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Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)
Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014
My group and I had our first meeting with Blanca, the owner of El Nuevo Rancho Grande, and Yacanex last week. During the meeting, Blanca explained her business and shared many of her ideas for what she would like to see change. My group and I left this first meeting with several ideas about how we could help to improve the store and the business as a whole.
After our first meeting we sat down and began to brainstorm on the exact improvements we wanted to make to the store. One of the unique things about El Nuevo Rancho Grande is that it is both a clothing store and an ice cream shop. While the combination of an ice cream and clothing store is somewhat different both sides of the business have dedicated customers and are profitable.
The combination of the ice cream and clothing store creates the first issue that our group is going to address. Currently, the store is laid out with the ice cream shop on the left and the clothing store at the back of the store and on the right of the ice cream shop. This layout creates an empty space in the front of the store that is visually confusing. It is unclear what exactly is supposed to be in the front of the store and the space as a whole could be better used. Therefore one of our big suggestions for the store is to build a half wall partitioning the ice cream store from the clothing store that will hold high profit merchandise on the clothing store side and will have a counter on the other side to create a true feeling of a ice cream store.
In addition to the partition, we also want to build a window display where one or two mannequins will display some of the stores clothes. This display will take advantage of the large picture windows in the front of the store and will hopefully help to draw individuals passing by into the store.
The third major physical improvement we are looking to implement is a redesign of the stores sign. Currently the sign sticks out off the building and does not light up at night. It is our hope to remove the old sign and to spell out El Nuevo Rancho Grande in red light up lettering along the front of the store above the windows. We believe this signage change will help to modernize the store and draw in more potential customers.
Moving forward we are looking forward to meeting with Blanca again to find out more about her business on a detailed level and will be building a formal business plan. Additionally, this weekend we have a call scheduled with Yacanex to go over our plans for improvement and will be meeting as a group to finalize the proposal for the physical improvements.