Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Origins Means Business

While there are many negative aspects to our current economic situation, I've always said there are a few positives. Stores and businesses are forced to be the most creative, innovative, and unconventional masters of their craft - providing the most memorable, comprehensive client experience, creating and sustaining the most incredible feast for the eyes by way of visual merchandising and display, and by providing an exclusive, affordable, quality spread of goods and wares. Stores become better. And as for the customer, stores are seeing a customer with a more discerning eye for design, quality, and value. Customers who simply "looked but never bought" have stopped exhausting stores' valuable resources.

One of the most amazing outcomes of this economic reality is when stores actually live their image. It's one thing to outfit a mannequin with a head-to-toe representation of your brand. But it's another thing when your store actually lives the image it portrays.

For example, Whole Foods rewards its customers who bring in their own shopping bags with a monetary credit per bag recycled. MAC Cosmetics offers free product to those who return used containers.

And Origins, one of my favourite skincare ranges ever, has one of the most beautiful stores ever. Not only does the company offer the products responsible for my fabulous skin, but they also offer oxygen and fresh air at their Century City location in Los Angeles. Just take a look:

It's one thing for a store to say it focuses on environmental responsibility, recycling, and being a responsible business owner, but it's another thing to actually live those qualities to the best of your ability. I'm not saying stores need to alter their physical spaces to incorporate extensive gardens and plant spaces, but I must applaud Origins for really practicing what they preach. Whether you visit this space in Los Angeles, or any Origins, you really get the sense that they want you you to truly experience health, happiness, and harmony. Both inside and out.

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