As fast food restaurants and stores across the nation remodel the interiors and exteriors of their storefronts to attract more foot traffic, there’s something to be said about the familiarity in spotting a See’s Candies shop. Each location revels in its minimalistic blacks and whites, complete with checkered floors, friendly employees, and of course, plenty of mouthwatering chocolate to satiate any sweet tooth.
As other stores push forward with self-serve ordering kiosks and WiFi options, See’s remains something of a Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in 2017. It may not be as modernized as other brick and mortar storefronts, but it’s still grabbing the foot traffic of existing and new customers alike and bringing in plenty of business. The secret recipe to its success, as it turns out, can be found in the following lessons.
1. Never dismiss the power of free samples
A staple of the shopping experience at megastores like Costco, See’s Candies is infamous for giving out free samples of its candies to customers. Each year, more than a million pounds of sweets are passed out for free.
Why does this approach work so well? It’s part of a built-in incentive to visit each shop — knowing that there will be an opportunity to “try before you buy.” Speaking of trying, all of these samples are fresh, as See’s does not include preservatives in its chocolates, and the sampling technique is universal. Whether you’re visiting a See’s storefront in a shopping mall or as a stand-alone store in an outdoor courtyard or promenade, you’re guaranteed to leave with a little extra incentive from the trip.
2. Their prices and products have remained consistent
Whenever a store experiences a dip in sales, there’s often pressure to start raising prices on existing products or to create even more offerings in an effort to stoke customer interest and stand out from the competition. However, for loyal customers this raises several predicaments. Will they be able to afford the uptick in cost for their favorite items, especially if the items have been tweaked a bit and no longer feel the same as they once were? Will they still remain loyal to these changes to their beloved products?
For See’s, quality without compromise is part of the backbone of the business. This is reflected in the candies and chocolates sold which offer high quality sweets sold at lower prices compared to other businesses in the boxed-chocolate segment. Even during peak seasons, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, the pricing remains reasonable and the product itself stays premium.
3. Business may expand, but the mission and values stay the same
At present, See’s Candies has been in business for nearly a century with 250 (and growing) store locations along with 1,500 employees — a number that will bump up to 5,000 during the holidays. Through it all, the company remains committed to the traditions that have allowed it to succeed through the years. Some of these include taste and quality (namely where the freshly made candies are concerned!) and the hard-working, friendly staff that provide great service. Stepping into one of their storefronts is more than just another visit to a candy shop: it’s a journey back in time that delights customers of all ages.
Guest Post By: Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @mycorporation, and Instagram.