Our front doors suck.
Okay, they could be worse. They could be something other than glass, heavier than hell, and hard to hold open. At least you can see through them into and out of the store, and most of the kids can push them to get in.
There used to be a store downtown that kept their heavy front door propped open almost all year long. They had heavenly scents wafting out onto the sidewalk. You had to stop and enjoy the smells when you walked by, even if the inviting doorway didn’t draw you in.
About the only thing our doors do is slow you down to a crawl when you have a head of steam built up from the trek across the parking lot. If you have a stroller, wheelchair or walker, heaven help you.
For our store, the front door is our Bad Table. It is our Achilles heel. Along with our 1967-built bathrooms, it is one of the few design flaws of our store.
For that reason, I have instructed every single member of our staff to always keep one eye out the window. Sure, they need to focus mostly on who is in the store, but keep that one eye out for someone crossing the parking lot who might need help with the door. Keep one eye out for strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, and young kids.
Yes, we rush over and open the door for our customers all day long. Coming and going. It takes a little more work. It takes a little more hustle on the part of the staff. It also takes one of the negatives of our store off the table.
Average stores that cater to average customers don’t even think about their front doors. They figure every store has a front door and every customer is versed on how to use one. And they are right. But not every front door is the same. Not every front door sends the same message to the customer. Amazing stores have amazing front doors because they know it is the first impression the customer has of their business.
One day I will have an amazing front door. For now, we hustle to make sure it is at least above average. Helpful is one of our Core Values.
PS The Coat Check is another one of my plans for making the front door more amazing. What can you do to your front door to at least make sure it isn’t a barrier to business? My grandfather wanted to build a carousel that kids could ride into the store. Now that would be an amazing front door!