Interior store design is a function of the aesthetics within the store, the merchandise sold within and the space used for the same and the overall layout of the store.
Let us now consider each of these areas. The first factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the amount of space allocated within the store for the merchandise. This is often termed space planning.
Space planning helps a retailer determine the amount of space available for selling and for storage. It also helps determine the following:
1) The location of various departments
2) The location of various products within the department – the creation of planograms
3) The pros /cons of specific locations for impulse products, destination areas, seasonal products, products with specific merchandising needs or adjacent departments (complementary goods).
4) The relationship of space to profitability.
Space planning is not only an element of retail design but is also an element of merchandise management / category management. Since category / merchandise managers are responsible for the overall profitability of the merchandise, it is linked to the retail space allocated for the merchandise within the store.
When one walks into a department store, one rarely thinks about the reason behind the location of various departments and the placement of products. The retailer has to take into account various factors while determining the location of various departments. The first factor that is taken into consideration is the amount of traffic generated by that department and the potential sales. The items having high demand and a fair amount of traffic are not necessarily placed near the entrance of the store. They are usually located in low traffic areas. Products like fragrances, jewelry and cosmetics which are largely impulse items, may be placed near the entrance of the store. For example, retailer like Shopper’s stop places impulse items on the ground level of the store. Products like men’s wear, women’s wear, children’s wear and casual wear are placed at a higher level in the multi level store. After the acquisition of the bookstore chain Crossword, Crossword Corners have been placed in the children’s and home section. This has been done to encourage footballs of women and children into the book corner.
An analysis of the footfalls in the department, the sales potential of the various departments and a basket analysis of what customers are likely to buy are required. Ideally merchandise should be laid out in a manner that customers would buy rather than mere departments. For example in the women’s wear section, handbags and footwear and accessories may be placed in a co-ordinated manner along with the clothes.
Many retailers adopt cross mix merchandising which enables a customer to visualize how various products would look together. Retailers may also create areas within the store where all products may be displayed together. For example in the home section, all the products that may be used in a bathroom may be displayed together. This helps the customers visualize how various products would look together and also encourage purchases.
Retailers very often, resort to merchandising similar products together, enables the customers to efficiently use their time while in the store. Placing similar products together inside the store is called creating shop interior, anchor area or niche. This is sometimes called creating a store within a store. These areas are the basic building blocks of the store and retailers most commonly, use this type of interior organization. When you create an anchor area, merchandise is usually placed together according to similarity in product, brand, color or texture. For instance, in the home section, all lamps may be in one section, while all the bed sheets etc., will be in another. This product grouping allows customers to quickly find what they are looking for and to see the breadth of a product category offered.