Space planning in non-unified store chains
Why should space planning be a key activity not only in unified but also in non-unified store chains?
Before answering this question, let us first ask a few more.
Would you like to unify the assortment in your stores? Limit overstock? Improve product availability and increase sales?
Would it be useful to know how much space is available in which category?
Would you like to improve the customer experience? Would it help if you could manage product displays in stores centrally to reflect your customer knowledge and business strategies?
Are you opening new stores or upgrading existing stores? Is there a clear plan for where to put what and in what quantities during such a remodeling? Are you able to plan well for the first order, or is it more of a guess and then improvising and redoing everything on the spot several times?
If you answered "Yes, but ... in our situation it's not easy, because each of our stores is different?", we have a solution for you. Quant can handle non-unified store chains very well.
The first necessary step is to map the stores.
Unless we know how many and what kind of shelves are in which stores and how much space is dedicated to which category, we will be blind and our decisions will be based only on feelings, not data. Moreover, we will lack the tools to implement and evaluate decisions effectively.
When choosing a tool for mapping stores, the choice often falls on Excel.
A table similar to this one is created, where one row represents one fixture in the store and the columns represent data such as dimensions, category, or material.
The main advantage of this solution lies in the zero additional software costs and the fact that almost anyone can fill in the data in an Excel spreadsheet. In addition, Excel will also allow the basic analyses for which we perform the mapping.
The big disadvantage, however, is that the information collected tends to be quite superficial, as the table must remain simple enough and it is not easy to write down, for example, shelf heights and depths on one line.
If we take photos of the shelves, there is usually no clear link between the photos and the rows in the table, or the shooting time increases significantly, because each photo needs to be clearly named and its name entered into the table.
The time required to digitise a shop using Excel is comparable to using a more advanced tool, but there is a risk that some important data will not be recorded at all and we will have to add everything in the future.
Moreover, an Excel spreadsheet will not allow us to record the spatial layout of the store at all.
Autocad is another tool that some retailers are using to solve store mapping. As with Excel, it is not a tool developed for this purpose.
The advantage of the CAD drawing is a great visualization of the space. Often it is enough to take an existing technical plan and add category names or types above the shelves. Compared to a professional space planning system, it is cheaper with a small number of licenses, however, it already requires experienced users and subsequently does not allow to analyze the collected data.
The option of combining Excel, CAD and photo acquisition results in an extremely complex and time-consuming maintenance process, or using specialized space planning software that combines the advantages of the previous solutions in one integrated system.
Quant – Space Planning System
An example of such a system is Quant, which allows you to create a store layout very similar to CAD tools, but in addition, it can generate analyzable data from the resulting layout.
Users can save the created shelves in the library and then use them to compose other parts of the layout, so with each new store, the creation of the layout is faster and can be better than collecting data in Excel.
Your investment in professional software will pay off in terms of time saved and detailed, easy-to-update data.
Answering questions like "Which stores have two racks of drinks with five shelves?" will always be easy and fast.
Thanks to the ability to work with the created layout on your mobile phone or tablet, you can simply walk around the store, click on each rack and easily take a photo that is automatically paired with the selected rack.
The photo documentation is also very useful for checking the quality of planogram implementation or implementing changes in marketing communication.
The main advantage provided by mapping stores using a software like Quant are the tools for evaluating and optimizing category space depending on sales. By simply uploading your sales history.
The correct layout of categories in the store is crucial and often more important than, for example, planograms, on which we can focus afterwards.
Store Specific Planograms
When it comes to creating and managing planograms, it needs to be done properly. We can't do it without product dimensions. We already have the dimensions of the fixtures in the stores, and Quant will automatically segment the categories according to the space variations that are present in our stores.
Each store needs a planogram tailored to their exact situation, so that there is no room for improvisation and bad decisions where store staff do not place an important product because the planogram was for a one meter fixture and the store is only 80 cm.
Fortunately, this doesn't mean that we have to maintain a huge number of planograms. In fact, one template is able to be automatically adapted by Quant for multiple dimensions and generate the optimal planogram for the store according to their sales. If not all products fit, the system will automatically select the best ones.
Store specific planograms are the final step in space planning, but we don't have to stop there. We can also use store mapping in task management, for efficient shelf labels printing or to improve automatic replenishment.
Optimising store layouts and introducing store specific planograms usually results in increased sales in key categories and reduced overstocks, improving the overall customer experience.
The operating time required for a new store opening or remodeling is often reduced to less than half.
"Thanks to the introduction of planograms and the optimization of store layouts, we were able to unify the displayed assortment and reduce the overstock of stores by 30%. Quant also helped us to significantly reduce the time needed to open new stores. We needed only two days to restock a store instead of six."
Markéta Vojáčková / Category Specialist / Notino