Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning

Clare Montgomery
Retail Insight by Clare Montgomery Head of Operations 08/02/2024

In the second instalment of our informative series ‘Retail Space Planning 101’, we’ve taken a look at why communication between Head Office planners and in-store staff is so important for efficient retail space planning.

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Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning

Efficient retail space planning

Creating enjoyable shopping experiences

In the ever-changing world of retail, the success of a store relies on a number of behind-the-scenes processes which lead to getting the right products in the right places, to be found by the right customers at the right time.

A carefully crafted and efficiently executed store layout plays a pivotal role in creating a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for customers – and a profitable store for businesses.

Effective retail space planning

However, achieving this requires a harmonious relationship between Head Office planners who create the layouts, and in-store staff who bring the plans to life.

Backed by 40 years of retail space planning expertise, we’ve taken a look at why two-way communication between these two channels is so important to ensure efficient and effective retail space planning.

Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning

Confirming in-store compliance

One of the biggest hindrances to successful retail space planning is poor in-store compliance.

Space is a valuable asset for retailers. Store plans and layouts are created by Head Office planners, backed by data-driven decisions and wider business strategy, to ensure they’re designed for profitability.

These are then given to in-store staff to execute – with good in-store compliance achieved when plans are implemented accurately.

However, if in-store staff don’t confirm changes have been made, this lack of communication can lead to a lack of insight of what is where in store  – and some store managers may even follow their own insight rather than Head Office plans.

These differences between what is planned and what is actually delivered can have negative repercussions on sales, customer experience, store performance and future planning.

While some retailers may employ teams to visit each store to check site compliance, this isn’t always the case.

Here at CADS, we know that two-way communication – facilitated by floor planning software – can be the key to success.

Our StoreSpace® space planning software features a two-way messaging tool which Head Office and in-store teams can use to communicate.

Head Office can provide the plans via StoreSpace®, as well as easily request any further changes or feedback, and store staff can confirm successful implementation.

This leads to better in-store compliance, a higher likelihood of boosted profitability – and a more successful retail space planning process overall.

Unlocking the power of optimised retail space planning with StoreSpace®

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Boosting efficiency

Some retailers create store plans using Excel, Word or jpg files, sending them to in-store teams via email.

This is an inefficient form of communication as it is difficult to keep track of, and plans can become misplaced or out-of-date very quickly. It can also lead to in-store teams working from inaccurate information, which can result in wasted time which, in retail, is a very limited resource.

Retail space planning technology like StoreSpace® improves this communication issue. By enabling Head Office teams to deliver up-to-date layout plans via the easy-to-use platform – which can be accessed on mobile devices – inefficiencies are removed.

It also allows all teams to work from a single source of accurate, up-to-date information, reducing the need for corrections and clarifications.

This improved communication saves time creating a more efficient and optimised store planning process.

Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning
Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning

Resolving information discrepancies

Discrepancies between plans and actual in-store layouts can occur – so communicating these issues is vital for effective store planning.

For example, when category plans are sent through to store staff, shop equipment, fixtures or fittings needed may not be present in store. Or, the fixture on the floor plan may not reflect the physical reality in-store. Missing shelves or wrongly recorded widths may mean items are placed incorrectly – or not put onto shelves at all!

Communicating these issues to Head Office is crucial – not just for ensuring any missing equipment can be replaced, but so ordered stock doesn’t sit in the warehouse waiting to be displayed in-store – and the information Head Office is using to create floor plans can be corrected too.

Developing a 360-degree feedback loop is a great way to resolve this.

It enables staff on-the-ground to communicate discrepancies and provide valuable insights, as well as correct inaccurate information and request changes.

Retail Space Planning 101: why communication is vital for efficient store planning
Delivering consistent pharmacy layout using StoreSpace

Head Office can then verify changes and ensure they are in line with the pre-set planning rules.

This increases the likelihood of in-store compliance and means any further layout changes can be enacted more efficiently in the future.

Our client Apotek Hjärtat – Sweden’s largest pharmacy chain – greatly benefitted from StoreSpace®’s two-way communication, with staff questioning any issues with in-store layouts and Head Office quickly resolving them and then updating the floor plans.

By communicating via StoreSpace®, planning teams can confirm the data they’re using is correct, meaning any reports on sales and profitability – as well as the creation of future data-driven layouts - are based on accurate information.

Accurate information for retailers via StoreSpace®

Reporting and analysis

Often, established retailers work with store data to analyse performance and make informed decisions when reallocating space for boosted profitability.

However, if Head Office and in-store teams haven’t effectively communicated changes and verified implementation, in-store compliance isn’t guaranteed and reports and analysis will be based on incorrect, assumed data.

By communicating via StoreSpace®, planning teams can confirm the data they’re using is correct, meaning any reports on sales and profitability – as well as the creation of future data-driven layouts – are based on accurate information.

Unlocking the power of optimised retail space planning with StoreSpace®

Make communication during retail space planning simpler with StoreSpace®

By leveraging the communication capabilities of our StoreSpace® space planning software, you can help to optimise your retail planning process.

We work with retailers across the world, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, Primark and Spar, which all use StoreSpace® to get the most out of their physical retail space.

Whether you’d like to find out more about what StoreSpace® can offer you – or discover more about our retail space planning support – get in touch today.

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