Has it ever happened to you that you suddenly felt a desperate need for coffee while you were at a petrol station or that you felt so good while trying on some clothes in a store’s fitting room that you left with more things than you originally came for? This is not magic. It is the fragrances around you.
In the manner of foreign companies, Czech retailers are trying to attack all their customers’ senses more and more, and scents help improve sales. For example, Kalvei, the only company in the Czech Republic offering complex “scent” programmes tailored to companies’ needs, has no shortage of customers. “In comparison with last year, our sales have already grown by 30% this year,” said Věra Kalinová, Kalvei’s executive, adding that the firm’s customers are not only petrol stations, which use special coffee fragrance to boost their sales of coffee, but also fashion chains, administrative centres or mobile operators. Around 1,000 customers have already purchased the company’s fragrance programme. Last year, the firm earned CZK 35 million. Other scent suppliers are Kosmetika SM Group or King’s Agency.
One of the companies that used a fragrance in its branches for the first time this year was Telefónica O2. “Fragrances were installed in all our branches. Currently, we are using the fragrance of mango everywhere. We chose it from around thirty fragrances,” Telefónica’s spokesman, Martin Žabka, said. He says fragrances create pleasant environment in the stores and enhance the pleasant feeling of every customer. Its rival T-Mobile, for example, uses the fragrance of cotton. “It is not our company’s fragrance, but our employees chose it themselves,” Jitka Pajurková from company’s press department said.
Psychologists say betting on fragrances is certainly good. It was the olfactory bulb in the brain from which all other sensory centres developed. “It is very smart of retailers to have started using scents. When you like a fragrance in a store, it has a big influence on your attitude, whether you buy something or not, and you don’t even have to know about that. You can deceive sight quite easily, as well as hearing, but it is very, very difficult to deceive smell,” said Marek Herman, a specialist on personality psychology from Palacký University in Olomouc.
Clothing retailers splash flowery and slightly spicy fragrances similar to perfumes in their fitting rooms. However, Kalvei gets special requests from companies of various fields: “Once a client asked for a scent of bread. Our French supplier tried to develop such a scent for him, but in the end the order was canceled, because the scent reminded more of a French baguette than of Czech bread,” Kalinová said.