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Business Lesson: Sit and Stare

We’ve all been taught “Don’t stare, don’t stare!” Well, in this case, you’ll have to forget everything your mom taught you… sort of.

Quite a few years ago, I was hoping to open a store in a particular mall.

I was lucky enough to have a friend of the family who was a retail consultant. When I told him about my plans, he brought me over to the mall and we just sat.

He told me to look at what people are doing, what they’re carrying. After a little while, he made a remark about something I hadn’t noticed.

People weren’t carrying bags. There was a grocery store in the mall, and some were carrying grocery bags, but there were very few, if any, people carrying bags from any other stores.

There were a few other things we had noticed but this was the one that stood out.

I go back to that mall occasionally. And even now, 15 years later, the mall is very quiet and stores close regularly. Most companies there are small independent stores. Did the majors notice the same thing?

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