Space planning is simply, or not…”how much product should I put in my stores?”
A simple question with a complex answer and a history of misconceptions as long as your linear metre arm. Indeed, often the first transformation in space planning is to change the traditional mind-set mantra – “the more product you put in your stores, the more you will sell!” We’ve all heard that one, but hopefully not recently.
We need to replace that way of thinking because there is in fact an absolute most commercial product density – the number of options per square metre for any retail business. Unsurprisingly it’s somewhat less than infinity, and we can prove it, given half a chance.
The simple fact is that the correct options per square metre presents enough product for the store to have a realistic chance of commercial success whilst at the same time controlling that volume, allowing for an attractive display for customers and a manageable process for store personnel.
This process of transforming space planning mentalities will subsequently cover parameters including options per square metre, options per linear metre, unit depth, conversion of square metres to linear metres, furniture capacities, backroom space allocation as well as leading to the heady heights of store grading and assortment clusters. But that’s for another day…or many.
Transforming a retail business into one which works with the correct display densities has repercussions across many functions from the buying of the product to the presentation of fixtures.
But however complex or painful, transforming space planning through integrated workshops and store planning exercises is worth more than its weight in sweat, blood and tears. The benefits of improved business integration as much important as the ceremonial unveiling of the magic option density number.
When it comes to physical stores…physics matters!
What goes in must come out! Putting in the right amount in the first place is the starting point to making sure that equation works.
In summary, in space planning, firstly we transform the mind, then the maths and finally the management!
So now, what about you?
Does everyone in your business agree on what amount of product should go into your stores?
Are you in need of space planning transformation?