My mom is visiting me and we went shopping today at her second favorite shopping location - Tysons Corner! (Her first favorite will be Zoe, of course). She tells me that she really observes everything in stores now, down to the details of what she likes and dislikes about dressing rooms, the packaging of her purchases, and the expertise of the sales team. We had a lot of fun discussing all of these things as we shopped.
Over lunch, I asked her to tell me what she liked most and least (and what was most memorable) about the stores we considered boutiques in Beckley and Charleston, WV (I've posted some on the influences these locations had on me in shaping my view of retail and fashion). I really enjoyed the things that she told me about the stores that were prior to the time I was old enough to shop with her. It helped create a new dimension to my thinking and planning. The two biggest things that stood out to my mom over time - merchandising and customer service. Her descriptions of what she liked about the stores helped to crystallize my thought process even more.
No word yet on the Letter of Intent - it was to go to the landlord on Tuesday morning. I am being patient (yes, it is possible!) On the way home from the airport yesterday, I drove by the potential location to show my Mom. She liked it!