Transforming AF Blakemore & Son’s retail space planning process with StoreSpace®

Clare Montgomery
Retail Case Study by Clare Montgomery Head of Operations 10/04/2024

AF Blakemore & Son previously used flat CAD files, multiple systems and processes for space planning. With StoreSpace®, the company now enjoys a streamlined and efficient process – and easy access to a comprehensive, up-to-date data repository for informed decision-making across the business.

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Transforming A.F. Blakemore & Son’s retail space planning process with StoreSpace®

Working with the largest SPAR wholesaler in the UK

To improve their retail space planning processes, AF Blakemore & Son implemented StoreSpace® – an innovative space planning platform from CADS which enables users to plan macro space and seamlessly integrate with planograms.

StoreSpace® has provided the business with an easy-to-use platform, providing access to centralised data and insights for greater efficiency, more informed decision-making and effective store layouts.

Providing AF Blakemore & Son with an up-to-date macro & micro space data repository

Since the implementation of StoreSpace®, one of the biggest benefits AF Blakemore & Son has experienced is access to a comprehensive repository of macro & micro space data.

Before StoreSpace®, the company had a collection of individual plans which had to be opened up separately by a third party when the information was required.

Now, all store plans are housed on the StoreSpace® platform. From sales data and category location data to insights on sales per square foot, StoreSpace® enables the Head Office space planning teams and the in-store retail teams to quickly and easily access and share the same, up-to-date information.

Not only has this benefitted the retail and space planning teams, but it’s impacted senior leadership teams too, as they now have visibility over available space and how it is being used.

Nicola Hobson, Head of Category Development and Innovation at AF Blakemore & Son, says:

“The information that we’re now able to provide the whole business in terms of space, and how our space strategy can be formulated going forward, is a huge step from where we were prior to StoreSpace®. I very much see it as a core tool.”

Boosting operations with improved efficiency

The information stored on StoreSpace® can be accessed very quickly, which saves a considerable amount of time for the whole business.

Previously, the space planners needed to contact a separate team to extract information such as category and product location. StoreSpace® enables them to obtain this information themselves, significantly streamlining their processes.

Additionally, as StoreSpace® is integrated with AF Blakemore & Son’s existing Nielsen Spaceman software, in-store retail teams can now access all store plans and planograms from StoreSpace® while moving around a store – whereas they previously had to access individual planograms through the company’s SharePoint site.

This has helped with forward planning as in-store teams can see what’s meant to be in a bay and proactively use it as an implementation tool.

Also, where communicating details like refit progress and potential category space changes with the commercial team took a number of hours, this information can now be accessed immediately and shared using StoreSpace®.

This has saved the business a considerable amount of time, making a number of processes much more streamlined and boosting the company’s overall operational efficiency.

StoreSpace® and Nielsen integration

Optimise store layout with our StoreSpace® retail space planning software

Improve the profitability of your stores with our intuitive AutoCAD-based software for retail space planning

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It’s given us more information to make better decisions with. We’ve now got so much more rich data to mine in terms of our store performance and the changes that we can and should be making. It’s led to better decisions and better store layouts.

Nicola Hobson. Head of Category Development and Innovation at AF Blakemore & Son.
Transforming A.F. Blakemore & Son’s retail space planning process with StoreSpace®

Facilitating effective collaboration and communication

StoreSpace® has greatly improved the collaboration between AF Blakemore & Son’s teams during the store design and planning process.

The Design Team uses StoreSpace®’s blocks feature to create CAD store plans, then the space planning team applies the macro layout to the same CAD plan within StoreSpace®. This is then delivered via StoreSpace® to in-store teams to execute.

This fosters effective collaboration between multiple teams in the business and leads to minimal delay between planning and execution – making the whole space planning process from design to implementation much more streamlined.

Plus, the two-way messaging function has led to better communication and improved store engagement – with store managers, area managers and retail managers proactively utilising StoreSpace® and its features and functionalities.

Informed decision-making with insights reports

As well as boosting efficiency, collaboration and communication, StoreSpace® has helped the business with improved and informed decision-making.

StoreSpace® provides sales reports which AF Blakemore & Son find particularly useful when comparing their Nielsen Spaceman data and internal data, giving them metrics on small, medium and long-term sales and performance.

Also, the ability to pull both high-level and more detailed reports, as well as visual heat maps, enables the space planning team to provide perspective for themselves and the rest of the business on what space they have and how they’re using it.

“It’s given us more information to make better decisions with. We’ve now got so much more rich data to mine in terms of our store performance and the changes that we can and should be making. It’s led to better decisions and better store layouts.”

Nicola Hobson, Head of Category Development and Innovation at AF Blakemore & Son.

Transforming A.F. Blakemore & Son’s retail space planning process with StoreSpace®
CADS' StoreSpace® Implementation programme for customer success

Supporting AF Blakemore & Son with our Customer Success Programme

Since implementing StoreSpace®, AF Blakemore & Son have been enrolled on our dedicated Customer Success Programme.

As part of the programme, we provide in-depth training to ensure our clients get the most from our software. We listen to their requirements and tailor our support to their needs.

For AF Blakemore & Son, we provided recent insights training which has helped the business use StoreSpace® as a useful planning tool, a data management tool and an insights tool.

As part of their ongoing training, they will have monthly meetings with our expert team to provide any additional support required, ensuring they can get the best results from StoreSpace® and its functionalities.

“StoreSpace® is a fantastic system and it’s chalk and cheese from where we were three or four years ago. It’s a brilliant macro and micro space data repository and we can use the information that we get from StoreSpace® to give us a lot of insights.”

Adrian Gray, Macro Space Controller at AF Blakemore & Son.

Ready to discover the benefits of StoreSpace®?

StoreSpace® is used by leading retailers across the world, including Shell, Sainsbury’s, Primark, Praktiker in Hungary, Apotek Hjartat in Sweden and Sigma Healthcare in Australia.

If you want to know more about how StoreSpace® can help improve your space planning process, talk to our experts or request a demo today

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