The Importance Of Space For Brands & Retailers

Whether you are a brand, a retailer or operator, one of the big questions in retail is how should you allocate space in a Travel Retail. There are a number of ways to do this but today I want to share 5 common pitfalls with regards to space planning.

Before I start, I do need to stress the importance of space. Whether you are a brand wanting more space or a retailer trying to manage space, space planning is a critical but often overlooked function. As one of my old managers once taught me – a product will not sell itself from the stock room.

So why is space so critical?

Well, if you want to grow sales as much as possible, you need to ensure that the space is working as hard as it can. There is no room for products, brands or categories that do not add value to the store.

Over the last 15 years I have been heavily involved in Space Planning and have delivered store layouts that have led to 15% to 25% growth. These are 5 of the most common pitfalls that can be avoided when working with retail space. Here are 5 common ones to avoid.

1. Not Using To Scale Floor Plans

One of the biggest issues I see is using drawings of floor plans that are not to scale. There is a very significant chance that what you sketch out will not fit in practice. I once saw a design agency recommend a central till point (tip – never use central till points) but they didn’t use any scale. Once I had drawn it up in AutoCAD, it was clear that it was not practical in that size of store.

2. Forgetting Assortment

There is often a disconnect between space and product. Shops do not have rubber shelves. Make the range fit the space or the space fit the range (sometimes this is a necessity, particularly in Beauty). Stock sent to stores that never reaches the shelves can end up impacting future strategy.

3. Using Sales Per Metre to Make Space Decisions

Sales per Metre has its uses (£/m) but not as a definitive guide to space allocation. The reason for this is down to the what is behind that number. There are a variety of influences over this metric. A key influence on space productivity is Price Point. I will write a separate article on this in the coming weeks to provide more detail.

4. Not Using Planograms

Planograms might seem like a time consuming process but planograms are actually a great way to drive efficiency and improve store standards. Planograms give greater control over the assortment in store, the amount on display and the way they are presented. This simplifies things for the front line staff meaning they can focus on selling!

5. Lack of Generic Space

It is tempting to sell space, to have the store filled with personalisations. Whilst this is a good idea in principle, it means that space can become very inefficient. If Brand X and Brand Y have bought the same amount of space in store but Brand X outsells Brand Y 3 to one, you might have issues with out of stocks. This could mean lost sales. Have the ability to flex space is key and this can be achieved by having more Generic space.

I will go into more detail in coming weeks but this highlights some of the pitfalls in Space Planning I have discovered over the last 15 years.

Finally, TR Knowledge is going to be re-branded in the next week or so. It will be the same “great content” (readers feedback) but under a different brand. You will still be able to reach it under the web address.

As ever, thank you for reading.