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'Space planning' - the Retail Touchstone
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Retailers roll their dice to gain market spotlight for their merchandise. A well planned and managed space in a retail store is the touchstone for a retailers success in business.

Apparel retailing is a mature and extremely competitive arena which has to deal with demanding, diverse and well-informed consumers. The changing retail landscape is now adding more pressure on the retailers to retain their slice of the pie in the global, as well as the domestic market. Apparel retailers require a proper understanding of the consumers psychology, and play their cards right. Attracting shoppers and converting potential clientele into long term and loyal customers depends upon how the retailer is able to portray his merchandise, and the quality of his customer service. Therefore, it is more important for a retailer to make optimum utilization of the space available in his store so as to create an appealing in store arrangement.


Space planning had been in the retail structure since the time of inception of the retail business, but its applications, benefits, and dimensions keep evolving, reaching new heights with the passage of time. A well arranged store display attracts the shoppers, making them to check out the apparel merchandise, and influencing them to buy the clothing. Using the available space in a right manner will enable the retailer to accentuate his merchandise and arrange them in an optimum position.


Space allocation tools:


Space allocation tools are available that enables retailers to determine the optimum space for fixtures, and merchandise based on the analysis of product placement, usage and performance. Space allotment is done hierarchically with both top and bottom views of performance. A detailed planning for space allocation can be done through any of the following ways:

  • Exact floor plans can be obtained through CAD drawing with precise measurements.
  • Appropriate square footage can be assigned for each merchandise category.
  • Detailed planograms can be prepared striking a happy balance of available space, and merchandise.
  • A detailed plan can be prepared, considering detailed fixture, and component dimensions.

Benefits of Space Planning:

Adequate space planning techniques enable the retailer to have end-to-end control of merchandise. This display will attract more customers, minimizes stockouts and operating costs, enables inventory productivity, and increases the financial performance and ultimately more profits for the retail outlet. Retailers can drive top line sales, and achieve good overall returns on their invested amount of capital.


The traditional space planning process is altered meeting with the localized needs of customers. Retailers should move away from developing prototype store layouts, as no two stores look alike. They should maintain store specific plans by gaining more knowledge about their stores.


Effective planning of the retail space and managing it in a right way is the key factor in the lifecycle of merchandise planning and execution. More retailers are adopting the fact that space management is an integral part of any retail business.


References:


  1. "Lifecycle Space Planning", White Paper of Oracle Retail, Images Business of Fashion, Vol: XI, No: 8, August 2010.
  2. http://retail.about.com/
  3. http://www.smallbusinessnotes.com
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Published On Friday, September 03, 2010
 
 
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