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Space Management, a Fundamental Aspect in Retail


After one look at this planet, a visitor from outer space would say- “I want to see the manager”. – William S Burroughs

Have you ever found an unseen force guiding you to walk in a specific direction while walking in a store? No, I am not talking about ghost and spirits. It’s just that you wish to buy ice cream but the store guides you past fruit aisle, groceries and then comes your ice-cream passage. As a result, you feel like you have walked around more than expected. And now everything seems pretty confusing, right? The following post provides a crystal clear idea on what is space management and how it can impact the way shoppers navigate a retail store, recognize and find the products you want. And also influence your buying behavior.

Let us understand the term space planning?

Being a retailer your goal is not just to attract customers but even drive sales by improving their shopping experience. So what you can think of is, aisle navigation, unique product displays, basically, it’s all about creating an ultimate shopping destination. Space planning or space management is nothing but organizing in-store elements in such a way that they automatically create a customer flow. It’s more like an unseen map showing you the road to featured products. Let’s take an example of a grocery store- It will always lead you to fresh foods and then you can buy processed foods later.

For better space management, one definitely requires to do some research on buyers, customer demand, and competitors and then think of repositioning your products, shelves, and aisles.

Significance of Space Management

  1. It ensures you to use your store efficiently
    Let us assume for a while that you are having a small storage space. Which means it’s time for you to merchandise very strategically. If not done, chances are there that your customer may feel uncomfortable and leave before exploring your store. Organizing appropriately will eventually prevent your store feeling cluttered. Make sure to offer enough space for the customer to walk around and browse freely.
  2. Customers feel at home
    Customer’s experience has to be one of the major concerns. Which means you must always aim to ensure that the customer feels at home. They must be comfortable right from the moment they walk into your store until the time they walk out. In addition to this, try placing things in such a way that your customer is able to find what they are looking for easily and quickly.
  3. Of course, it improves the revenue
    Space placing has the potential to improve your overall revenue. Having strategic placement of products will make it easy for your valuable customers to discover something they never knew they needed.

Space planning techniques include

  • Enter the Decompression Zone- First and foremost step is to create something in the retail interior design that opens the mind of your customer to shop. Something that’s inviting or tempting. In addition to this, try making the space in such a way that it makes them feel safe and secure.A good decompression zone comprises of:
    • Welcomes you by giving you a little space
    • Flower displays at the entrance usually entice customers to come inside
    • Provides a wide, open space, that’s free from clutter
    • Allows easy entrance into the store with an overview of the merchandise
    • Has no distracting marketing or advertising gimmicks.
  • Clockwise or counter-clockwise- It is very critical for retailers to make it easy for shoppers to find the products they are in particular looking for. So what can be done is plan everything in such a way that goes counter-clockwise, from right to left, because most of the population is right-handed and will instinctively turn to the right. You can even consider going anti-clockwise.
  • Visual Appeal by Blocking- Have you ever heard about the triangular composition or tiered formation? It is the art of providing visual appeal by using style, or color, blocking certain products together – high at the back, tumbling to low in the front. In addition to this, consider using a center feature and merchandise out symmetrically, placing best seller items in a prominent visual location, enticing you to buy through visual appeal.