March 5, 2007

Photos: Vision Source of Texarkana

This office was completed in November, 2006. Dr. Mark Allen reported a 21% increase in average revenue per exam within their first 3 weeks in the new facility.

Dr. Allen was very concerned about how to display and sell more high end frames without losing patients who were looking for more moderate priced frames. The solution was to create a high fashion boutique within the optical defined with a barrel-vaulted uplit ceiling and columns. The see-through showcases divide the reception counter from the optical.

The high end frames are shown off in cubicles that are individually lit with halogen strip lights. The moderate priced frames are presented on frame bars and glass shelves built in to the wall.

We'll have more photos of this office up on our new website soon.

March 2, 2007

Fabulous French-Italian Retail Tour April 4-23, 2007

I'll be in Paris and Italy for three weeks in April to scout out the best in French and Italian retail design! I'll be cruising through some of the finest optical shops (like Alain Mikli in Paris) and the best boutiques and retail shops in Venice, Florence and Rome.

Naturally, we'll do a bit of museum hopping too, but my main intent is to steep myself in world class merchandising, design and architecture for creative inspiration. In today's global economy people's tastes are getting to be more similar according to their income group than their geographic location.

Many of my clients are opening new locations in high income areas or wanting to attract more high income patients. People who want high quality merchandise also expect high quality interior design whether they live in Paris, France, Toledo, Ohio or Palm Beach, Florida.

On the other hand, stores like Target have shown us that great design isn't just for the rich. Target sells a whole line of Michael Graves kitchen wares and Isaac Mizrahi clothing and shoes. People with moderate incomes respond to great design, too.

I expect to come back from my trip with a boatload of ideas for display and design that I can translate and adapt to any income level. Of course, I will bring back photos too and you'll be the first to see them if you're one of my subscribers.

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