Introduction to Store Layout Management. Retailers can use the retail store itself to initiate and continue their relationship with customers. A. The store itself (e.g., its layout) has the potential to overcome many of the negative attitudes/emotions customers may carry as they enter a retailer’s store. 1. 2. In fact, no other variable in the retailing mix influences the consumer's initial perception as much as the retailer's store itself. The two primary objectives around which all activities, functions, and goals in the store revolve are store image and sales productivity. Store image is the overall perception the consumer has of the store’s environment. b. Space productivity represents how effectively the retailer utilizes its space and is usually measured by sales per square foot of selling space or gross margin dollars per square foot of selling space. In cyberspace, retailers must be concerned with the format of the entire website. In order to drive repeat visits and encourage consumer purchasing on one’s web site, the e-tailer should: a. b. Keep content current. Make the site easy and enjoyable to use. c. Structure an online community where consumers can interact with one another or contribute to the site’s content. B. Elements of the Store Environment – The successful retailer will place a heavy emphasis on designing their physical facilities so as to enhance the retailer’s overall image and increase its productivity. The elements that should be considered are: a. POS signage. b. c. Visual Communications – Retail identity, graphics, and Store Planning – Space allocation, layout, and circulation. Store Design – Exterior design, ambiance, and lighting. selection, merchandise a.
d. Merchandising – Fixture presentation, and visual merchandising. C.
The two primary objectives of creating the desired store image and increasing space productivity correspond to the general mission of all retailers, which is to get consumers into the store (traffic) and influence them to buy merchandise once inside (conversion rate) while operating in the most efficient manner possible (operating efficiency). The store planner must constantly balance these objectives, as they are sometimes at odds. 1. Developing a Store Image - the ability to create and change image through the store environment becomes more important every day as consumers’ time poverty increases.
Increasing Space Productivity - a goal summarized in a simple but powerful truism of retailing: “The more merchandise customers are exposed to, the more they tend to buy.” To enhance space productivity, retailers must incorporate planning, merchandising, and design strategies that minimize shrinkage (the loss of merchandise through theft, loss, and damage).
Store Planning. Store planning is the development of floor plans, which indicate where merchandise and customer service departments are located, how customers circulate through the store, and how much space is dedicated to each department. A. Allocating Space - the starting point of store planning is determining how the available store space will be allocated to various departments, based on mathematical calculations of the returns generated by different types of merchandise. 1. Types of Space Needed - there are five basic types of space in a store: a. b. The back room includes the receiving area to process arriving inventories and the stockroom to store surplus merchandise. Offices and other functional spaces include a break room for associates, a training room, offices for the store manager and assistant managers, a cash office, bathroom facilities for both customers and employees, and perhaps other areas. The amount of space dedicated to aisles, service areas, and other nonselling areas can be significant, perhaps 15 percent or more of the entire space. While the store planner always attempts to minimize the amount of nonselling space, customer...