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Store layout and visual merchandising are factors that contribute to the uniqueness of a store.
The exterior and interior of a store convey several messages about the store to the consumers.
The building that houses retail store and the exterior design of the store are important aspects
of the design of the store. Marquees, walkways, entrances, doors, display windows, the height
and size of the building, colors and materials used, and theft prevention are some of the key
factors to be kept in mind while developing a store. There are three kinds of layouts - grid
layout, race track layout and freeform layout.
Allocating space to various merchandise categories in a store is very important.
Allocation of space can be based on many factors, like historical sales, gross margins,
industry averages and strategic objectives. Apart from allocating space to various merchandise
categories, space has to be allocated for carrying out some essential functions. Such space
includes the back room for receiving the inventories and sorting them out, office and other
functional spaces, aisles and customer service desks, floor space and wall space. The interior
of a store influences the purchasing behavior of the customers to a great extent. Designing the
interior of a store in such a way as to influence customer behavior is referred to as visual
merchandising. It includes optimum and appropriate use of fixtures, displays, color, lighting,
music, scent, ceilings and floor, and designing all of these properly. Merchandise presentation
is the most significant aspect of store design, because it helps attract customers' attention. A
retailer can resort to many forms of presentation such as idea-oriented presentation, itemoriented presentation, price lining, color presentation, vertical merchandising, tonnage
merchandising and frontal presentation.
Prevention of losses due to merchandise pilferage is a major cause of concern for all
retailers. This issue should be addressed at the initial stage of store design. The retailer can
use many electronic security systems like CCTV for the prevention of such losses. Thus, by
appropriately integrating the various elements of store design, a retailer can create an
excellent image of itself in the target customer's mind.
In manufacturing, facility layout consists of configuring the plant site with lines,
buildings, major facilities, work areas, aisles, and other pertinent features such as department
boundaries. An efficient layout can reduce unnecessary material handling, help to keep costs
low, and maintain product flow through the facility.

Managing space is the first and foremost concern of almost every retailer, when it comes to
designing the store's interior. Space is always an expensive and scarce resource. Retailers
always try to maximize the return on sales per square foot. Planning a layout for the store's
interior is the first step in designing the store's interior.

Walking Space
A good retail store layout allows for sufficient walking space for customers. The aisles must
be wide enough to accommodate traffic flowing in both directions. If the store provides
shopping carts, then there must also be space for customers to stop near a product display and
park a cart without disrupting the flow of traffic. The ability of customers to easily navigate
your aisles is important in retail layout design.
The layout of your retail store should allow customers to enter from the front and be
encouraged to walk to the back of the store. This increases the amount of time that the
customers spend in the store and boosts the chances that they will buy more product. Spread
the better-selling items out among the shelves to encourage customers to browse the entire
store to find what they want. The layout of aisles should be a horseshoe design that brings
customers through the front door with impulse products and some high-demand items, works
customers to the back of the store with higher-priced items and then allows them to exit
through aisles of more impulse items at the cash register locations.

Eye Level
Putting products at the proper eye level will help to improve sales. But it is important to
remember whose eye level you are trying to reach. If you are trying to sell a tennis racket to
adults, then put the tennis racket at adult eye level. A toy you are trying to sell to children
needs to be at a child's eye level.
Display Cases
Display cases serve several important functions in the layout of a retail store. Expensive
product can be put in a lighted display case to draw attention to it. The display case also acts
as a countertop customer interaction area for convenience. For example, if someone sees a
watch he likes in a lighted display case, then the sales associate can quickly pull the watch out
to show the customer. Another function of display cases is that they can be placed near the
cash register area and act as another impulse buy area for customers. You can increase the
effectiveness of a display case at the cash-out area by putting a sales associate there to engage
customers and answer questions.
Objectives of the Store Environment

Get customers into the store

Serves a critical role in the store selection process
Important criteria include cleanliness, labeled prices, accurate and pleasant checkout

clerks, and well-stocked shelves

The store itself makes the most significant and last impression

Once they are inside the store, convert them into customers buying merchandise. The more
merchandise customers are exposed to that is presented in an orderly manner, the more they
tend to buy. Retailers focusing more attention on in-store marketing by emphasize in the store,
in the form of store design, merchandise presentation, visual displays, and in-store
promotions, should lead to greater sales and profits. Bottom line it is easier to get a
consumer in the store to buy more merchandise than planned to get a new consumer to come
into the store).

Example of Retail Layout in Typical Hypermarket

Store design and layout tells a customer what the store is all about and it is very
strong tool in the hands of the retailer for communicating and creating the image of the
store in the mind of the customers. The overall look of a store and the series of mental
pictures and feelings it evokes within the beholder. For the retailer, developing a powerful
image provides the opportunity to embody a single message, stand out from the competition
and be remembered.
A successful store layout is not by accident. Before a sales space is designed, the
designer has to have accumulated extensive knowledge of whom his design is ultimately
targeted to appeal to. This is an elemental step that many designers fail to consider. The store
should look good through the eyes of a customer profile that you have predetermined offers
your store the best chance for success.
Exposing shoppers to more products is the goal of good grocery store layout.
Successful grocery store layouts influence traffic flow, and guide shoppers through the entire
sales space. The layouts should encourage customers to discover new products and specialty
items. Retail layout affects customers shop time, incremental sales and ultimately,
profitability. If your target customers are bargain shoppers concerned only with price, then a
straightforward traditional grocery store layout might adequately address the needs. Retail

store operators who target the price sensitive customers often run parallel aisles that demand a
more self-reliant shopping experience in order to lower payroll which may in turn helps foster
lower prices.
Store managers who target this group of customers invest more resources in inventory
management and less in customer service. Even then, creating a layout featuring leading
visuals of related products can help guide customers through the store and increase their
shopping time. Free flowing areas allow more customer interaction, which along with the
sales assistance, often appeals to upmarket customers. The upscale grocery store layout may
include more entertainment and design elements which are also intended to lengthen the time
customers spend in the store. These elements contribute to a pleasant shopping experience
which will produce more sales.


Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen from a
market stall in Londons East End. Over the years the
business has grown and now operating in 12 countries around the world, employ over 530,000
people and serve tens of millions of customers every week.
Their physical presence in Malaysia comes through a network of 49 hypermarkets,
which are serviced by two state of the art distribution centres in Selangor. Since the launch of
the business in 2002, Tesco opened many stores across Peninsular Malaysia. In total, Tesco
stores in Malaysia have a combined floor space of over 4 million square feet. With the
influence of the internet increasing, two thirds of Malaysians have access to the internet.
Following the launch of grocery home shopping in 2013, the business grew their grocery
home shopping business in its first year of operation in the country. Offering a wide range of
4,000 own brand products 90% of which are sourced in Malaysia. They include Tesco
Value, Choice and Finest, as well as specialist ranges such as a Lighter Choices.
In Tesco, they believe the first principle of layout is circulation. Circulation is created
by arranging product so the supermarket can control the traffic flow of the consumer. Along
this path there will be high-draw, high-impulse items that will influence the consumer to
purchase which he or she did not intend. Service areas such as rest rooms are placed in a
location which draws the consumer past certain products to create extra buys. Necessity items
such as bread and milk are found at the rear of the store to increase the start of circulation.
Cashiers' desks are placed in a position to promote circulation. The entrance will be on the
right-hand side because research has shown that consumers who travel in a counter-clockwise
direction spend more.
The second principle of layout is coordination. Coordination is the organised
arrangement of product that promotes sales. Products such as fast-selling and slow-selling
lines are placed in strategic positions in aid of the overall sales plan. Managers sometimes
place different items in fast-selling places to increase turnover or to promote a new line.
The third principle is consumer convenience. The layout of a supermarket is designed
to create a high degree of convenience to the consumer to make the shopping experience
pleasant. This is done through the character of merchandising and product placement. There
are many different ideas and theories in relation to layout and how product layout can
influence the purchases made.


implemented the theory that certain products are placed together or near one another that are
of a similar or complementary nature to increase the average customer spend. This strategy is
used by retailers to create cross-category sales similarity. In other words, the toothpaste is
next to or adjacent the toothbrushes and the tea and coffee are down the same isle as the sweet
biscuits. These products complement one another and placing them near is one way marketers
try to increase purchases.
Tesco is taking advantage of their high shopper traffic levels by placing high impulse,
low priced items at the entrance to their store. Knowing that foot traffic exceeds 30 million
every week, it strategically makes sense to capitalize on this astounding number. The items in
this department range from $1 to $10, but if the impulse items at the entrance are able to add
even just $0.50 to the average basket size, Tesco will see a $15 million increase in revenue.

Tesco is also known as one of the most successful retailer for the store layout and visual
merchandising. Every Tesco store has a good division of regions for each department. The
graph below clearly indicate every department of a Tesco Hypermarket, the left part is for the
grocery areas, which include all the frozen food, bakery and dairy food; the middle part is for
the apparel and housing products, also includes pharmacy, toys and electronics; the right side
of the store has garden products. The service layout creates an open shopping environment
that helps customers find what they are looking for quickly.

Tesco keep the layout of the stores the same regardless the location. This helps the customers
feel conformable when they walk into the Tesco stores wherever the location of the stores
they have entered. If you visit a Tesco store in Selangor, Malaysia and visit another one in
London, UK, you will notice that the store layout is very much the same, every department
whether it is clothing, electronics, foods, they will be located in the same general area as the
other stores. It will save customers time as they shop for everyday necessities.
Tesco management department will take care of the placement of every product in
order to benefit both the customers and stores sales. As an example, in the Tesco stores, you
will find out that some of the high seller products such as milk and eggs are placed at the end
of the container, but at the same time it is visible to the customer as they walk in. Therefore
the customer has to pass many low-sales products in order to get these best sellers. Tesco

keeps using this strategy to balance the sales of different goods, which helps to organize the
supply chain.
And that would be the best element they can adopt to enhance consumers purchasing
behavior as well as to boost the sales of the store based on how do they design the layout of
the retails interior design.
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