How to avoid being blindsided by your own micro market client

June 27, 2022
There is nothing worse for a micro market operator than getting blindsided by a client.

There is nothing worse for a micro market operator than getting blindsided by a client. Does this sound familiar? Everything was going so well. Revenue was steady. The location was profitable. Service was certainly adequate. Nothing changed in the location for years. So why the unwelcome news that the client was suddenly putting the location out for bid?

Status quo? That’s a “no.”

“Decision makers don’t have their heads in the sand. They hear about the more impressive micro markets that exist out there,” said Steve Orlando, an experienced operator of 10 years who co-founded Fixturelite, the leading supplier of micro market retail displays, equipment and design tools. “Status quo does not cut it anymore, especially when millennials and Gen Zers are as vocal about what they expect from the workplace going forward.”

Classic blindside

Orlando recently saw a classic blindside occur at an excellent micro market account in the Phoenix area. With the help of Fixturelite, Michael Purkey, one of Orlando’s clients and the owner of Arizona Fresh, was the beneficiary, landing the new account.

“Vending on a shelf”

“It was another case of a “vending on a shelf” micro market that the client had been living with for years,” said Orlando. “Previous Fixturelite articles have discussed “vending on a shelf” micro markets quite a bit, and for the unfortunate operator who lost the account, the client was finally ready to do something about it. We are seeing it happen frequently as employers look for ways to improve amenities and encourage their employees to return to the office. Discount shelving with inexpensive film coating that was peeling and bubbling and sub-par equipment were enough to motivate the decision-maker to start looking around for something better.”

Small space issue

According to Purkey, the prospect became interested in Arizona Fresh after seeing some of their Fixturelite designed markets on their company website. “We had a meeting and the prospect made it clear that they wanted their micro market to look more professional and more alluring to their employees,” said Purkey. “They had a small space issue, so that was an immediate item to address. I called in Steve from Fixturelite and he did a total redesign of the breakroom, which really impressed them when we presented the virtual design at the meeting.”

Perfect deployment of the Sled

One key aspect of the design that the client loved was the use of the Sled, part of Fixturelite’s “Off the Wall” Collection, which allows for product merchandising from the center of a room. “Steve was very professional and creative. He asked the client exactly what they wanted and was focused on meeting their needs. His design and ideas allowed the prospect to check off plenty of boxes on their wish list,” explained Purkey.

 No more bottling company coolers

“We try be as supportive as we can for our clients,” Orlando noted. “This was a fun project for us, and it was obvious that we exceeded the prospects expectations. The Fixturelite Design Tool really brought the market to life for them. We solved the space problem, dramatically improved the look, eliminated the bottling company coolers that held food and no visible health safety devices and replaced them with beautiful Minus Forty equipment. We took them from a very basic, old style micro market to a welcoming environment that will generate a positive response from the employees.”

Fail to update – trouble will follow

“I hate to see an operator get blindsided by a client, but it happens when an operator fails to take a proactive approach. In the post pandemic business climate, operators need to invest in their good locations,” Orlando said. “That is the way to sell quality new accounts and keep them long term.”

Higher projected sales

“I continue to be impressed with Fixturelite and Steve’s work,” said Purkey. “This is a great account with unique revenue potential. We expect an increase in sales simply by way of the new design, new offerings, and increased customer engagement.”

Fixturelite’s simple success formula

"Operators like Arizona Fresh, who are willing to invest in the customer experience, enjoy an immediate competitive advantage," said Orlando. "It's a simple formula. Listen to the client. Provide a micro market that is compelling. Use fundamental retail techniques, follow the expertise of the retail design professionals, and create an experience that the client will love. Fixturelite is happy to provide the support that helps our operator clients succeed."

Take a proactive retail approach with Fixturelite and watch your business grow. Learn more at


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