Chapter 13 – Store Layout and Design


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.

Various quantitative measures. There are two situations where this is evident: planning a new store and revising the space allocation of an existing store. such as the space productivity index. and enhance space productivity. it bases space allocation on industry standards. Increasing Space Productivity . Store Planning. service areas. 1.2. how customers circulate through the store.” To enhance space productivity. e. a training room. They serve as fixtures holding tremendous amounts of merchandise. the store planner must analyze the productivity and profitability of various categories of merchandise. Allocating Space . While the store planner always attempts to minimize the amount of nonselling space. Improving Space Productivity in Existing Stores . Space Allocation for a New Store . Offices and other functional spaces include a break room for associates. a cash office. can be used to develop a more productive space allocation. Types of Space Needed . the more they tend to buy. and damage). and other nonselling areas can be significant. loss.When a retailer is creating a new store format.When a retailer has been in business for some time. offices for the store manager and assistant managers. d. perhaps 15 percent or more of the entire space. II. A. which indicate where merchandise and customer service departments are located. 2. a. Space Allocation Planning . The walls are one of the most important elements of a retail store. The floor merchandise space holds many types of fixtures used to display merchandise. based on mathematical calculations of the returns generated by different types of merchandise. c. and perhaps other areas. The amount of space dedicated to aisles. .there are five basic types of space in a store: a.the starting point of store planning is determining how the available store space will be allocated to various departments. bathroom facilities for both customers and employees. b. customer service is an equally important part of a store and should not be short-changed. The back room includes the receiving area to process arriving inventories and the stockroom to store surplus merchandise. merchandising. and design strategies that minimize shrinkage (the loss of merchandise through theft. Store planning is the development of floor plans. refine space allocations. retailers must incorporate determine the most productive allocation of space. it can develop a sales history on which to evaluate merchandise performance. previous experience b.a goal summarized in a simple but powerful truism of retailing: “The more merchandise customers are exposed to. as well as serving as a visual backdrop for the merchandise on the floor. and how much space is dedicated to each department.

Spine Layout is a type of store layout in which a single main aisle runs from the front to the back of the store. 3. . transporting customers in both directions.there are four basic types of circulation patterns in use today. When planning stores. 1. Planning Fixtures and Merchandise Presentation. A. Some layouts will minimize vulnerability to shoplifters by increasing the visibility of the merchandise. Wall fact. Shoppers have been trained to associate certain circulation patterns with different types of stores. The four-way feature rack and the round rack are two of the fixtures most heavily used today. Shrinkage Prevention. or more frequently. loops through the store – usually in the shape of a circle. into which a variety of hardware can be inserted. To make a plain wall merchandisable. Tables. The gondola can hold a wide variety of merchandise -. III. the simplest type of store layout. and the four-way rack is considered a feature fixture. merchandise departments using either a free-flow or grid pattern branch off toward the back and side walls. peghooks. 3. C. and loss must be considered. is a type of store layout in which fixtures and merchandise are grouped into free-flowing patterns on the sales floor. damage.” usually at right angles. A large array of fixtures have been developed to accommodate the special needs of softlines. and where on either side of this spine. virtually all hardlines -. 4. B. or rectangle – and then returns the customer to the front of the store. In the "theater" of retailing. Loop Layout is a type of store layout in which a major customer aisle begins at the entrance. and even hanger bars can be fitted into wall systems. The last type of fixture are those designed to be hung on the wall. 2. and on-shelf merchandising which represents “the stars of the performance”. baskets. Hardline Fixtures. Circulation . it is usually covered with a vertical skin that is fitted with vertical columns of notches similar to that on the gondola. there are two basic types of merchandise presentation: visual merchandising displays which are analogous to the props which set scenes and serve as backdrops. and flat-base decks are used to display bulk quantities of merchandise when the retailer wants to make a high-value statement. square. Free Flow. The workhorse fixture in most hardline departments is the means of hardware hung from the vertical spine.with similar formats. throughout the store. Grid Layout is another type of store layout in which counters and fixtures are placed in long rows or “runs. or style). because it presents merchandise in a manner. Shelves. Softline Fixtures. shape. which often are hung on hangers. The round rack is known as a bulk or capacity fixture. which features certain characteristics of the merchandise (such as color. large bins. the space required to carry the number of items specified by the buyers. Fixture Types fall into three basic categories: 1. bins. the prevention of shrinkage due to theft. 2.

orderly appearance. Merchandise Presentation Planning . wash cloths) or hardlines (batteries. or value oriented the merchandise is. Selecting the Proper Fixture and Merchandise Presentation Methods .In selecting which fixtures and merchandising methods to use. there is an endless variety of ways to merchandise product." which are platforms placed directly on the floor. This method can be used in softlines (socks. or from bars installed on gondolas or wall systems. a good guideline is to match the fixture to the merchandise. a. Shelving is a flexible. c. Stacking is easily maintained and gives an image of high volume and low price.Higher-margin or large.With all the various types of fixtures available. Different merchandising methods can strongly influence our buying habits and cause us to purchase more. easy-to-maintain merchandising method. Value/Fashion Image . b. unwieldy softlines merchandise can be folded and then stacked onto shelves or placed on tables. Stacking .Large hardline merchandise can be stacked on shelves. Shelving . There is a certain psychology of merchandise presentation. which are small rods inserted into gondolas or wall systems. they view the store at approximately 45 degree angles from the path of travel.To be most effective. Folding . f. Hanging . This means you should only use fixtures . C. pegging gives a neat. This can create a high-fashion image. Dumping . the base decks of gondolas. merchandise should be displayed in vertical bands of color wherever possible. d.Small merchandise can be hung from peghooks. such as when bath towels are taken off peghooks and neatly folded and stacked high up the wall.B. Vertical Color Blocking . The methods of merchandise presentation include the following: a. pricey. Angles and Sightlines . not the merchandise to the fixture. candy). exclusive. and creates a high-volume. e. 1.Apparel on hangers can be hung from softlines fixtures such as round racks and four-way racks.Large quantities of small merchandise can be dumped in bins or baskets inserted into gondolas or wall systems.The majority of merchandise is placed on shelves that are inserted into gondolas or wall systems. Pegging . low-cost image. 2.Research has shown that as customers move through a retail store. so that customers are exposed to a greater number of SKUs. but can be labor intensive to display and maintain.One of merchandising's most important psychological effects is its ability to foster an image in the customer's mind of how trendy. c. b. Used in both softlines and hardlines. or "flats. so merchandise placed at 45 degree angles to the aisle has better visibility.

It must be noticeable. clearly identify the name and general market positioning of the store. Interior Design can be broken into architectural elements and design finishes. C.that are sensitive to the nature of the merchandise. Storefront Design. easily identified by passing motorists or mall shoppers. Visual Merchandising is the artistic display of merchandise and theatrical props used as scene-setting decoration in the store. and supporting visual elements. Store Design . then the storefront or store exterior is like the book cover. Research has shown that senses other than sight can be very important. Sounds and Smells: Total Sensory Marketing. Departmental. D. . the first level of visual communications is known as institutional signage. When carefully balanced with personal service. Visual Communications.encompasses both the exterior and the interior of the store. Many retailers are beginning to engineer the sounds and smells in their stores. elements in a successful store design. C. Visual communications includes in-store signage and graphics. and give some hint as to the merchandise inside. Retailers learned that different types and levels of lighting can have a significant impact on sales. Directional. retailers are forced to put merchandise on the wrong fixture. Once inside the store. There are literally hundreds of details in a store's design. or signage that describes the merchandising mission. and Retail Identity. V. walls. memorable. Visuals don't always include merchandise . with its reliability and low cost. and all must work together to create the desired store ambiance. IV. Logo. logo mark. and Category Signage serve as the next level of organizational signage. These signs help guide the shopper through the shopping trip and assist in locating specific departments of interest. reflective of the retailer's merchandising mission. Name. Institutional Signage. and ceilings. memorable. and encompasses floorcoverings. but all too often. B. A. and most of all. can create an effective selling environment and is therefore an important tool in the store designer's toolbox.they may just be interesting displays of items somehow related to the merchandise offering or to a mood the retailer wishes to create. Lighting is one of the most important. which is the overall feeling or mood projected by a store through its aesthetic appeal to the human senses. though often overlooked. A. visual communications. The name and logo must be catchy. If the retail store can be compared to a book. B. D. customer service policies. The first and most visible element in a comprehensive visual communications program is the retailer's identity. composed of the store name. and other messages on behalf of the retail institution.

or images of related items or models that convey an image conducive to buying the product. . POS signage is intended to give details about specific merchandise items and is usually affixed directly to fixtures. often as it is being used. E. placed closer to the merchandise. These photo images portray either the merchandise.D. Many stores incorporate large graphic panels showing so-called lifestyle images in important departments. Lifestyle Graphics. and known as point-of-sale signage. The next level of signage is even smaller. or POS signage. Point-of-Sale (POS) Signage.

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