Retail store presentation ideas and solutions
During my recent overseas trip I also visited basically every aquarium shop that I came across and in doing so I saw many interesting displays and ideas that I would like to share with our retail stores. One stand out for me was Blue Ocean in Taiwan. This store is a pet store that is strongly devoted to aquaria as its store name suggests. The best way to show the standard of this above average aquarium store is through some photos. Note every square inch of this shop is utilised to some extent and the tanks, displays and shop in general is immaculate. Tanks are well stocked with a huge range of fish. They run heaps of display tanks to give inspiration to their customers. The livestock section is complemented by a solid range of dry good options.
The majority of aquarium store owners throughout Asia all seem to be devoted to their stores and each store reflects the individual passions of each store owner. This is revealed though the species of fish that dominates the store like a theme. Most stores carry the bread and butter lines but then have sections devoted to their interest fish or speciality such as L-numbers, sting rays, shrimps, Arowana etc. I believe it is these themes that set each store apart in a fiercely competitive market with so many stores in such close proximity to each other. Customers interested in the particular fish that store specialises in go to those stores to gain the first-hand knowledge and experience that these specialist shopkeepers have gained through the ups and downs of rearing their chosen and specialised fish. Just like a Kung-Fu master teaches his disciples so too do these store owners teach their customers. They are very well respected and are willing to teach the basic fundamentals to the novice and little tricks and secrets to the elite without any reservations.
It seems like their store is an extension of their passion and addiction for the hobby and is used to infect this passion and energy to their customers. I think it is the sharing of this wisdom that perpetuates the long-term success of these stores to a large extent.
Lighting- the lighting used overseas in their tanks was impressive with most using led lighting and plenty of it. As you can see in the photos this allows fish to show their full colours and displays their stock in the best light so to speak.
Filtration- water is crystal clear and clean even though most stores run individual tanks and not recirculating systems. This is used to reduce cross-contamination and allows each tank to be setup to cater for the water requirements for each particular fish. Tanks are generally filtered with basic sponge filters or over the top filters. Water is partially changed daily and even though most tanks are quite heavily stocked, fish are fat and healthy. From what I can understand the high turnover of stock negates their need to feed their fish to a large extent. I also noticed some stores even had homemade air driven bottle filters filled with coral rubble to buffer the pH in their tanks.
Tanks- they are spotless. No signs of sick or dead fish, no algae and are meticulously maintained. All tanks in each store are filled with stock or something to sell. Selling tanks have well displayed complimenting features including gravel and a combination of rocks, ornaments and plants depending on the fish species. Display tanks are remarkable works of art and I would love to own any of the aquascaped tanks I saw. So much so I have decided to devote about 30 tanks in Aquatic Solutions to try and replicate some of the CO2 injected aquascaped tanks I saw and loved. Please see the heap of photos highlighting many of the things mentioned above. I hope you can use these for inspiration for your own store and for your customers’ tanks.
Head over to our facebook for trip photos and some amazing tanks I discovered oveseas. www.facebook.com/JMWaquaticsolutions
Good luck and happy fishkeeping