Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

by : 
Kim Perkins
October 1, 2013

Question: This may be an odd question, but there is an area of my store customers just seem to ignore. We stock some home goods, such as vases, candles and candleholders, lamps, wall clocks, and fountains. Beautiful tapestries are hung on the walls too. I just can’t figure out why customers ignore the area. Any ideas?

Answer: Without seeing this area, it’s hard to tell, but my first thought is to ask about the lighting. Overall, is it bright and inviting? Customers unconsciously steer clear of dark spaces, so be sure this area is well lit. You mention you have lamps—are they on, and do they provide low-level lighting to complement overhead lights? Since you don’t have anything in the space that would be off-putting, try to increase or adjust the lighting and see if the products there sell better.

Kim Perkins is co-owner of Elysian Fields Books & Gifts for Conscious Living (, an award-winning store in Sarasota, Fla. Send your retail questions to