The article below features the location of a store that stocks men’s wear. This store shall is located at College Town Mall. This store is the investment of College Men’s Unlimited. The latter offers traditional apparel to male clients. Their target market is men in both the upper as well as middle classes. The Mall sits on 2800 square feet (40’ × 70’) rectangular piece of land. The owners, Mike and Earl are set to give the Mall developer the required design layout for the new store. The following report gives the desired layout of the store as will be implemented by the Mall developer.
Retail design is very essential as it aids customers in buying what they want from a store. Research indicates that over 65% of customers are bound to make their buying choices while in the store (Croston, n.d., p.1). Despite the fact that there are many aspects of attracting loyal customers and marketing ones’ products, the visual arrangement of the products plays a major role in luring customers into making decisions that they didn’t have before they visited the store.
The essay entails a description of the new men’s store layout, arrangement of the merchandise, the store and office allowances, and the arrangement of counters among other considerations. The report also includes a brief description of the exterior design that should be incorporated into the layout.
Design Layout of the new men’s store
According to Waters (2010, p.1), “A well-planned retail store layout allows a retailer to maximize the sales for each square foot of the allocated selling space within the store.” The 2800 square feet of the Mall should be divided into two at a ratio of 1:9, which is the size of the office to that of the store. That leaves a 4’ × 7’ office space for the owners which should be located on the rear side of the store away from the main entrance and the windows. The office should be separated from the main store by a permanent or temporal wall. Part of the office space should be divided to give room for a changing room with mirrors on the walls.
This will leave enough space for customer traffic and other merchandise. The store design and the floor plan are determined by the amount of space available, any permanent fixtures in the store, customer traffic patterns within the store, and the location of the permanent fixtures (Waters, 2010, p.1). Since the new men’s Mall is rectangular, a straight floor plan will be the most economical design that should be embraced.
This will allow for the utilization of the walls and other fixtures such as racks and Gondola shelving units in creating small spaces within the main store (Waters, 2010, p.2). The shelves can also be fixed permanently on the walls at a reasonable height and width to allow for smooth customer traffic. The remaining space within the store should be occupied by sturdy and permanent racks if possible, that should run parallel to each other. The racks should occupy as much space as possible while leaving enough space for customer traffic in between two adjacent racks.
Arrangement of counters
Varley (2001, p.163) states that “If the product range and the business outlet work in harmony, the retailer’s positioning strategy is reinforced, but if they work in conflict, the positioning will be unclear to customers, who will become confused and disappointed.” The store managers or owners are the ones to occupy the counter and they should be positioned at a strategic place. The counters should be located near the exit door if possible or the main entrance in case the store is to have only one door that serves as an exit and entrance for convenience’s sake and to avoid shop-lifting. The counters may also consist of full vision display cases, half vision display cases, or wrap counters.
One way of appealing and keeping the customers’ attention is by creating a favourable environment for shopping. Waters (2010) states that “One key way of achieving the above objective is to use compelling, interchangeable store fixtures and retail display systems to keep the store interesting, attractive and appealing.” The interior of the store should be decorated with colors that do not distract from the merchandise. Since the store is bound to be visited by different kinds of customers, the materials used should withstand wear and tear.
Clothes should not be folded in the store as this will make it hard for the customers to choose different sizes and also, folded clothes may be hard to be folded back to the original style. Instead, hangers, 2-way display racks, 4-way garment racks, body forms, and mannequins should be used in displaying various kinds of clothes in the store. Other fixtures that can help in displaying the clothes include; round rack garment display and grid merchandisers. When merchandising one should consider the following elements of merchandising; asymmetrical balance within the display, do not display too many items at a go, consider the focal points, and place the largest items in the display first. Colour is known to influence the mood thus it is important to place the items with attractive colors where they can catch the customers’ attention fast. The display should also have the signage or price tag.
According to Varley (2001, p.170), the external environment of the store says a lot about what that particular store stands for. The exterior of the store consists of the fascia (the name of the store, the graphics, the logo, exterior lighting that highlights the store name and the colours), the windows, and the entrance. These things build the retail store’s image and identity which is then incorporated into the impression that the customers create about the store. Thus, these should be considered in order to attract more customers and increase sales. The entrance should also be designed in such a way that it is accessible to all customers. The entrance should also allow for easy accessibility by customers on wheelchairs and buggies. The entrance should also be secured on occasions when the store is not operational.
The report has identified the various considerations to be made when designing the layout for the new men’s store. The discussion also reflected on the various elements to be considered by the retailer when merchandising. The other factors discussed in the report include, the various considerations to be made when designing the external layout of the store.
As it can be noted from the discussion above that both the external and internal environments of a business premise speak volumes about what the owner stands for. Owners need to take note of the changing fashion designs so as to keep up with the changing trends.
- Croston, G. (n.d.). Attractive displays attract customers: GJ plastics Ltd. Google docs.
- Varley, R. (2002). Retail products management: buying and merchandising. (2nd ed). New York: Routledge. Web.
- Waters, S. (2010). Creating attractive displays: visual display tips. About.com Guide. Web.