Shop layout – Academy in Action with PepsiCo

The IAA’s Louise Banham and PepsiCo’s Alan McCaffer visited Farhan Latif’s Fife store to find out how he can improve his shop layout.


  • Name: Farhan Latif
  • Store: Premier One Stop Shop
  • Location: Methil, Fife
  • Size: 1,500sq ft

Customers will keep coming back to a store that is easy to shop in, so the right layout is crucial. The IAA’s Louise Banham and PepsiCo’s Alan McCaffer visited Farhan Latif’s Fife store to find out how he can improve his shop layout.

Farhan's challenge:

Farhan recently installed a hot food counter by the front door. Sales are good, but he wants to boost them further.

IAA advice:

1. Make your shop attractive and use product adjacencies to encourage customers to shop the whole store

Farhan recently added an attractive display of flowers for sale outside his shop which draws customers inside. He also installed a hot food counter in April which is visible from outside and sells 300 items a day, with sales across the store up 40% since its arrival.

Looking around the store, Alan notices that aisles alternate between impulse and grocery. “Have you considered grouping impulse products together?” he asks. Farhan says the layout is designed to encourage people buying juice, crisps and sweets to pick up other products. 

“If you can’t merchandise products together you could add points of interruption such as baskets for crisps on the chiller,” Alan suggests.

Farhan admits he has too much stock, so Alan suggests he keeps looking at EPoS data to reduce his range. “Too much stock means things don’t stand out and customers can’t find them.”

2. Ensure signage is clear so shoppers can quickly find what they are looking for without asking

Most of Farhan’s customers want value, so he stocks many products that offer this, but Alan says he could use more signage to create areas dedicated to value. “It’s great that you’ve got value-themed gondola ends, but you could use headers to make them stand out,” he says.

Store layout is determined by Farhan’s concern about theft – he has 36 CCTV cameras. “It’s an extremely high-crime area,” he says. Confectionery is placed in front of the till to prevent theft. He adds: “We get 150 kids here in the space of half an hour; it’s easier to keep an eye on them there.” But while his layout works for regulars, Farhan admits that if new customers come in, he and his staff often have to ask them what they’re looking for.

Improved signage and clearer layout of impulse and grocery sections will help tackle this, Alan says.

3. Maintain all lights, fixtures and equipment and keep your shop clean and tidy

“We need LED lighting, but it’s a big investment,” Farhan says as he walks Alan around the shop.

Alan agrees. “The brighter the store, the easier it is to shop,” he says, adding that some fixtures are too high and block a lot of light, making them difficult to shop. Farhan explains he raised the height of the fixtures two years ago because of a lack of space.

The width of the aisles can also cause problems for customers. “We have loads of buggies and it’s not always easy for them to get around,” Farhan explains. “The shop was laid out when I was 17, but if I laid it out now, I wouldn’t have it this way.”

Alan says: “Once you reduce your stock, you’ll free up space, so you can make aisles wider and bring down the height of the shelves.”

What we learnt:

alan pepsico

“Farhan has a great store and is doing a great job of catering for his customers, but he needs to be careful that there’s enough space to shop easily and that there’s a clear route for shoppers when they enter. He needs to make sure he isn’t diluting his sales and making it harder for customers to shop with too much choice. It would also help for him to create some space to shout about value.”
Alan McCaffer, Zone Sales Manager, PepsiCo

“It’s been really helpful to have Alan come to my shop. I’m trying to do too much for the size of the store and have been getting better at it, but talking with Alan today made it stand out even more that less is more and I need to cut back further. My next step is possibly doubling the store’s size, but it will take a lot of work and investment.”
Farhan Latif, Premier One Stop Shop, Methil, Fife

bulbFarhan’s action plan:

  1. Reduce range so it’s easier for customers to navigate the shop and fixtures.

  2. Make displays with strong signage, so value stands out.

  3. Investigate reducing the height of fixtures to prevent light being blocked.

pencilYour action plan:


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