Laying it out the right way

The TGI Retail Consultancy team provides some expert tips on store display and layout.

Having a full range of the latest products on display at a great price is not always enough to ensure a steady stream of customers beating a path to your door. Retail surveys and research have shown that one of the most important criteria for customer satisfaction is the ease in which they interact with your retail offering. Therefore, close attention should be paid to the way in which your pro shop is laid out, always ensuring customers are ‘moved around’ the store with the aid of natural barriers, such as gondolas or tables and positioning of fast moving, impulse sale products.

Shop-Layout-1You should monitor customer flow and the sales per category, according to their position in the shop. This will allow you to find the best position for each product category in respect of sales and customer impact – merchandising for profit!

A quality shop layout will also provide you with sound opportunities to increase turnover. A well set out shelf, organised hardware ranges and colour coordinated apparel can all have a direct effect on turnover. Add into the mix the organisational benefits of a good shop layout to you and your team – ease at which you can see low stock, knowing exactly where everything is and so on – and you begin to see just how essential layout is.

Some simple yet effective checks to run through your shop include: first impressions; flow; signage; and product positioning.

First impressions count

Your shop should be inviting and welcoming for visitors and potential customers. If you cannot attract them through the door then you’re already in a losing position. Make sure your doors and windows are both clean and you have up to date signage outside. Remove any old signage or stickers from your windows.

Keep window displays minimal and light – only use key pieces and bright colours to entice people in. Do not swamp your windows with displays, as this will not only confuse customers but block natural light from flooding onto the shop floor.

Place key products or latest offers close to the entrance. What better way to reinforce a customer’s decision to walk in than to present them with a great offer or hot product? Do make sure these displays are current and relevant to the time of year and customer demographic.

Feel the flow

Creating a strategic flow around the shop is a sure fire way to ensure customers see your best products and offers. Again, a word of warning, don’t go overboard and overcrowd this section otherwise you will have the complete opposite effect and bombard the customer. You can lose the customer at first glance if they cannot see individual products. Keep all walkways clear from clutter and excess products – less is more

Pick a brand and place selected and related items, such as a full, but single, outfit draped over a table. This classic high street look will show your customer you offer a full range. Don’t forget to update this weekly – customers have differing tastes in both brands and colours, so cater for all.

Secondly, create departments or aisles if possible. This will encourage movement and browsing by your visitors. Additionally it will make them feel safe, relaxed and spark interest.

Finally, and vitally, do not forget the ‘magic triangle’ of counter, door and fridge. This should be as large as possible, ensuring customers have to walk the entire shop floor, past your entire range giving them time to see and touch your products.

Give your customers a sign…or two

Potential customers will often walk into your shop with a question in their head – “Where is the R15, G30, 915, A N Other product?” Think about that yourself – when you walk into a shop how frustrating is it if you cannot easily find what you’re looking for?

Customers should be able to find items quickly and easily without having to ask. A strong mix of navigational and product promotion signage makes it far easier for customers to find what they want. Display a number of signs promoting the services you offer, such as lessons or custom fitting. This will increase both your customers’ awareness and add revenue opportunities for you.

When it comes to signage there are a few things to contemplate. Use a quality computer and printer to produce signs – avoid handwritten signs at all costs – and ensure all signage is clear, concise and to the point, not ambiguous in any way. Your signage should be easy to read, don’t squeeze too much on one sign or obscure it from view behind shelving or products.

Product positioning – eye-line is the buy-line

Customer surveys show shoppers prefer to look at products between waist and eye level – therefore make this a key thought when reviewing your product layout.Put your margin makers and slow movers in this field of vision, as these are the products you want your customers to see and buy.

Keep your displays below head height so they are at eye level. This will make it easier for the customer to engage with the product as well as the additional benefit of making your shop appear bigger, brighter and more open. Take into consideration how the product is viewed by the customer in respect of their ‘needs’. It is important to understand whether the product is impulse, distress, consumable and so on, when deciding on place and price.

The TGI Golf Partnership Retail Consultancy team offers FREE advice to all partners, travelling the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland to help PGA professionals with every aspect of their business from merchandising and product advice to staff training and stock management. To find out more about the TGI Golf Partnership call 01506 505525 or visit www.tgigolf.com