The Independent Achievers Academy 2013 is now open! Fill in the online form now to enter your business for an award. In the seventh IAA Academy in Action visit, the IAA’s Steven Lambert joined Heineken’s Natalie Little on a visit to Rishi Madhani’s store in Buckinghamshire to talk about the benefits of excellent shop layout.

Rishi says that getting to know his shoppers’ needs plays a large part in how he lays out his store. “Recently we noticed that have been getting a growing evening crowd, so we have increased the amount of chilled alcohol we carry and have moved crisps, nuts and other snacks to directly opposite the chiller,” he explains. Natalie says this is a great way for Rishi to pick up impulse sales.

Rishi says he plays close attention to the position of the biggest selling categories in his store. “We have confectionery, soft drinks and more impulse lines near the front of the store for people who want to nip in and out.” Natalie advises Rishi that he could build on this even further. “You could move the freezer to a different position to make it more immediately visible to shoppers, and maybe pick up a few extra sales on the way,” she says.

With space at a premium, Rishi has had to use some innovative methods to introduce new products whole also keeping enough room for customers to manoeuvre. For example, he has installed a standalone, slimline chiller to stock pre-mixed alcohol cans because of a lack of space in his main chiller. Natalie suggests he could free up some shelf space in a nearby promotional bay. “You could stock premium and sharing bags of crisps with bottled beer, premium lager and cider, and then have charcoal and other barbeque items underneath for summer, then change it around for different seasons.”

Rishi says keeping the store tidy can sometimes be a challenge, especially during busy delivery times. To help, Rishi ensures shelves are postioned with a clear run to the stockroom. He has also made his aisles wide enough for customers to shop freely while the store is being restocked.

Key tips from the IAA

  • Speak to customers and group products together based on their shopping needs, such as beer and snacks for ‘big nights in’
  • Ensure high value and pocket-sized lines are stocked within easy view of the front counter to minimise loss
  • Place promotional bays in prominent positions to take advantage of seasonal sales opportunities.

If you think you have a great shop layout, let us know by entering the Academy here. Entry to the Independent Achievers Academy is free, and closes on the 26 July.