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This report will discuss the various floor designs that Mike and Earl Moore can choose for their store, College Men’s Unlimited. The store has a space of 2, 800 square feet and rectangular in shape. The design will be based on this information. The layout for the new men’s store will be thoroughly explained by looking at the size, office space, storage needed and where the counters should be placed.
A store layout should be based on the customers’ liking and should be structured in such a way that movement from one category to another is made easy. Each category should be placed in such a way that there is the correct amount of space between each category.
Every square foot of the retail store should be able to explain how it exploits the sales in the store (Grant, 1995). All permanent structures, fixture locations and customer traffic trends should be included and displayed in the layout plan. Factors such: as the location of the building, how much inventory flows in and out of the store and the products being sold directly affects the store’s layout (Fullen, 2004). There are five basic floor plans that best display the most effective plan for maximizing sales.
The straight floor plan is suitable for any type of retail store. It is the most economical design in that it includes walls and fixtures to create small spaces in the space of the retail store. Stores that have definitive categories such as grocery stores, convenience stores, etc. can use this layout plan.
Some restaurants may use a variation of this floor plan such that they create ‘cubicle’ style offices. This layout plan is created to enhance shopping or dining for individuals that know exactly what they’re looking for. Interaction between sales staff and the customers is minimized in this kind of a floor design. However, upper end facilities shouldn’t employ this design because it lacks a value enhanced aesthetic.
The diagonal floor plan allows for ample room and visibility for cashiers and customers. It is a good design for stores that self-service in which the customer serves and pulls what they would like to purchase. It provides better customer interaction as a result of improved sight lines.
The angular floor plan is best suited for exquisite class and forte stores. The soft angles and curves create better traffic flow through-out the retail store. The downside to this kind of plan is that it is very difficult to add any fixtures and changing the plan is very difficult. However, the integrated pieces can work together to produce a high sales margin environment and at the same time ensuring that the space utilized by the merchandise is in an attractive manner.
The geometric floor plan is designed for mainly retail clothing shops. One advantage of this design is that it gives high visibility and traffic flow. It utilizes the angular patterns meant for clothing racks, nesting tables, and riser displays. While using this design, it is important to keep in mind line interaction between various racks and displays.
A preconceived concept of a customer walking in and out as they shop should also be kept in mind when employing this kind of a layout plan. In order to expose more surface area to the consumer, the layout plan should be in such a way that the customer doesn’t travel in a straight line; rather they should be able to swivel their line of site. This promotes merchandize recognition and gives the customer a wide variety of choice.
This floor plan is easy to modify by adding or subtracting display items into the layout plan. This plan should be used as an advertising layout but it also has to be balanced out with aesthetic elements. Care must be taken however so as to avoid creating a plan with areas that are either too full or too sparse.
The mixed floor plan on the other is a blend of the diagonal, angular and straight floor design. This plan allows for monitoring traffic flow. The main aim of this kind of a design is draw attention to the walls of the store where there are displays can exist through various display units.
The design allows for display of categories of items or services through odd number display placements. Each category should have items that are of the same color or style so as to display a particular pattern or to tell a display ‘story’. The walls on the other hand should contain the bulk of items or services under placement. This layout plan requires a highly imaginative planner.
Drawing a layout for a men’s store is a task that should be done by an expert who has a keen eye for detail. The layout of the floor will determine how the merchandize will be presented to the customer. The layout plan has to encourage as well as control the flow of traffic in and out of the store. The store may want to draw customers in by using the front office and window merchandizing. The merchandize should be conveniently located with adequate fitting rooms located near every department.
When designing a layout plan, private areas such as the bathroom, break areas and office apace have to be kept in mind and they should be separated from the public areas. More so, they should be placed in the areas they serve. The entrance of the store has to look like a men’s clothing store and should thus be designed as such (Karlen, 2011).
The front window display should make it clear that it is a men’s store by placing men’s clothing, footwear, hats and other accessories. Placing other items that are not in any way related to men’s clothing will only confuse potential customers.
The interior of the store has to be designed in an organized manner such that clothing for different occasions is accounted for (Piotrowski, 2011). The item density, floor space and display areas should be balanced. Items such as underwear, socks and belts should be located away from passing street traffic. Merchandize such as shoes, formal wear, casual wear and sports-wear should be situated near a front entry wall. Nearby, there should also be a stock room should also be nearby.
The formal, casual and sport categories should be separated. The formal clothing should be situated next to the shoes. It would also be a good idea to situate the sport and casual wear on an opposite wall. Jeans are a part of most men’s wardrobes and they should not be kept together with the casual slacks section. Instead, they should have an entire section on their own.
It is important that all merchandize be arranged in such a way that it directs customer foot traffic appropriately. The check-out area should be elevated to give attending clerks a good view of the service floor and should be located at the center of the store. There should be only one entry and exit area and a fire emergency exit (Waters, 2009).
Having viewed all the above factors, the mixed floor plan is the most recommended for Mike and Earl Moore of College Men’s Unlimited. This option is the best because it allows visibility to serve customers and preventative measures against shop-lifting. College Men’s Unlimited is a high end quality retail men clothing store and therefore security against shop-lifting should be included in the layout design. Below is a pictorial image of the mixed floor design.
The above figure shows that the apparel should be center floor while small items are situated along the wall and registers are placed along the entrance. The store owners should ensure a constant upkeep and regular shelf stocking so as to alert the staff on any shop-lifting incidences. All blind spots should have cameras and mirrors to ensure maximum security.
The outside perimeter of the building should also not be ignored. Lights and camera surveillance should be positioned outside the building. Again this is to ensure security. As an environmental awareness concern, the outside of the building should have waste receptacles to keep trash to a limit and landscaping to include medians with grasslands and trees.
It is important to keep in mind some of the factors that are required when designing the layout plan of a clothing store. One should be able to tell the ‘character’ that they would desire to have for their store.
This can be accomplished by visiting various stores including those that are outside the city and observe their layout, product mix, lighting, floor covering, pricing, use of wall space as well as window displays. The layout plan will be greatly influenced by the amount of space that the store occupies. One must keep in mind that approximately 30% of the total space should be allocated to aisles and common areas so as to avoid having a clattered look to the store.
Fullen, S & Brown, R. D. (2004). How to Open a Financially Successful Specialty Retail & Gourmet Food Shop. Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
Grant, J. (1995). Budget Guide to Retail Store Planning and Design. ST Publications.
Karlen, M (2011). Space Planning Basics. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Piotrowski, M. C. (2011). Becoming an Interior Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Waters, S. (2009). Basic Retail Floor Plans. Retrieved February, 2012, from http://retail.about.com/od/storedesign/ss/store_layouts.htm