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Doing Retail Right Tips From Bill & Lou: The Importance of Being UNIQUE

Furniture World News


This is the first in a series or excerpts from a new book by retail furniture store design and planning experts Lou Kief and Bill Walls titled, "Doing Retail Right", a new book available from the major online booksellers in print and e-reader formats.  For more information on this book, or to order, visit www.DoingRetailRight.com.  

The Importance of Being UNIQUE

Excerpt from chapter 26

The criteria by which you measure each aspect of your business should be the single word: UNIQUE.

Many retail stores start to look alike after awhile. One jewelry store looks like another, one clothing store like the next. They often share the same fixturing, lighting, floor coverings and color pallets. Many even share the same bland product and uninterested sales people. Then all of a sudden someone breaks away from the pack and comes up with something unique and is rewarded with a huge share of the market. We all know where that business comes from; the competition, possibly YOUR store.

Unique is THE most powerful word in retail.

  • If your store is unique people remember it.  
  • If you treat your shoppers in a unique way, they tell others.
  • If your product is unique, you can’t be shopped for price and can always get a full mark PLUS.
Doing something totally unexpected during the shopping experience is a powerful way to make you unique. Shoppers today expect to be hustled, harassed and followed too closely. They expect NOT to have a good time shopping.

Surprise them with a cup of coffee, bottle of water or maybe even a chocolate chip cookie, hot out of the oven. Give them a place to relax for a few moments and gather their thoughts and talk with their partner without being constantly confronted by your staff.


If your items are unique, so are their barcodes. Smartphones won’t be able to shop them for price at other stores.

UNIQUE is a word you need to keep whispering
to yourself in the form of a question. 

About The Authors: Lou Kief & Bill Walls live in Guadalajara, Mexico after a forty year career helping retailers create successful stores. They share their home with Katrina,a huge, not very lady-like, Neapolitan Mastiff, three Mexi-cats; Diego, Frida & Trotsky, and Rocco, a pushy Amazon Parrot.


“After building and remodeling over 3 acres of retail space with Lou Kief and Bill Walls I heartily recommend their professionalism, expertise, integrity and creativity! I would invite anyone looking to improve sales performance or their store’s professional appearance to read their book; “Doing Retail Right!” -George Moore, COO, Wilcox Furniture, Corpus Christie, Texas

“You have given RETAIL a BREATH! I am overwhelmed by the scope, the simplicity and the heartfelt delivery.” - Steve Drake, The Villages, Florida

“Retail ideas combined with Life Lessons. I read it as a call to action for veteran retailers who are facing a crossroads.” - Pat West, West Consulting

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