The phrase store development is something many in the retail business may be familiar with, without really truly understanding what it is exactly.
Here then I discuss what store development is before exploring the various aspects of store development, looking at some of the other aspects such as space swaps, range updates and merchandising that people may not be familiar with.
What Is Store Development?
Before I go any further though, First of all, I should establish what store development is exactly. While some people may think it simply refers to the period in time of a new branch opening or refit, it is actually a very in depth process, covering many more aspects than many would think, it is most definitely not simply arranging the processes of a new opening.
Store Openings & Refits
Having said that however, a considerable component of store development is the initial opening or a refit. But, the depth of this process ranges from re-merchandising to a new refurbishment.
Ever wondered who decided to put the freezers at the end of your local store and the meat at the beginning? This meticulous planning of a store layout is a crucial part of a store development. It makes sense really, get your meat for dinner then you can pick up the veg before picking up any frozen stuff last so it doesn’t melt. Of course this is a very simplistic explanation of layouts and on a wider scale a lot of thought will go into utilising the floor space available, whatever the shop is selling. This then helps make sure everything in its optimum position to generate sales.
Of course before a building is even selected, there needs to be a significant planning and that is why site surveying is also an essential aspect of a store development. Any agency responsible for store development will provide all manner of fixture evaluations prior to the new store being developed, and of course after it is complete too.
Needless to say, there is a lot of planning and thought put into the development of a new store, so it is important to look at an agency with plenty of experience of store development if you are looking to recruit an outside agency.
Not Just New Openings
Once the store is open, it is still important to look at ways in which to continue store development, failure to do so could see your branch lag behind the competition.
Potential aspects for development after opening include space swaps, full category relays and range updates, which I will now elaborate on.
New products are always coming in to replace old ones, and a range update is a way to ensure your store always has the most up to date products in stock. As part of any store development, a firm responsible for looking into range updates and such forth will look into merchandising. This could involve planogram implementation, a range of auditing services, POS implementation and stock taking amongst other things.
Another essential component of store development is the installation of seasonal layout and promotional material. This could be for Christmas, Easter or any other holiday a business is likely to see an upshot in sales as a result of. In order to fully capitalise on these events then, the effective use of space is paramount.
Louisa Jenkins is a marketing expert. She offers advice on a range of topics from store development to the kinds of services a field marketing agency provides.