In today’s dynamic and competitive world many retailers have initiated to develop their stores as a brand, therefore creativity and sustainability can be important organizational resource and a desirable approach to differentiate from other competitors. The ―store as brand‖ and retail branding is emerging as one of the most important strategic initiatives in the modern retail industry specially in United States and Europe (Carpenter et al, 2005, pp.43-53). Better customers experience has become center of attention for the retailers, which have made retailers to focus on the store design and improving the retail environment. Consumers’ perceptions of store image and shopping experience influence their behavior. According to (Joyce & Lambert, 1996 , pp.24-33) retail environments have also been found to influence people to enter, remain in, and utilize environments. Better store image and shopping experience makes customers to visit store another time for shopping, which help retails to develop closer relation and to gain customers loyalty. ―The uniqueness of the retail brand is more difficult to substitute and therefore leads to consumer loyalty‖ (Carpenter et al, 2005).
The idea behind this proposal is to present recommendations for retail innovation that will contribute to a distinctive retailer brand. The research has been done to develop an innovative and sustainable store design for Australia’s largest home entertainment retailer- JB HI-FI. They offer world’s top brands, having wide range of entertainment appliances at cheaper prices and also provide genuine personal service by experienced and specialist staff (JB HI-FI, 2009). Company’s history and further information are provided on appendix-A-I (Pg.10).
2. Evaluation of the current level of branding and innovation, recommendations for innovative store design In the following part present situation of the store, branding and innovation activity taken up at JB Hi-Fi is assessed and analyzed. Further more some recommendations are also provided to improve store design which can help the retailer to be more sustainable and to have competitive edge. Mainly focus has been given on three components of the store design: store infrastructure, store layout and visual merchandising.
Retail Branding and Innovation
Innovative Sustainable Store Design Proposal
2.1 Store infrastructure
Store infrastructure means the fixed components which make up the store such as floor, lighting, windows, customer service equipment, store temperature, fixtures and fitting. To attain sustainability and to give better shopping experience the store needs to be improved in some area like lighting and furniture which are discussed below. A new feature ―Experience zone‖ is also added to enhance the customer experience. 2.1.1 Lighting Good illumination is essential in order to achieve a quality shopping experience. The final effect of the display depends on good, carefully planned lighting, enabling the customer to see the merchandise with perfect clarity. According to findings by Summers & Hebertb (2001) retailers can develop in-store lighting as part of a store's atmospherics to aid in attracting and retaining consumer patronage. At present in JB HI-FI have good lighting conditions but there is very less use of natural lighting and dose not have sustainability feature. They have to use lights in day time which increases electricity consumption and also their operational costs. JB HI-FI has an opportunity to decrease operational cost by setting up in-store sustainable lightning. Some lightening opportunities which are cost effective as well as sustainable are suggested in appendix-A/II (Pg.10); installing proposed lightening features the store can be more sustainable and cost effective in long run. 2.1.2 Furniture The store have old fashioned wooden furniture, yellow and black coloured interior, which gives...