Guess where?


I know that this has been a realization for a while; and, I have written about it before. But it still just amazes me that it’s anybody’s guess what store you might be in when you show merchandising photos. Recently we were looking for outdoor deck furniture. Nothing elaborate because we have a limited amount of time to enjoy good weather here in the Northeast. Don’t feel bad for us. There are some wonderful benefits to living on the East Coast but unfortunately, weather isn’t one of them. 

We hit all of the usual retail suspects both brick and mortar (independents and mass) and online (specialty and mass). 

So I thought it would be fun to play a guessing game with you. I included merchandising photos of five different stores (including grocery).  Undoubtedly, some are obscure retailers that we would never consider buying outdoor furniture from to just make it that more interesting.; and, to make a point that every retailer is trying to sell seasonal merchandise.


Those of you who know the retail landscape probably got every guess correct. So, congratulations! 

What was really interesting, is that we ended up going to a retailer that has been in the news a lot lately (and not in a positive way). 

Without fail, every brick and mortar sales associate (both mass and specialty) told us that there were more options online. We actually found a set we liked and we told the sales associate we would order it online. He immediately explained if we order it online without him that he doesn’t get commission; so, we felt a little obligated to order with him. It wasn’t the retailer’s online store but its marketplace. 

So, he sat down in front of the computer and we waded through pages and pages of outdoor furniture on their website and their marketplace. We decided on a set. The sales associate punched in my address, credit card, etc.  It was more like a concierge service except we had to look at all of the photos with him as he worked the mouse scrolling through the options. 

At the same time, we bought an umbrella and grill from the store to be delivered. Later, we found out that it was sales associate second day on the job; so, we were especially glad that we took the extra time and made the sale with him. 

And, in case you’re still guessing the retailer locations of the above photos, I have to tell you I took these photos over the course of early to late spring; so, it’s anybody’s guess. 


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. 

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit

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