The importance of plants in retail environments
Retailers are always looking for any advantage they can have over their competition. Creating a shopping experience that consumers enjoy is imperative to any store’s long-term success. Ensuring your retail space is inviting and a place where shoppers feel at ease builds loyalty and increases the likelihood of return visits.
Indoor plants are an underestimated tool that can have a profound effect on a retail space’s ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience. Plants tap into humanity’s innate need to be close to nature. Retailers can harness nature’s inherent powers to put customers at ease by decorating their space with lush greenery.
Many studies have shown that the presence of plant life indoors can improve people’s moods and increase human energy levels.
The following two extracts from papers written by an American researcher and a British shopping center manager highlight the importance of plants in retail environments:
“Retailers have long understood the importance of store environment in enhancing the shopping experience. The outdoor landscape can be a seamless extension of shop interiors, providing indoor/outdoor continuity for a positive shopping experience. Urban forestry can play an important role in business districts. Interior plants and landscape may create store interiors more favorable for retail activity.” (Ref: “Retail and Urban Nature: Creating a Consumer Habitat”, K.L.Wolf, at the People/Plant Symposium, Amsterdam, 2002).
“Through the medium of plants the shopping center successfully translates outside to inside, relaxes almost everybody, all ages and types of people relate to the atmosphere. The result for the public is a perfect environment for the purposes of shopping and leisure. The result for the tenant is the second-highest net profit per square foot in Britain.” (Ref: “Am I Running a Greenhouse or a Shopping Centre?”, J Bryson, Centre Manager, Metrocentre, Gateshead, England at the BALI seminar, London, 1992).
The power of plants in the retail industry is not confined to the stores themselves. From directing foot traffic to providing shoppers with a relaxing place to rest between shopping visits, plants can be used in a myriad of ways in shopping centers.
Although much of the evidence is still subjective, it is clear that professional retailers firmly believe that plants are an integral part of the selling environment and are prepared to allocate the space and resources to accommodate them.
Read how a premier shopping center in the Toronto area revitalized its space by redesigning its interior gardens.