Shop layout – Academy in Action 2021

This week, the Independent Achievers Academy and betterRetailing visit Hertfordshire retailer, Dinesh Patel to improve his shop layout and enhance his shoppers’ experience

Creating the right shop layout means consistently thinking about your customers’ journey and arranging products in a way that makes their shopping experience easy, which could mean the difference between a one-time sale or a repeat purchase.

Shop layout is not just for the customer, but staff as well. Tills should be a beacon for customers to check out quickly and efficiently, but serve as a vantage point for staff to help with theft, and fixtures should be well lit to highlight key products.

Dinesh Patel has run The Tuck Shop in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire for 35 years, expanding from 300sq ft to 1,000sq ft. As well as offering traditional convenience store categories, like household, the store has become a destination for nearby villages for greetings cards, gifts, and alcohol.

The store is a grade-II listed building, making it a challenge to improve the flow and drive spend.

How can the IAA and Megan Humphrey from Retail Express help?

Why I take part

“A strong shop layout enhances customer awareness of the products we stock. If you can highlight your products in an appealing way, sales will increase. Being a grade-II listed building, our challenge is improving the flow of the store.

“Customers often struggle to find products, jeopardising repeat visits. We want to find simple ways to ensure products are found quickly and I’m certain that by following the action plan, we’ll be able to achieve this.”

IAA advice

Arranging products and categories to boost spend

Dinesh wants to encourage customers to pick up additional products on their way to the till but these areas are currently occupied by everyday products that shoppers will seek out.

What can Dinesh do to drive impulse purchases?

Megan says: “Household products are often bought as a planned purchase, so locating this in a prime location won’t increase spend. Moving impulse products, such as wine, to these areas and placing complementary lines, like crisps and snacks, can encourage customers to pick up extra items, helping to increase basket spend.”

ACTION ➜ Move impulse products to high traffic areas to encourage customers to pick up extra items while shopping

Reviewing and improving your shop layout

Dinesh wants to create the right flow so customers can shop efficiently. However, categories that should be grouped together, like household, are currently located in separate areas of the store.

What can he do to achieve this?

Megan says: “Dinesh’s household range is currently located in two places, but by merchandising them together, Dinesh can create a better flow for customers topping up, resulting in a higher spend. What’s more, placing them away from the till allows Dinesh to focus more on lines often bought on impulse that will complement his alcohol range.”

ACTION ➜ Group categories and related products together to improve customer flow and increase spend

Increasing profitability through your layout

Dinesh stocks a wide range of alcohol, but wants to entice customers to try something new, but struggles to encourage shoppers to do this.

What can he do to highlight his range and drive sales?

Megan says: “Dinesh has a strong wine range full of unique lines. A ‘wine of the week’ promotion where a premium wine is displayed in the shop window and highlighted on shelf with tasting notes can push customers to trade up or try something new.”

ACTION ➜ Introduce a ‘wine of the week’ promotion, displaying it in the shop window and highlighting it on shelf to boost spend

Partner advice

“Product placement is vital and highlighting them with the right fixture and location will maximise sales, as will grouping complementary categories.

“By introducing a ‘wine of the week’ and highlighting this in the store’s front window, Dinesh can entice customers to enter the store.”

Megan Humphrey
Retail Express

Megan Humphrey

Find out how the visit went in the follow up feature. Click here

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Explore more of Dinesh’s shop

“All businessess should take part in the IAA, there’s always something new to learn and innovations to share”


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