Case Study

Claire’s Stores, Retail Store Layout Evaluation

The Context

Claire’s Stores, one of the world’s leading specialty retailers of fashionable accessories and jewelry at affordable prices, wanted to ensure that the different groups of women who shopped its stores – from elementary school girls to high schoolers to mothers shopping with their preschool daughters – could easily find the items they were seeking. Before Claire’s invested millions of dollars in this store refurbishment effort, it needed to know whether its new store design was effective and appealing to these different shopper groups.

The Critical Question

Would the new store design and layout be appealing (and ultimately, lead to more sales) for these different types of shoppers?

Our Solution

Our research team shopped along with and interviewed Claire’s customers between the ages of 5 and 18 in different Claire’s stores both before and after a new store design was implemented.  We observed young women navigating the store and listened to their opinions about the accessories available, how these products were displayed, and the overall layout of the shopping environment. And we conducted sophisticated statistical analyses to test whether shopper reactions and behaviors changed from pre-store redesign to post-store redesign.

Illumination

Shoppers overwhelmingly preferred the new store design to the old, believing it was easier and more fun to shop. We concluded Claire’s could be confident the new store design would be a substantial improvement over the status quo, and recommended it continue with its plans to refurbish additional stores.

Resolution

In the end-of-year fiscal report released by the company after this research was completed and store refurbishment began in earnest, the Claire’s CEO said the following regarding the company’s strong sales growth… “The work that we did to upgrade the merchandise selection, distort our assortment to capitalize on the opportunity in Accessories, and improve the in-store environment enabled us to create strong positive momentum.” Claire’s is continuing to refurbish and redesign its stores.