Merchandising: Watch the signs

Q. Is department signage important?
 - 
Friday, October 21, 2016

A. Department signage is ubiquitous in retail. Imagine walking into a Home Depot without signage directing you to a department. For most retail HME stores, however, I think it’s unnecessary.

Proponents of department signage argue that it provides customers with the ability to quickly find what they need. Certainly, a customer in need of a package of incontinent pads can easily find this department with proper signage and without the need of a salesperson. 

If your HME store is set up to require your customers to self-select without the input of your staff, then department signage is probably necessary. If your store is not focused on top quality customer service, then you need to make it very easy for your customers to find what they need on their own.

As with any type of displays, you should select department signage that matches the look of your store. Most of the HME stores I have seen practice what I have termed “apologetic retailing,” paying little attention to aesthetics and design.  For those of you who really pay attention to your look, you should consider something more polished with the help of a design consultant.

But let’s talk about department signage at a more attractive looking store. Does Mobül have department signage? No. Our focus is on delivering a very high level of customer service and providing our customers with the very best possible solutions. Most of our customers know little about HME products and appreciate personalized service. Also, even though our store is large, it’s not so large that we need to identify departments. Allowing customers to wander enables them to discover new products that often leads to better solutions. hme

Wayne Slavitt is founder & CEO of Mobul. Reach him at waynes@mobulstore.com.