Visual merchandising is a necessary step in the retail space planning process. To make the best use of the space you have, it is best to come up with a floor plan to visualize how your products and fixtures will be set throughout the store. There are several methods to go about creating effective floor plans for retail spaces, but make sure you don’t fall into common mistakes when planning your space.
What is floor planning?
One of the most important objectives for a retailer is to maximize the space available for selling products. Retail floor planning involves positioning gondolas/fixtures carrying products to create departments and aisles within them to achieve this. At the same time it is important to provide the customer with an appealing shopping experience. Once this is accomplished, the retailer can analyze the performance of each department and/or category and make changes by re-positioning these departments and the amount of space assigned to these departments. The goal is to optimize the use of space and maximize profits.
Common floor planning mistakes or oversights seen in established retailers’ spaces
It can be easy to focus on getting your products in front of your customers. It is essential that, while merchandising your store, to consider these common floor planning mistakes:
- Not allowing the easy flow of traffic through the retail space – positioning the aisles to allow easy flow of traffic is essential to facilitating the shopping experience and increasing shoppers’ satisfaction and loyalty
- Failing to maximize key “hotspot” areas – strategic placement of promotional or high profit products within high traffic areas ensures good exposure of such products
- Inconsistent flow of departments – when certain product ranges that should be found in the same place are not, this confuses the shopper and runs the risk of lost sales
Your store needs to make sense to the customer and follow common practices. For example, 90% of shoppers turn right when they enter a store. It should be easy for customers to locate products they’re looking for and navigate throughout the displays.
Scorpion’s suggestions for fixing common floor planning mistakes
Scorpion software provides a variety of reports and analysis such as hotspot analysis that provides a clear overview of the state of the floor space and categories. As part of Scorpion’s Gold Standard Support Pledge, we share our experiences and key findings with our clients and strive to provide the best merchandising practices and work with our clients to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership.
How improved floor planning can increase sales and profits
A good example of how optimal floor planning can improve profits would be a retailer that has taken an existing floor plan and recreated it using floor planning. The retailer analyzed the sales data and then made changes by repositioning key departments or high-profit fixtures based on performance and traffic flow and then reviewing the data after a trial period and comparing the “before” and “after” results.
A successful example that Scorpion had was a busy supermarket where Scorpion conducted store and category range reviews. Just by changing the product assortment, the supermarket has experienced a sales increase of between 10.8% and 22% across all categories.
Steps retailers can take when planning their store to ensure common mistakes are avoided
If you’re considering an overhaul of your store’s floor planning strategy, you should consider Scorpion as your go-to tool for optimizing your floor plans. Investing in store planning software, and more specifically by utilizing Scorpion Floor Planning, the retailer will:
- Save time by first applying the changes within the software and ensuring they make sense before making the physical changes at the store level
- Decrease costs in the form of retail shelving, staff, wasted floor space and time
- Utilize every square foot of the retail space
Ease the shopper’s experience when browsing and shopping
Maximize profits by listening to shoppers’ demand and reevaluating the store data on a regular basis to keep up to date with what shoppers want