Cash & Carry Layout Design: 11 Key Elements You Need to Know
In the third in the series of talks on the Cash and Carry business in Pakistan, Omer Farooq, retail consultant & Coo Xtreem Retail, discusses the key elements of Cash and Carry layout design.
Cash And Carry Layout Design
In the last video, we discussed how to select the location for your cash & carry store. Once we finalize the location, we move to work on the storefront & interior of the store or visual Merchandizing or VM.
In this video, we will focus on several key elements you should consider while planning the layout of your cash and carry store.
Let’s have a look at each element of layout design.
1. Cash and Carry Store Front
Remember, the visibility of your store is important, and this depends on how big the store’s front is. As I mentioned earlier, during location selection if we find any building with Roman pillars or any other solid construction, we reject it. Because such buildings reduce the front to just an entrance. Care must be taken to ensure that the visibility of the store remains intact, so use as much frontal space as possible. This means no walls or signboards should block the inside view of the store.
Sometimes, the store management approves the requests from different brands for placing various posters on the front display windows blocking the inside view. At times, these posters are also placed to block the sunlight since a bigger front area might cause heating concerns because of the sunlight streaming in.
In such cases, however, we usually recommend blinds or curtains for daytime use. And at night, they should be opened up to maximize store visibility. In retail businesses, the inside view of the store with customer movement and life is very important. When a store can be looked into from the street, and the shoppers can see inviting product displays plus customers’ activity, it increases their confidence in the store.
2. Cash & Carry Layout Design and the Interior
As far as the interior design of the store is concerned, check what visibility you get at a 5-to-10-ft viewing distance when you enter the store.
No walls or racks should block the backside of the store. Counters like the ones for cosmetics require solid walls. We usually design such counters at the back of the store and never at the front, this helps you have a view of the end wall of the store while standing at the front.
3. Cash & Carry Layout Design: Flow of the Store
While designing the flow of your store, consider where to feature your shopping carts and why. Customers, once they pick the trolley, will start shopping from the nearest aisle. Thus, it is important to make your product display in these aisles attractive.
Generally, in the starting racks, we place those things that have an attractive display & packing like shampoos, soaps, etc. The daily food items like sugar packs, pulses packs, rice, oil, etc., do not have any display value, and they don’t need to be placed on the starting racks.
4. Lighting in the Store
Our second major expense after rent is electricity. Especially during summers, electricity consumption increases because of air conditioning, leading to high electric bills. Thus, we need to plan in such a way that lighting usage is optimal, neither more nor less.
Lighting should fall between two racks to ensure there is enough light on the products of both racks. If the light is exactly above the racks, it will create dark shadows on the products. The best lighting design makes sure there is no shade on any shelf of the racks.
5. Store Racks
After lighting, we move on to racks. Racks are planned according to the location. Ready-made racks are available from different companies, and they range in heights from 4.5 ft to 8 ft.
I personally do not recommend central racks to be more than 5.5 ft because the higher racks damage your visibility. usually after 5 or 5.5 ft, a customer is unable to reach the top. When you are moving between two racks and cannot see anything else besides those racks, it creates a suffocating narrow feel.
Some retail setups have 8 ft central racks that can be disconcerting for the shoppers. Because many people, including myself, are claustrophobic and narrow spaces will make them feel uncomfortable.
We recommend 7 ft racks alongside the walls, and they are used for storage purposes. As we mentioned while discussing cash & carry location, due to higher commercial rates, warehousing space should be available in the store. Higher racks are used for warehousing/storage.
6. Color of Racks
Your interior colors matter a lot. Many people these days generally go for darker racks, or they buy readymade inky racks. Generally, we follow the international standard and recommend white or off-white racks. Their borders can be of different colors but the rack where your products are displayed should be white.
The reason is simple. Every color placed on a white rack has good contrast with it. Black, Brown, or Blue colored racks may make some products stand out, but if you place a product in black packing on a black rack it will not be visible enough. Similarly, many other product colors don’t look too appealing on dark racks.
Secondly, on darker racks, you need to increase your lighting capacity because dark colors make the environment look dull. Since racks are a major part of your interior, if you make it dark or black it will dim your overall light. To avoid this problem, generally across the world the standard color used for racks is white or off-white.
7. Distance Between Racks
It is important to consider the distance between the racks. The ideal distance between two racks is between 4 ft to 5 ft to enable two individuals with two shopping carts to easily move around.
If you have a bigger space, like 10 to 15 thousand square ft, we recommend the distance of 5.5 ft between the racks.
8. Placement of the Cash Counter
The Placement of the cash counter is another significant element of cash & carry layout design. Plan cash counter placement in such a way that after the payment, no item is displayed between the exit and the customer. This precludes the chances of theft.
9. Store Ceiling
Next comes the ceiling. We generally do not go for false ceiling. We recommend paint treatments and proper lighting that can cover even rough cocreate slab ceilings as well.
Second, we don’t recommend false ceilings because they provide storage space for lizards and rats. Cash n carry businesses are natural targets for them because of the grocery items. We have noticed that rodents and lizards can enter through wiring, air conditioning ducts, and other small spaces, and once they enter, they start residing inside the false ceiling, causing damage at night. Sometimes, even shoppers can spot a lizard or a rodent running on the shelves.
10. Product Planning
Planning the interior is a collaboration of many things and the first step is Product planning. Product Planning means what products are we going to place and where. Do are products include cosmetics, kids’ toys, or plastic utensils? Do we want to make an apparel section or home textile section, etc.?
Area definition and racking arrangement for various product lines are done separately. Different types of racks are needed according to the product type. For example, some products, like cosmetics, need a separate area and rack style to provide a more personalized and lavish experience to customers. Similarly, if you want to have a food corner or a café inside the store, you will need to design separately.
Designing for cash n carry businesses is a specialized task. We recommend consulting those architects whose skills and experience match the task.
11. Space for Warehouse
As we discussed in the previous episode on Cash & Carry location, the selected location should have space for the warehouse.
The space dedicated for the warehouse should be inside the store, and shouldn’t have a separate entrance. This precaution is important to avoid theft and losses.
In design and height, the racks for the warehouse are different from the central racks. They are designed to bear more weight. The space between the warehouse racks is less because there is no customer traffic to these racks. Only the labor will use them for shelving and shifting goods. Take care of all the safety loopholes to avoid rodents and lizards. Exhausts should be installed with proper netting, and if there is any space beneath the doors, cover them with rubber to keep the products safe and minimize damages.
Hopefully, the information shared above about the cash and layout design will come in handy whenever you need tips on the layout design.
We look forward to hearing from you in the comment section.
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