improve the look of every retail shop.

On the other hand, if you see a sleek new store, glazed with a reflective glass, it may look great architecturally, but reflective glass scares away customers. People don’t like to walk into stores where they can’s see in. If there is a reflective glass in the door, there will be no traffic coming in.

So what is a glass guy going to do? Stop in at any store that is a candidate for a glass overhaul. Carry a brag book with you showing various store fronts that you have worked on, or and any good looking front in your town. Explain to these shop holders that you can give them a store front like this, a front that will be inviting to their customers to come in and shop.

If you are walking through a mall, stop in at the mall office and ask what the mall’s rules are for replacing fronts. Can each store do what they want, or is there a policy of a certain look? Where creativity is allowed, go for it…this is an invitation for you to help these shops, and help your own business.

By the way–look at your own front…start at home and give yourself a makeover…someone coming in for a picture frame repair or a windshield may be a shop owner…let your own front be your display sample. Put a sign by the front, showing before and after pictures, and describing how a front can be put in with little inconvenience. Contact your main glass supplier and your main aluminum supplier to set you up with a special front in your store. It is the best advertising you can do!