The mouth-watering cinnamon scent that lingers outside most Cinnabon stores is no accident.
Cinnabon strategically places ovens near the front of its stores so the smell of baking cinnamon rolls wafts outside the door, according to Sarah Nassauer at the Wall Street Journal.
If there are no buns in the oven, some store operators warm baking sheets of cinnamon and brown sugar to strengthen the aromas.
“Aroma is who we are,” Bill Gellert, president of Gellfam Management Corp., a restaurant franchisee that owns several Cinnabon restaurants, told WSJ. “It is our greatest asset.”
Cinnabon isn’t the only brand that uses scent to drive customer traffic.
Abercrombie & Fitch is well known for the musky scent of its stores. The scent is that of Abercrombie’s signature cologne, Fierce, which generates more than $US80 million annually, according to Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries. Employees regularly spray it into the air at Abercrombie stores to keep the scent fresh.
Panera Bread is also experimenting with scent, according to the Journal’s report. The restaurant chain is in the process of changing its baking hours from nighttime to daytime so the smells of baked goods are strongest while customers are there.
Meanwhile, the New York-based supermarket chain Net Cost is pumping artificial food smells into its stores. The chain has scent machines that pump out aromas of milk chocolate, fresh-baked bread, and other scents, according to CBS News.
Other retailers, like American Apparel, are against strong scents in their stores. An American Apparel executive told WSJ that the chain deliberately omits scents from its stores because they could distract customers from the clothing and other elements of visual marketing.
The cosmetics store Lush, which sells a variety of soaps and perfumes, goes even further. The company uses an exhaust system to help remove scent from its stores.
“We don’t want it to overwhelm the customers,” a spokeswoman told WSJ.
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