Added On: Saturday, December 29, 2007

Feng Shui in Retail Stores

July 16th, 2007

The following are questions posed to 168 Feng Shui Advisors by a student writing a paper on Feng Shui.

1) What are your thoughts on FS in relation to retail stores?

Feng Shui works in any “built” environment. People are using this ancient science at home as well as at work. In a retail store, it can both increase sales and reduce money delays and business costs. It can also increase the popularity or traffic in a store.

2) Do businesses approach FS masters in the set up of a retail store?

Yes, frequently do retail stores utilize Feng Shui. Their specific motivations can be different, but usually they are seeking a way to increase business. When a store utilizes Feng Shui it creates a more welcoming environment that allows customers to feel relaxed and willing to spend their time and money.

3) Has there been an increase in the use of FS by retailers?

Yes, Feng Shui’s awareness and popularity is increasing significantly in the West.

4) How do you think FS benefits retailers?

* Increased sales
* Increased traffic
* Happier clients
* Higher productivity
* Employee retention
* Fewer delays
* Increasing the awareness of the company’s good name

5) How do you as a FS master help in the design in the layout of a retail store?

Feng Shui is used to first to choose the appropriate store location. There are both environmental and functional issues involved when analyzing the Feng Shui of a location. The orientation, the building, the timing, the owners, and the environment all play a significant part of the analysis. There are four types of buildings; those that are good for people, those that are good for money, those that are good for people and money, and those that are not favorable for either. When selecting a location, a Feng Shui practitioner will examine the surrounding environment and then utilizing a Chinese Lo P’an and age old calculations will determine the nature of the building and whether the occupants should move in. Ideally, you want a building that is favorable to both people and money. In the case where it is only good for one, you can enhance the other using either the Earth element or the Water element properly placed.

After examining the exterior environment, we look at the interior for areas that are critical and beneficial. Areas that are positive can be enhanced. Areas that are not favorable can be neutralized using an elemental solution. Key locations include the entrance, the location of the owner’s desk or office, the cash register, or the area that is used to complete the sale. These should be located in beneficial areas that favor the people and/or the money. Again, areas that either cannot be located to better positions can be remedied by using one of the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water). The interior environment has the most direct effect on the people working there.

6) Has there been satisfied customers? How do they evaluate the success of FS?

Yes, of course! While Feng Shui may not change a business overnight, it can have effects within a couple of weeks. A restaurant that was on the verge of closing its doors (mainly due to the fact they had no parking available for their patrons), reported that after they applied the recommendations, their lunchtime business increased significantly. It was enough to save their business. So I would say that these business owners would give it high marks.

The best indicator of the success of Feng Shui is the referrals. Most of our business is based on referrals. When someone is satisfied with a service, they will tell others. This also pertains to your other questions as to how it is growing in the West.

7) What is the role of FS for a retail store design? How does it work in practice (e.g. Casino, clothing store)? Please give some examples.

I think that a lot of this has been answered by question 5. A specific example though would be a jewelry store we recently visited. They were looking to increase there clientele. They were in a satisfactory location and the resulting recommendations were minor. They needed some metal near the door to reduce delays. They utilized a nice wall clock that had a metal pendulum and chime. We suggested water in the Eastern part of the building to enhance prosperity. Here they utilized a small aquarium (no fish) with a pump that created the sound and movement of the water. Behind the counter they needed some metal. Here they moved their metal filing cabinets. Lastly, there were some beneficial areas that had good potential for money. We suggested that they negotiate their sales in that area to:

* Make the client feel good about the purchase.
* They realize a higher success rate completing their sales.

There are other examples too. One retail store location in a very successful area consistently is changing owners. New stores appear in that space every 6 to 12 months. The problem is that they have a decorative prism-shaped statue directly outside the store with the sharp edge pointing right into the business. This is an example of “metal sha.” Environmentally, it is creating an uncomfortable situation for the clients and the employees. Ideally the statue should be rotated to avoid pointing directly into the store.

You mentioned casinos. While we do not usually help casinos (they have enough success at taking peoples money), there is one good example of how environmental Feng Shui assisted a casino. A famous casino had difficulties when it first opened. To attract more visitors they erected a mountain in the front of the hotel and at the same time expanded their pools at the rear of the building. I do not know if this was upon the advice of a Feng Shui master or whether it was good luck, but it was the ideal remedy, for their specific location, to enhancing their business. Now they are quite successful. We are not saying that this is good in all cases, but it is an example of utilizing water and earth to assist the prosperity of a building.

8) How does the use of FS help in the success of a retail store?

In using Feng Shui, a retail store is energetically balanced, has an environment that is welcoming, and the occupants know where they are best positioned to make the sale. It can be the difference between walking into a very dark and disorienting store and walking into a warm, light, and organized store. One is forbidding and the other is inviting. This is a simplistic example, but it is meant to show the extremes. On a more subtle level, a similar feeling can effect the clients unconsciously when they walk into a store that has applied proper Feng Shui principles and one that has not.

9) Why has FS become more popular over the last 10 years in retail?

I would say as I mentioned before that it is because of the word of mouth. People are talking more and more about this. Many of our clients are based on referrals. I would also credit the media with getting the word out. People have access to more information, quicker than ever before. This web site is but one example of this. The news media, the print media, the electronic media are all spreading the word and people are utilizing Feng Shui and telling others of the positive results.

10) Why do you think Western culture has begun to adopt FS?

Just a year ago, it was nearly impossible to find a book on Feng Shui in the bookstore. Now it has it’s own section. It has moved beyond the new age awareness and is being utilized by mainstream businesses. There are now Western magazines devoted to Feng Shui. Most important though is the development of Feng Shui schools, such as the American Feng Shui Institute. People are seeking these schools out to learn more about this fascinating science.

Feng Shui is about creating comfortable environments that are supportive to people. The reason that more and more people are adopting Feng Shui is because people need more than ever to find comfort in a fast paced and often chaotic world. The home is truly a place to re-energize yourself. When a home has had Feng Shui principles applied, it can be a source of strength to the occupants. When a retail store has had proper Feng Shui principles applied, it can be a place where clients feel invited and welcome.

(originally published June 14, 1999)

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