Callie: The expert guide to stores, bars and restaurants

If your enterprise is not attracting patrons, you need to seek Callie van der Merwe. Known as the “customer whisperer”, his expertise will change the course of your business. 



Stores with “50% Off Sale” signs outside have no difficulty in attracting traffic. But the question is what happens to their traffic flow once the signs come down.

Some stores have characteristics that naturally attract customers during non-sale times while others are on the wrong side of the mall or the street, give the impression the owner has lost interest and so have the customers, you can’t find the entrance and the welcome mat’s gone missing.

The outside appearance of some restaurants immediately turns you off while others are in the wrong part of town, upstairs, next to a pet-shop or have a sign outside saying “BYO Grog Only”. You only patronise restaurants with the certain look and feel that denotes they’re your sort of place.

It’s the same with bars. They have to have a certain image somewhere between “sleaze” and $35 cocktails and not appear to host losers in dark corners.

The chances are you are far from alone in your tastes for stores bars and restaurants and if they get it right for you they’ll attract loads more customers.

The challenge however is to tailor-make a package of features that attract you and countless others so that they fit seamlessly with individual businesses. That demands expertise of the highest order.

Callie is a behavioural property designer who is the consummate practitioner in this field. He has an outstanding track record of increasing business traffic flows and turnover.



He combines top architectural qualifications with a unique insight into customer choice and behaviour. He designs it and they come.

“A store or restaurant that gives the impression of being fashionable or happening always attracts new customers.”

He is an expert in the use of space, exterior and interior design, layout, lighting and a host of other features with the power to influence customer behaviour and become part of a traffic-building package.

Callie applies his talents equally to exterior and interior environments. The features that persuade customers to enter a business must be complemented by internal features that make them happy to stay.

He recently succeeded in increasing the traffic flow to a store on the low-traffic side of a shopping mall by over 200%.

It is instructive to stand outside stores and restaurants and consider the exterior features that attract you and those that put you off. That’s a critical exercise that Callie undertakes on behalf of his clients. “A store or restaurant that gives the impression of being fashionable or happening always attracts new customers,” he says.

When he’s working on a project, Callie casts himself as a demanding customer representing majority or target market tastes. He has unparalleled insight into what it is that attracts people to one supermarket above all others, what makes it an attractive place to shop and what makes customers feel that a bar or restaurant is their special sort of place.

Callie has few if any peers in the highly specialised field of behavioural property design. He has a quite astounding ability to make a marked difference to a business.

He can either be involved in the development of a new business right from the start or as an agent of reinvigoration for an existing business.

He has been described as the “hidden persuader” and the “customer whisperer”.

There is no question however that the everyday lives of many businesses and people are being discreetly influenced for the better by the unique skills of Callie.







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