Perspectives from SPECS 2011

What do national retailers want from their signage program partners? Harbinger met with dozens of retailers during Chain StoreAge magazine’s 47th annual Store Planning, Equipment, Construction and Facilities Services Seminar (SPECS) to ask.

The answer: Credibility. Reliability. Consistency. Cost savings.

“Interestingly, immediate cost savings was not the highest priority of the retailers we spoke with, even as our economy is just starting to recover,” said Ed Killion, executive vice president of Harbinger. “Many retailers, like our customers in the foodservice and convenience store industries, are focused on long-term costs and value. Therefore, the attributes of credible, reliable and consistent service and products are most important to them.”

Credibility – Retailers want a sign company with national reach, a qualified network of providers and programs in place to monitor the credentials of those providers.

Reliability – Clear, distinct processes for national project management are a must, as is experience. Retailers also want assurances that their standards will be adhered to at all times.

Consistency – All retailers want great quality products and services, including project management and installation, but for national or regional multi-location chains consistency of sign materials, color and illumination also is key.

Cost Savings – Cost savings are important to retailers, but not necessarily the cost of the actual signage. With gasoline prices increasing, many retailers were concerned about freight and shipping costs of the signs once manufactured.

“As the economy recovers and retailers begin opening new locations or refurbishing existing ones, these qualities in a signage partner will become even more crucial,” Killion added.

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