I watched Mary Queen of Shops on BBC2 last night (you can watch it here on iplayer for the next few days), where retail guru Mary Portas tried to turn around the fortunes of failing hardware store Lightwater Homecare.
Mary shared loads of relevant advice about training staff to give friendly, knowledgeable advice, making them easy for customers to spot, consolidating the product range, reorganising the shopfloor to provide clear sightlines and segmenting the store by DIY task.
Then one of Mary’s team (I think from her own agency yellowdoor) turned up with creative boards showing their plans for rebranding the store and how the internal and external signage were going to look. I was a bit sceptical from what I could see of the boards on screen, but when the shop front was finally revealed I just gasped.
A local DIY store that was supposed to specialise in supplying the tools, equipment and friendly advice you needed to complete simple DIY tasks was now ‘The Fix It Factory’, with an identity better suited to a pound shop. I also think B&Q might have a few things to say about the bright orange staff uniforms she brought in.
The new name didn’t last long – a quick google reveals that owner Tony Leach has since reverted to the store’s original name, although it sounds like the colour scheme has stayed.
Update 07/11/11 – the store’s signage has been changed yet again (and this time I quite like it!)