Have you ever shopped at Jordan's Furniture? This small Massachusetts furniture chain generates more sales per square foot than any furniture retailer in the country. Jordan's generates $950 of revenue per square foot compared to $150 per square foot for the typical furniture retailer in the United States. Jordan's also has incredible asset efficiency, turning its inventory 13 times per year! Those kind of results attracted the interest some years ago of Warren Buffett, who now owns Jordan's. He purchased the company from the Tatelman brothers several years ago, though one of the brothers continues to lead the firm.
What makes Jordan's so special? It's hard to list all the special features of this retailer in a short blog post, but one thing certainly stand out to me. They have mastered the notion of shopping as entertainment, with special attention to families. The Natick store that I shopped at the other day has an IMAX theater, a re-creation of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and loads of fun for folks of all ages. Most interestingly, though, they have created an entertaining atmosphere that enables young families to enjoy a satisfying shopping experience.
One of the biggest challenges for young families is always how to handle bored children while trying to shop for furniture. Jordan's engages the kids so that the parents can actually shop with less distraction. What an ingenious way to drive customer satisfaction and sales! So many firms do the exact opposite. They do not make parents comfortable, because they have a "hands off" type environment where children are made to feel very unwelcome. How can you provide a high quality shopping experience for 25-44 year olds if you push away their children? Too many firms trying to sell to parents forget that the kids are very much part of the buying process. Turn off the kids, and you turn off the parents. Engage the kids, and you just might make a big sale!