With its sleek, modern look and its sleek design, a lot of gift store designs feature large glass walls and tall ceilings.
But that isn’t the case for some of Canada’s best gift shops.
In fact, many of them feature only one or two walls to showcase their gift store interior, as opposed to the vast majority of shops that are more than two stories high.
The result is a stark contrast with the sleek and modern look of the shops themselves.
“The idea that it’s all about the big glass walls, that it feels a little bit claustrophobic,” said Andrew Lacy, who manages the gift store department at Canadian Tire.
While the design is great, he said, it doesn’t necessarily help a gift shop stand out in the crowded retail landscape.
“If you want to go to a different retailer and you want a different store that’s really different than what you’re used to, that’s where you’re going to get a great experience.”
If a store doesn’t have the room to showcase its gift shop interior, Lacy said, then it’s better to leave it as it is.
“We can make it look nice,” he said.
Many of Canada´s best gift stores are located in Toronto and Vancouver.
In fact, one of the reasons that many of the best shops are located there is because they are located close to downtown Toronto, where there is more foot traffic, said Lacy.
“That’s where the foot traffic is.
And it’s where people are buying stuff that they don’t have to drive to.”
But Lacy also noted that, in some cases, the stores are not really designed for retail purposes.
For example, while Canadian Tire is known for its high-end stores, its gift shops are typically designed for the average shopper.
As a result, Lany says that a good customer service experience can come from making sure that the store is clearly identifiable from a distance, as well as making sure the merchandise is visible from a far distance.
“The whole point of signage is to make sure you’re clearly identified,” he added.
Lacy also said that while a store can make the experience better, the customer needs to be aware of the store´s location in order to appreciate what the store offers.
That can mean that it might not have the best signage, but it might have a great store, he added, which can be a plus.
If you’d like to get the inside scoop on what the best gift store shopping experience is, check out the video below, which was filmed by the Toronto Star’s Jennifer Heddle.