During our first eight years’ in our store, I learned that our customers were happy to find the products on their shopping list wherever we displayed them. We could in effect use key daily footfall driver products like newspapers, milk and bread to draw our customers around the shop.
Of course, at only around 700sq ft the customer journey was never going to be very long. When designing our new store floor plan we were very conscious that by almost doubling the size, our customer shopping journeys would need to be much longer for them to see all the products we offer.
Our solution was to look at what our customers buy every day; the all-important footfall drivers. For us they are milk, bread, soft drinks and newspapers. Our goal was to use these categories to bring customers around the store so that they can see our full range of offers.
Milk is furthest from the front door with soft drinks and newspapers strategically placed away from the door and counter.
I was recently reminded how radical the placement of newspapers appears when a News UK rep visited the store as part of their My Perfect Shop programme. He was surprised to discover that our newspaper display was not near the front of store. Mandeep, my wife, explained the logic behind placing the newspapers at the end of the second aisle and the general layout of the store.
Whilst standing at the front of the store talking to Mandeep, the next 10 customers confirmed the value of our store layout decision by entering the store and turning left. Some bought newspapers. The rep was amazed!
One key lesson that our new store has taught me is that to make the most of an opportunity we have to understand our customers; those that have shopped with us for years and those that can be attracted by getting our offer and layout right. This is a constant challenge and I am sure that our store will need to continue evolving to meet our customers future demands.