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Four key terms should be considered while designing floor layout
Foot fall refers to route retailer wishes customers to follow. The route customer takes to walk in the store. Walkways refer to path for walking. When customers enter the store they will be confused to which way to take like right, left or forward. Retailers should help them to decide which ways to walk in the store. Sight lines and focal points help them to explore the shop.
Sight lines refer to imaginary lines which lead customers to special areas in the store and to certain products. Focal points can be merchandise which is carefully arranged, an attractive display, an eye catching display of key brand which catches the attention of the customers. Sight lines should go in hand with focal point.
Next step in floor layout plan is deciding where to position the products. Key brands are placed first in the store as they generate more profit. Spaces should be filled to effectively use the floor. If customers see the same type of products they will get bored in such cases fixtures with products in-between will grab the customer’s attention and prevents boredom. Proper mixture of fixtures and display helps in creating customer comfort. Finally, place should be allotted for cash desks and changing rooms. cash desk and changing rooms are bronze area ( back of the store) which is less profit area will be a best decision because customers will have a look at entire store before reaching cash desk.
After planning the store layout fixtures should be decided to place the merchandise. Choosing the correct fixture is not easy. Selecting the structure that holds merchandise in the store is little bit difficult task but if done properly it produces sales
Mid-Floor fixture is free standing fixture carrying merchandise where customers can shop from any angle. Large fixture should not be used to display small items because they will get lost. The different mid floor fixtures are gondolas, tables, furniture , found objects. They are used to display home ware and fashion items.
Gondola fixture is generally used in departmental stores and also stores selling home and food items. Gondolas are rectangular which have shelves on four sides. Ends of gondolas are referred as end caps.larger items are placed at the bottom of the gondola and smaller items are placed at the top.
Table is a known object to the customer so they feel free to shop from the table. Clothes are mostly displayed on the table.
Furniture can be used to present home ware items, hanging items, jewellery. Cupboards and cabinets are used in presenting the merchandise. Clothing in open wardrobe grabs more attention than items on closed cupboards. If the items are placed on cupboards spotlight should be used to highlight the product.
Flinths, trunks and basket are some found objects.
Vendor fixture is given by vendor to the retailer to display branded products of the vendor. The advantage of vendor fixture is it will not cost the retailer and disadvantage is it may not fit with retailer’s store.
Specialist fixtures are specially designed to hold certain item. In reliance and D’Mart open chilled fixture are specially designed to place perishable items and milk products
Wall Fixtures are used as a backdrop for product and they generate more sales and got occupy less space. In incorporating wall fixtures retailers use slat wall and grid systems, fixed rails and fixed shelves. Wall fixtures are used to display fashion items, homewares and hanging cloth items. Slot wall is wood panels which are laminated or painted and directly fixed on the wall. Grid wall is wire grid which is fixed onto the wall and bracket clips into it. Fixed rail is sturdy and carries garments. Fixed rail is aesthetically appealing than slat walls and grid systems. Slat walls and grid systems are used to display heavy winter wear which fixed rails cannot because end is supported well by wall brackets. Shelves which are fixed on the wall are aesthetically pleasing and are not flexible.
IN STORE DISPLAYS
In-store displays should be attractive as window display because customer spend more time in-store. continuing the same theme for windows to in-store or having different themes in store is retailers wish. Props are used inside the store for presenting display. A piece of art installed inside the store for presentation will not be much profitable compared to products displayed. Plinth or wooden base helps to showcase the presentation. An effective in store display should make the customers spend more time inside the store and browse the products. They should easily convey key trends and merchandise in offers. The showcase products in the display should be in nearby fixture so that customers no need to go far away to find the products. Point of sale display is an important in store display which is placed near the queuing area or near the cash counter. Some of the items placed in point of sale display are candy, cool drinks, chocolates and batteries. Point of sale is the last chance for the retailer to make money from the customer. Add on sales is different from point of sale. In Add on sales, salesperson will persuade customers to buy the product.
Eg : sales girls standing near the cosmetic display will influence customers to buy the product by applying product to the customer and explaining about their products unique features and advantages amongst other brand of cosmetics.
Clearance merchandise is more profitable to the retailers. Some stores will announce clearance merchandise once in a year. In January month clearance sale will be announced. The store will put unsold merchandise of previous year in clearance sale. It is mostly done for apparels. Some stores will announce yearly twice and some store will announce some sort of clearance sale all year round. Reliance trends announce some offers all year round. In most of the store clearance sale items are placed at the front of the store in platinum and gold area and merchandise without clearance sale are placed in gold, silver and bronze area. In some store clearance sale will be announced in window display and displayed in bronze area so that customers should browse through the store before reaching the clearance item.
Signage provides information to the customers. In previous years signage is mostly handwritten. Even nowadays in unorganized retail it is handwritten. We can clearly see local shop keepers in busy streets lined with textiles displays chudidhar and saree material for rs.250 written in paper or chart with pen pinned to the clothes. In organized retail mostly communication with customers is through plasma, Led and neon displays. Depends on size of the store signage is selected. Banner is one of the commonly used signage. Signage placed in lifts, stairs and near escalators helps customers to get information about items available in store. In malls signage helps to provide information about stores available in each floor.
Store ambience is definitely an important factor in customers buying decision. Customers like to shop in store with good music, aroma and scents. Restaurants where most of the customers are family and old people play mild music so that customer’s altogether enjoys the dining experience. Restaurant with young and energetic people plays loud music to attract them
Eg : Village – The Soul of India is a restaurant in amanora town centre is a restaurant with village theme. They create the ambience similar to rural India. When customers enter the restaurant they feel as if they were in different India.
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