Revitalizing The House of Fraser
During my visit to Cornwall, the town of Plymouth stood out on my favorites list due to its central location.
However, my excitement took a turn when I observed the cityscape during my arrival. Empty storefronts and abandoned buildings,
such as the former Debenhams building - comparable to the V&D in the Netherlands - painted a picture of economic struggles. One particular unique but neglected building caught my eye, while driving by on public transport. With it’s tinted windows and cracks in their shielding foils I directly sensed abandonment. With it’s facade uncleaned in years it gave the impression that this building no longer had a function. The energy of this building was very low.
The Shocking Discovery
Upon reaching my destination, I couldn't shake off the impact of the neglected building. Intrigued, I looked into the situation and discovered that The House of Fraser warehouses were indeed in dire financial straits. The low energy and neglected facade were a stark reflection of the challenges the business was facing.
I easily can feel/sense these state of being. Even unconsciously everybody does sense it! That’s why neglected buildings have low energy nobody wants to be around it, in this case while shopping. There is a causal relationship between a lack of care, the dropping of sales numbers and demotivated staff members.
A Bottom-Up Method for Recovery
- Engaging Staff for Increased Sales and Confidence:
- Initiate engagement with staff members to boost morale and increase sales. The store manager can have a crucial role in this.
- Encourage a customer-centric focus among sales employees to enhance the overall shopping experience.
- Cleaning and Repairing the Interior and Exterior:
- Address overdue maintenance issues promptly.
- Involve internal staff, including sales personnel, in tasks like cleaning and repairing.
- Prioritize areas such as floors, lights, walls, seating, and suspended ceilings for restoration. Starting with lighting for a direct energy boost and an overall better atmosphere.
- Involving the Local Authority:
- Rally local authorities to participate in the revitalization efforts.
- Emphasize the importance of a vibrant inner city for the community and local businesses.
- Highlight the financial implications, using the loss of Debenhams physical stores as a reference, to showcase the long-term benefits of investing in the city.
- Management Informed if Not Involved:
- Keep the management of The House of Fraser informed about the revitalization plan.
- Ensure that day-to-day actions are carried out by engaged staff side by side with the store manager of The House of Fraser in Plymouth including local authorities.
The bottom-up approach to rejuvenating The House of Fraser involves fostering engagement among staff and store manager, addressing maintenance issues, and garnering support from the local authority. By taking these steps, Plymouth has the potential to transform its neglected spaces into thriving hubs, breathing new life into both the business and the city itself.