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Adventures In Shopping

Rides, live bands, food and, oh yeah, they sell furniture.

When you walk into a furniture store, you probably don't expect to see a Louis Armstrong look-alike playing in a room resembling Bourbon Street. However, customers of Jordan's Furniture know a visit to any one of the retailer's four New England stores provides just such an adventure.

"Since everybody likes fun, it makes good business sense to incorporate entertainment into shopping," says founder and former co-owner Barry Tatelman. "We market our stores as a fun place to visit, no matter what your age is."

Toward that end, Jordan's has spared no expense. For example, Jordan's design team has recreated French Quarter facades of New Orleans, complete with a replica of a riverboat that features live music every weekend.

If reconstructing your store into a theme park is a little unrealistic budget-wise, try some other techniques Jordan's uses:

  • Use all the senses. Jordan's comfy-but-chic Vineyard Casuals furniture line is displayed amid the sounds of soothing music and seagulls and the scents of suntan lotion.
  • Little things mean a lot. Customers are delighted when they receive fresh-baked cookies upon their arrival. Jordan's also washes customers' windshields and hands out umbrellas if it's raining.
  • Treat your customers well and your employees better. Jordan's takes employee benefits to a new level, including surprise ice cream sundae buffets, and has even flown every one of the company's 1,200 employees to Bermuda for the day to attend a company-sponsored beach party.
  • Give back to the community. The MOM (Motion Odyssey Movie) ride and a dessert cart (cleverly dubbed "A Streetcar Named Dessert") collect small fees, with all proceeds going to local charities.

Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates, a public relations and marketing communications agency in Ocean, New Jersey. She is currently completing a marketing workbook titled Promote Your Business. E-mail her at moranmarketing@erols.com

Contact Source

Jordan's Furniture, (508) 580-4600

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Adventures In Shopping.

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