Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity

Retail Insight by Guy Moates Retail Specialist 09/08/2023

Effective retail space planning has a significant effect on store performance, here are our top tips for boosting the maturity of your process.

Scroll

Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity

The Retail Space Planning Maturity Model

Effective retail space planning has a significant effect on store performance. Not only does it give a store a competitive edge, but it can lead to improved customer experience and boosted profitability too.

Retailers across the world have differing degrees of sophistication in their retail space planning processes. Typically, as a retailer grows, initial manual processes get increasingly automated and data becomes more and more important.

Earlier this year, we shared our retail space planning maturity model (and a fun quiz to go with it!) to help retailers determine the sophistication of their space planning process – and ultimately identify ways to improve.

A few months on, we’re sharing our top tips for retailers looking to enhance their processes and move further up in the retail space planning maturity model!

Read about our Retail Maturity Model

Levels of Maturity

Our maturity model is designed to help retailers determine how sophisticated their space planning process really is. The model features four clearly defined stages:

Level One: Establish

Retailers at level one implement the basics of space planning, often using manual processes and relying on assumed or instinct-led ideas surround best practice.

Level Two: Develop

Level two retailers have a better understanding of micro and macro space planning and are focused on development. They are likely to use some technology, such as planograms or CAD-based floor plans.

Level Three: Analyse

At level three, retailers have a fairly sophisticated process, using technology to simplify and optimise.

Level Four: Optimise

Retailers at level four are at the most sophisticated level of retail space planning maturity, with efficient and effective processes which deliver the results they want.

Using our 35 years’ experience and in-depth knowledge of store planning, we’ve unveiled our tips for developing the retail space planning process and moving from level to level in the maturity model.

Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity

Discover StoreSpace®

Plan, manage & optimise the performance of your stores with our intuitive AutoCAD-based retail space planning software.

Gain the insight many leading retailers are already enjoying!

Tell me more about StoreSpace®

‘Level One: Establish’ to ‘Level Two: Develop’

Level one involves the very basics of micro and macro space planning.

The planning process is manual, using tools like Excel or marked-up AutoCAD plans. This is largely ineffective and inefficient.

To transition from level one to level two, we recommend that retailers standardise their approach – especially as their estate grows.

Retailers should use a centralised and controlled method for micro and macro space planning by implementing technology like our StoreSpace® software.

Planning teams will then be able to access data, such as which categories are generating the most revenue. This can be used to inform planning decisions, resulting in a more efficient and effective planning process and ultimately boosted sales.

Two-way communication between stores and head office – specifically about successful in-store adaptations – should be prioritised so lessons can be learned for future improvements.

Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity
Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity

‘Level Two: Develop’ to ‘Level Three: Analyse’

At level two, retailers may use software solutions – such as our StoreSpace® software and NielsenIQ’s Spaceman software – to evolve from manual processes.

Many retailers at level two have either store specific or estate wide layouts, both of which are inefficient and less effective than they could be.

So, to migrate to level three, retailers should focus on moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

We also recommend retailers expand on their macro and micro space planning by evolving their store layouts in favour of a model store approach.

Plus, planning teams should make even more use of their space planning technology. They should further analyse data to compare store performance, identify areas for improvement and inform future plans.

Making two-communication even more important is essential. Any discrepancies in-store must be communicated to head office to ensure plans and layouts are accurate for better informed decision-making and better compliance.

‘Level Three: Analyse’ to ‘Level Four: Optimise’

At level three, retailers have a somewhat sophisticated retail planning process. They use technology to simplify and optimise their processes and have access to accurate data which drives their planning decisions.

By using StoreSpace® software and a model store approach, they know what ‘good’ looks like when planning future stores.

To even further develop the retail space planning process to full maturity, we suggest retailers integrate their micro and macro space planning process.

This involves linking macro space data (floor plans) with micro space data (planograms) which can be done within StoreSpace® software. StoreSpace® has the functionality to integrate technology like NielsenIQ’s Spaceman planogram software.

By integrating micro and macro space planning, retailers will have an optimised process which saves time, improves accuracy and ultimately delivers higher store performance.

Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity
Top tips for boosting your retail space planning maturity

‘Level Four: Optimise’ and beyond…

Level four retailers use integrated micro and macro retail space planning technology to save time and create better plans.

This fully optimised process means level four retailers can use planograms to directly outline category space on AutoCAD floor plans, using accurate data which is continually reviewed and updated to make informed decisions.

Two-way communication between stores and head office is optimised through digital access to floor plans and planograms for in-store compliance, as well as the ability to feedback if necessary.

However, even for retailers at level four on the retail space planning maturity model, there is always room for improvement!

Our StoreSpace® software can help planners identify underperforming stores and make changes to boost profitability across a whole estate.

Also, our experienced team are always on hand with expert advice and support to help retail space planners make their space work even harder for them.

Our StoreSpace® software can help planners identify underperforming stores and make changes to boost profitability across a whole estate.

So, what are the next steps?

You can identify your current level of retail space planning maturity by taking our fun quiz!

Once you’ve determined your retail space planning maturity level, we can help you make changes to fully optimise your process.

Our comprehensive retail planning support provides an integrated service for clients wanting to maximise their physical store estates, whether that’s with StoreSpace® support or other expert advice.

 

Take our Retail Maturity Quiz
Take our retail space planning maturity quiz
BIM and retail planning image

Can we help you boost efficiency and profitability?

We work with retailers across a variety of sectors, including Shell, Praktiker in Hungary, Sainsbury’s, Primark, M&S, Apotek Hjartat in Sweden and Mexican-based Grupo Merza, helping to boost their store efficiency and profitability.

Get in touch today to find out more.

Get in touch