The basic arrangement of the selling floor is of primary importance because it affects all other design decisions. Each type of layout has inherent strengths and weaknesses resulting from the traffic flow patterns they create. With changing formats and increasingly sophisticated store design research and combinations of these plans. Layouts may be categorised into three basic types:
• Free flow
A linear design for a selling floor where fixtures are arranged to form vertical and horizontal aisles throughout the store. Supermarkets, discounters, grocery, drug store and other convenience –oriented retailers, typically use it. This layout is done for more of the store’s convenience and the need to get a lot of product out on display.
The basic advantages of using this kind of layout can be summed up as under:
1. It is efficient in terms of space use
2. Allows orderly stocking
3. Helps shoppers see a great number of items easily
4. Is simple and predictable to navigate
5. Efficient to maintain.
6. In a self-service format, this arrangement permits customers to shop in a quick, routine manner.
7. The strategic location of departments ensures that customers are drawn to the store and exposed to all merchandise categories.
8. Simplify the inventory maintenance.
Weaknesses of the layout include:
1. The psychological effect on customers is one of feeling constrained and rushed, which reduces the time they spend browsing.
2. Not aesthetically pleasing.
3. Contains long gondolas of merchandise and aisles in a repetitive pattern, which creates a monotonous effect that makes the customers feel bored after a certain time.
It is not necessarily convenient for all consumers or the most effective selling approach. Certainly, the main aisles will get lots of exposure, but the secondary aisles are often overlooked and as a result sales are missed
Loop or Boutique or Racetrack Layouts
It exposes shoppers to a great deal of merchandise as they follow a perimeter traffic aisle with departments on the right and left of the circular, square, rectangular or oval racetrack. This layout divides the selling floor into shops within the store. This layout is employed in a discount or a department store.
The major strengths of this kind of layout can be summed up as under: This layout exposes shoppers to a great deal of merchandise. It forces the customer to visit multiple departments as they pass through. This loop effect facilitates impulse buying. The newest merchandise is prominently displayed on these main aisles. Overhead directional signs and departmental graphics provide visual cues to the location of other departments, helping shoppers while shopping Construction, interior design and security costs are substantial, however.