Making the Retail Store More Family Friendly

It’s common knowledge that shopping isn’t necessarily a family friendly experience.
Parents often leave a retail store ahead of time because they’re too distracted by their children.
That means the bricks and mortar retail environment is losing out on sales opportunities.
So what useful tools can retail store operators use to be more family friendly?

Locating the Store:
Choosing to set up in a larger shopping centre can be an advantage because parent facilities are generally on offer.
Often larger centres provide well-appointed areas with change tables, private baby feeding rooms, bottle warmers, microwaves and  child friendly toilets.
Strip shops may not have quite the same, but having at least some of these facilities in or around your store can be a great boost to parent participation.

Parking & Access:
Choosing family friendly areas with good parking outside or close by is very important.
Parents often have strollers, parcels and more than one small child to transport, so providing parking either outside or in an adjacent area is vital.
Good public transport connections are also important.
Having entry ramps into the store and over footpaths to assist with strollers will help parent access too.
Be careful to ensure these ramps comply with building codes.

The Store Interior:
Be family friendly with wider aisles, good visibility between displays, and low-line gondolas and shelving.
Most parents are fearful of losing sight of their child in a shop.
So designing a layout that doesn’t block vision between displays, having gondolas and shelving units that are not too high and making aisles wide enough even for double pram access are just some tools to use in a store layout.
Many parents are put off by the thought of taking their child into a change room and spending time trying on clothes.
So by providing a few special “Parent Change Rooms” equipped with an interactive play panel for toddlers or touch screens for wider age groups, they’ll be more likely to stay in the store and make a purchase.
Pram parking outside change areas is also a great incentive to assist parents.

The Customers:
Families look for things to do together, especially on weekends or during school holidays.
Creating in-store kids’ activities or a community event is an opportunity to do this.
Offering craft, food tasting or story reading sessions, providing entertainment with in-store performers, a themed event, a community challenge or fund raiser are all such opportunities.
Make them fun.
Your retail shop can be an exciting family friendly hub for people to gather.

Then extend this, by using Social Media to create some great marketing for your retail business.
Be family friendly by training staff to acknowledge children as well as parents as customers and include them in marketing where possible.

As a retail store operator, get thinking about how families can shop together.
Being family friendly can mean more customers more often.

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