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Finnish city helps small street shops increase their attractiveness

Finnish city helps small street shops increase their attractiveness

Jyväskylä will publish a detailed guide offering tips and tasks designed to help businesses grow

When we think of city centres, we often imagine people strolling down the streets and looking through the windows of small shops. Although many have begun to prioritise large shopping centres and online stores, small street shops still carry tremendous value and play a huge role in the overall look and feel of a city’s street space.

For this reason, the Finnish City of Jyväskylä has now set its sights on helping small businesses. More specifically, it has launched a project designed to help shop owners strengthen and enhance the attractiveness of their stores.

Studying what makes shops attractive

In the first phase of the project, the City of Jyväskylä plans to build a tool that will help it assess the key factors which contribute to a shop’s attractiveness. These factors include windows, lighting, safety, and accessibility, among others.

To do so, the city has evaluated a total of 140 companies, including all the street shops in the centre and 10 companies in Laukaa. Moreover, it has partnered up with Heidi Lehto from Sisustuskärpänen Oy who has photographed and studied Jyväskylä’s shop windows.

A detailed guide featuring tips and tasks

Following the evaluation phase, the City of Jyväskylä will publish a detailed report and a hands-on guide at the turn of the year. The guide will reportedly feature recommendations for shop owners, new ideas on how to enhance visibility, and “challenge tasks” designed to boost the attractiveness of businesses. Six months after the release of these guides, the city will follow up with the shops to assess their progress.

Project Manager Pirkko Flinkman commented on the project, noting that one of the key things which sets online and physical stores apart is customer experience: “We offer small shops ideas on how to develop their own visuals and create everyday experiences for customers through shop windows and interior design.”

The report and guide will be published on 11 January 2022.

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