My Top 5 Similarities between Retail + Casino floors

I confess that I love walking retail and casino floors.

I confess that I love walking retail and casino floors.

Many of you already know this about me, but for others I confess that I love walking retail and casino floors. I spent a number of years in the gaming industry and most of my career in the retail industry.  Retail stores and gaming floors are alike, in my opinion.  There are a number of comparisons.  Both floors are strategically designed to allow consumers to see what’s new; experience the merchandising strategy and layout; signage and overall promotions. There are also similarities when it comes to marketing and promotions to drive in-store/in-casino traffic.  (I’ll address that concept in a different blog).  When strategically developing retail store or casino floors some of the same objectives, objections, ideas, and tactics hold true. 

 Yes. Really. 

 Here’s my top 5 similarities that I believe exist between store and casino floors.  

 #1 Shopping.  When we go shopping we always have to walk through the floor/aisles to get to the good stuff.  Floor lay-out is important in attracting the shopper or player to walk through areas that normally they wouldn’t.  Meanwhile along that walk there are a lot of bells and whistles to attract you to spend more money than intended.  The most sought after products and/or games are always worth the walk. 

 #2 Destinations. Destination is defined as “being a place that people will make a special trip to visit”.  It’s an easy explanation and it definitely fits the bill for both retail stores and casinos. 

 #3 Merchandising.  Merchandising is evident when you walk down any shopping or casino aisle with promotions pulling us like magnets to buy or play; whether, it’s a slot machine randomly screaming out; or, a great display that catches our eye drawing us in to check it out. 

 #4 Rewards.  Creating loyalty rewards programs recognizing and quite frankly identifying your best customers is important.  Casinos have always led this phenomenon with identifying and developing programs for their best customers “high rollers” and now giving access to gamers at all levels with some type of rewards play card.  Both casinos and retailers have robust loyalty reward plans because they are “must programs” for these high transaction types of businesses.

 #5 Entertainment.  Shopping is fun for many as well as a necessity; and, gaming is considered by many a fun past time.  Some casinos are even investing in targeting families to visit.

 So, in my opinion as a retail and gaming nerd there are more similarities than differences when walking the floors; and, each could learn from the other. 

 So next time you’re walking a retail or casino floor see if your experience can relate to the similarities I shared. And, oh yeah I can never pass up a Wheel of Fortune slot machine screaming out to me.  So, the promotions work even for a nerd like me!

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and the Founder of the eRetailer Summit and JC Event Group. 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. An expert in the field, Sonya has been published in numerous retail industry b-to-b publications.

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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