General Store Layout Design
Planning a layout for a business store is a big deal. The design should keep customers in mind as they are revenue generators and provide profits to your business. A thoughtfully created layout will help you in getting better returns with immediate effect. Here we guide you in creating a general store layout
Store Layout Plan: Depending upon the size of the store, large or small, single story or multistorey the store plan should be able to showcase all the products to the shoppers without much effort. The general store layout is mostly grid-style as it allows showcasing and storage of a wide range of products. The layout allows quick guidance about the predictable products in the gridline. A grid floor plan efficiently utilizes the complete floor and the wall space. All the displays will be in parallel rows and both the sides of the rows will have a specific group of items. It helps in easy navigation for the customers and categorization of products for the owners. The end of each grid can have a basket which can contain promotional items which are available at discounted prices, seasonal or new introductions.
Grid layout has its disadvantages as well, the customers will be familiar with the positioning of the product and they tend to go directly to the product area grab and leave the place.
Before you actually plan to execute the store layout, draw it in a paper and check the practical feasibilities and the difficulties which can arise to the customers and the management. If your space permits, a combination of grid and loop layout can be designed along with free flow area in the center section.
The pathways: The product should be displayed considering the traffic and the expected flow of customers in the area along a defined path. Shopping should be a comfortable experience where the customer doesn’t have to wander around searching for the products. As soon as a customer enters the space they tend to see the right side of the store, this is the right place to keep star products and provide information about the store. The store layout should have sufficient space to allow the free flow of traffic. Many people avoid going to crowded places as it does not give them a proper place and privacy to shop. The customer’s bodies may brush which people don’t like it.
Do not keep the hot or discounted products in the front portion of the store as it causes crowding and may reduce the number of customers coming to the store, as the store looks quite crowdy.
The aisles should have sufficient space to allow the free-flow of customers. It should be wide and allow easy pick-up and carriage in a trolley. Spacious pathways show effective store layout
Once you are done with the layout and have to start with fixtures and display, have a clear mind about the products and the display holder. Many times it happens that the display rack will not be able to hold the product as per the expectations.
Fixtures and Displays:
Fixtures and displays are available in all styles, size, and shapes; you should have a vigilant eye to select the best suitable one for your store depending upon the space and the requirement. Overcrowding with fixtures and displays will give a clumsy look with empty racks. Certain sections in the layout design are fixed such as lighting, fixed doors and shelves and maybe certain counters. Displays and furniture can be moved from one place to another. The furniture and fixtures should be in coordination with each other and should give the feel of the type of store (general store, pharmacy, etc). The display units selected should be able to withstand the weight and size of the products. The material of the display unit should be strong and compliment the look of the product which is being displayed. Try to install a maximum of movable displays and fixture, this will help you in changing the outlook of the stores easily and also gives a new feel to the customers.
Digital Display is also a good option. It is optional to keep it with sound or without sound. It will help the customers to know the new products included promotions, upcoming events and customer reviews about the products and the store.
All the products should be kept categorized such as all dairy products together, cereals together and spices together/. Primary items are those which are used regularly and these items are placed at the rear end so that the customer passes through secondary items and reach primary items, this increases the chances of customers buying more products.
Customers will be busy catching their requirement; there should be power walls, speed bumps, and merchandise outposts to slow down the customers. A power wall need not necessarily be at the front side of the store, any place in the store which can be eye-catching can be a power wall. Make sure you highlight the information in the most attractive way, so the customers don’t miss the signboard. The area after the decompression zone is the best to display the promotional items. The designing of the layout should be from right to left pattern.
Seating: This will attract more number of customers as the person accompanying can have a comfortable stay while the other shops. Try to include a small portion at the checkout area, lounge or baggage area with some chair or stools.
The shopping baskets and the trolleys should be big enough to allow a number of goods. If the trolleys are small then the customers may find it difficult to get another one. The empty trolley will accommodate more products when compared to a filled one.
Checkout Counters: This should always be on the left side of the entrance and it is the natural exit after completing the shopping. Checkout counters should never be kept on the right-hand side instead the place should be used for displays and promotions.
Near the checkout, one can place low-cost items which can be of daily use such as chewing gums, mouth fresheners, and chocolates for kids, OTC medicines can be very helpful in increasing such product sales.
Discuss layout with the product vendors, they can also provide inputs and also give better-merchandising ideas. They also provide display units at little or no cost as it helps in their brand promotion and also your exposure of the product to customers. Retail fixture and display companies can also be helpful in developing the revenue-generating layout.
Utilizing the expert services gives a professional look to the store and many hurdles can be overcome. In case you are determined to start on your own; you can check the online resources for a better outcome. Note, an investment in the effective layout of the general store will bring good returns!