I Do Windows

Store Study: BeBe

Posted in Store Study Assignment by Arcadia on April 18, 2011

This week’s store study assignment is by Lisa G.  I’ve featured Lisa’s reviews before, and I do like to post other student’s work, but Lisa does a really great job of analyzing a store from a visual merchandiser’s point of view.

BeBe, San Francisco Westfield Mall


What does the store design tell you about the retailer?

Overall this store’s design doesn’t really tell me that the designer or visual merchandiser cares about the product they are selling. Nothing to me is really appealing about this store. This Bebe store and many others makes me think that very little time goes into creating an experience that one should feel when they walk into a store.

Describe the store’s target customer?

I think the store’s target customer is one that likes to dress a little bit more on the sexier side. As for age range Bebe probably caters to late teens to early to mid 20s.  A lot of the clothing is on the tighter side so I would say their target woman is one who also likes to show off their curves.

Is the merchandise displayed in an accessible manner for the customer?

No, everything about this store is a mess. A lot of the merchandise is displayed on racks. They don’t really have any clothing on shelves or in cases. Their jewelry is hung on a jewelry rolling piece pretty much in the center of the store. They do a lot of color blocking in this store. All the whites are together, peaches, black, etc.

Is it stocked pile or more minimalist?

I would say it is somewhere in the middle. It is definitely not minimalistic but also not stock piled. I would say they have a few sizes of each different piece

Do the fixtures suit the store environment?

They have a table in the store that has a mannequin placed on the top of it and then benches going around the table. On the benches they have jeans draped over the side. This display is not done well at all because the display looks like it was thrown together and the jeans are also touching the floor.

Does the lighting highlight the merchandise?

Yes, they have a lot of lighting in this store but it is almost too bright. I think they need to dim the lighting a little bit because it actually hurts my eyes. I think it probably seems a bit brighter because in the corridor of the Westfield mall it is not that bright and then you walk into this store and the brightness is almost an over kill.

How is color used in the store?

Whenever I think of Bebe I think of colorful tight clothing and as I mentioned above they do a lot of color blocking in the store. Color is definitely shown in their merchandise. Besides using color for their clothing there really isn’t any other color in the store and the walls are very simple, white and plain.

Are the windows pleasing and drawing you into the store?

These window displays are awful and do not draw me into their store. Now that I’ve reviewed a few stores I realize just how unappealing the Bebe stores are to the public. Based upon their window display one knows they are having a sale. Yet, in the window display I think they added way to many mannequins in the window to advertise their sale. However, I do like the use of levels in this display. In their other panel they have six mannequins and then a poster with two models on it all being shown over 3 panels. I really don’t even know where to focus on this window display. I know in class we learned it is always better to have an odd number of mannequins yet in this one there are 6 mannequins and a poster board with two additional models. To me it does not seems like the visual merchandiser spent a lot of time on creating a great window.

If you could make changes in the store what would they be?

Here are my changes:

1.     Window display – Instead of having 6 mannequins and a poster of two models I would have three models gathered together and pointing to a sign that said Sale. The models would be dressed in typical Bebe attire since their goal is to sell their merchandise.

2.     The store itself is so dirty. The bare white walls are not appealing. To add some more color to the store I would paint the wall behind the cash wrap a bright color at least to add some differentiation. I would also hang a very large painting or mirror behind the cash wrap.

3.     Shelving. They should include some shelving in this store and fold some of the clothing instead of having it all on racks or table displays.

4.     In class we learned to put your most expensive and new items up front and then your sale items near the back. Walking into this Bebe store I could not tell what was new or their gold merchandise. I would change the layout of this store and maybe have the cash wrap in a different area. Off to the side instead of right in the middle.

Thanks Lisa for another great assignment!

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