Whether setting up a pop-up shop, a kiosk, a concession or a store, choosing the right location is undoubtedly the first consideration, basing your business within reach of your demographic is critical.
The next question is ‘what’s the square footage?’, and then ‘what’s the cost per square foot?’. When that's a large number, the temptation is to maximise its usage by cramming in a lot of product. Resist that temptation, and give your products room to breathe and be seen.
Retail space needs to be well planned and diligently managed. Overcrowded stores do not inspire; they create confusion, products become invisible and key messages are easily lost in the smog. Any product worthy of your retail brand should not need to fight to be seen or heard, and of course it must always be there, logically placed where and when the shopper requires it.
This is critical, because frustrated customers will most likely enrich your competitors.
Today’s consumers have high expectations, and optimised retail space should ensure a pleasurable shopper experience; a stress-free, engaging and seamless journey from browsing to spending.
Top performing retailers have their best-selling items in the most accessible places for shoppers to purchase. This is achieved through merchandising disciplines and effective space management, which is perhaps both an art and a science.
To make your space work harder, its performance must be continually monitored and its management involves ongoing analysis of space utilisation, sales and profitability. FMCG retailers use Macro and Micro Space Planning which is an involved subject and combined with a retail entrepreneurial spirit where there is always an appetite to experiment, should differentiate and add that little bit of magic that ignites your customers’ interest.
Macro space planning deals with format and use of floor area, determining the space allocation for each product category, and it influences the positioning of core products and best sellers. It works hand in hand with Micro space planning which addresses the placement of each subcategory, brand and product within the category, the order of which is guided by the retailer’s merchandising policy.
Space is expensive, it’s a luxury, so be creative, be diligent and ensure you optimise it.
Your brand is your universe and the products are the stars, let them shine!
‘Optimise the use of space to maximise the visual impact of product displays that will inspire and engage customers, and help build a stronger relationship.’
Dilip Parmar, Topps Tiles
‘A store is no longer just transactional space, where customers buy products. We want our stores to be places where people can get to know our brand’
Jo Williams, Dulux
Good space planning is about striking a balance between brand-enhancing environment and optimal commercial possibility. Planning retail space means different things to different retailers – whilst the concept of macro and micro space planning are familiar to those needing to maximise the performance of multiple product categories, those whose propositions are more service-led need a different approach. The challenge to the designer of the environment and planner of the space is in really understanding the retailer’s shopper first and foremost.’
Mark Shaw, Retail Project Associates
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