Typical Store Architecture
While branding and store advertising will differ from company to company, the layout of a supermarket remains virtually unchanged. Although big companies spend time giving consumers a pleasant shopping experience, the design of a supermarket is directly connected to the in-store marketing that supermarkets must conduct in order to get shoppers to spend more money while there.
Every aspect of the store is mapped out and attention is paid to colour, wording and even surface texture. The overall layout of a supermarket is a visual merchandising project that plays a major role in retailing. Stores can creatively use a layout to alter customers’ perceptions of the atmosphere. Alternatively, they can enhance the store’s atmospherics through visual communications (signs and graphics), lighting, colours, and even scents. For example, to give a sense of the supermarket being healthy, fresh produce is deliberately located at the front of the store. In terms of bakery items, supermarkets usually dedicate 30 to 40 feet of store space to the bread aisle.
Supermarkets are designed to
"give each product section a sense of individual difference and this is evident in the design of what are called the anchor departments; fresh produce, dairy, delicatessen, meat and the bakery"
. Each section has different floor coverings, style, lighting and sometimes even individual services counters to allow shoppers to feel as if there are a number of markets within this one supermarket.
Marketers use well researched techniques to try control purchasing behaviour. The layout of a supermarket is considered by some to consist of a few rules of thumb and three layout principles. The high draw products are placed in separate areas of the store to keep drawing the consumer through the store. High impulse and high margin products are placed in the most predominant areas to grab attention. Power products are placed on both sides of the aisle to create increased product awareness, and end caps are used to receive high exposure of a certain product whether on special, promotion or in a campaign, or a new line. 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 to. 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, milk are found at the rear of the store to increase the start of circulation. Cashier’s desks are placed in a position to promote circulation and produce is located near the entrance of the supermarket to create a fresh and healthy image. The entrance will be on the right hand side because research has shown that consumers who travel in a clockwise direction spend more (Browne, p. 60). 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. One theory suggests 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 tooth paste is next to or adjacent the tooth brushes 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. Consumer psychologists suggest that most buyers tend to enter the store and shop to their right first. suggests supermarket marketers use this theory to their advantage by placing their temporary displays of products on the right hand side to entice you to make an un-planned purchase. Furthermore aisle ends are extremely popular with product manufacturers, who pay top dollar to have their products located there (Browne, 2010). These isle ends are used as major draw cards to lure customers into making a snap purchase and to also entice them to shop down the isle. The most obvious place supermarket layout has an impact on consumers is at the checkout. Small displays of chocolates, magazines and drinks are located at each checkout to tempt shoppers while they wait to be served. Other effective but simple store layout techniques include the milk and bread located at the rear of the store, forcing shoppers to walk through the isles and hopefully purchase another product. Additionally fruit and vegetables are placed at the front of the store to give the supermarket a fresh and healthy image.
Read more about this topic: Supermarket
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