1. I observed Office Depot which markets to adults ages 30-50, who work in an office, and those who own small businesses.
2. a. Before I walked into the store, I noticed that Office Depot is traditional business feel. There are no extravagant displays and they do not entice the consumer with their outward appearance. Office Depot is a plain brick building with sliding doors. Even the sign communicates consistency and professionalism; Office Depot is written in a bold text.
b. Once inside the store, the sounds were of displays of new technology and sales pitches by the associates roaming the store. There weren’t blasting the latest music, like a store that targets a teenager. It was still a professional feel.
c. I was rather not impressed with the display of the merchandise. There were no sales displays to intrigue the customer. The product had to create interest and the sales associates would sell the product. It resembled a warehouse feel, with parallel shelves and aisles and boxes of merchandise stacked under a display model. The merchandise was cluttered and mostly unorganized. This may be the result of the wide and deep selection that they offer.
d. The floors were unfinished cement and dirty. This added to the warehouse feel.
e. The signs were made of plain white paper and black text. Some sign were just taped to merchandise, while other signs were attached to the shelving units.
f. The cashier area was cluttered by impulse merchandise and old flyers and specials.
3. Office Depot tries to project the image of professionalism without wasting the customer’s time and money on gimmicks. They are straight forward with their merchandise and have a “warehouse” theme. They carry many products and therefore don’t feel the need to sell you something specific with outrageous displays. There aisles are consistently placed and not meant to attract the customer, only to hold the product. The building isn’t completely finished or carpeted like one would find at a Best Buy.
4. Almost all the merchandise had display models in which the customer could try out. The design did not lead you through the store as it does at say IKEA. If a customer was not looking for a specific product it would be hard to browse around the store because of its lack of focus.
5. I found it interesting that Office Depot could sell to a professional business base while maintaining a cluttered, “warehouse” feel design. The variety really sells this store because everything you need for business is in one place.