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Sales Area Design and Fashion Phenomena: a Semiotic Approach

Abstract : In the economic environment which surrounds us, one of the power units of consumption is the creation of "novelty" which attracts the consumer, accelerates the way he perceives the obsolescence of what environs him and orientates his behaviour. To tend to the maximization of the sales process through the store space adjustment is a strategic concern for the managers of tomorrow. We propose them a heuristic tool of sens articulation, which allows them to think and communicate, from the stage of conception on, with interior store designers. This allows the interior store design to play his exact roll: being a constitutive dimension of the global service offer. Economic forces rule the world we live, but one of the driving forces behind consumption is still the creation of "novelties" which attracts the consumer and makes him realise all the more quickly that his own possessions are becoming outdated. One of the strategies of shop managers of the future will be to use the arrangement of space to help maximise sales activity. Indeed, if environment design is generally considered important for the company image in manufacturing industries, it is much more than that in the tertiary sector, where it constitutes part of the offer itself. In all market economies, the offer is subject to the judgement of the consumer. If we accept the current common idea according to which the consumer is confronted with different social mechanisms such as fashion phenomena which in turn make the previous offer seem increasingly obsolescent, it is easy to see that spatial arrangements will not be unaffected by these same phenomena. Public sales area design is a medium-term question for managers to consider. The proof is that changes take place on average every 5 to 10 years. On the other hand, the consumer expects more and more appeal from the sales areas he frequents. Here, therefore, is our problem : how is it possible to reconcile sales area design and the fashion phenomena present in our consumer society? In other words, how can one bring together a permanent concept for the image and the brand, thereby, assuring brand loyalty in the consumer, and at the same time satisfy the consumer's need for novelty and modernity? If we adopt this approach, we shall best be able to understand the logic behind these conflicting demands.
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Patrick Hetzel, Veronique Cova. Sales Area Design and Fashion Phenomena: a Semiotic Approach. European advances in consumer research, Association for Consumer Research, 1993, 1, pp.522 - 533. ⟨hal-01867031⟩

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