Designing Stores of the Future

Trying to reinvent the wheel has been an age old challenge often met with disappointment. As Store Designers set their sights on creating the next great retail environment it is essential not to forget the basic principles of retail. Introducing the newest materials or technological advances into a new store design is only part of what will make that store design succeed.

Dollars per square feet still rule the retail universe and anyone that doesn’t think so can ask all the Award winning Store Designs that are no longer in business. As a retailer you must formulate the business plan to generate profit and then follow the plan to stay in business. Yep, it is that simple. Where many retailers run into trouble is not recognizing that the store plan, display methods need to be tested to see they can meet the business plans bench marks.

The math is easy, just take the product, the turns, the gpm, the units on hand and extend it out for a years worth of sales. If the number meets or exceeds your business plan volume or sales figures, you will live to see another year of retailing. I have found in my years of designing prototypes for start up retailers that they were doomed from the beginning as a result of not completing the exercise stated above.

We have made it part of our design process to prove out the capacity issues and inventory levels throughout the year before we pick colors, new technology or lighting. Our stores stay in business as a result of this review and we urge everyone to insist on having the figures proven before nails are placed into the walls.

Recently, a wedding gown store in Monsey, NY required the above scruiteny as the owner was working out of her home for years. She conviction to make the business thrive was obvious, but in planning the new store, it became apparent that they capacity to generate the profit to run the business could not be met based on the first design firm asked to assist her with the project.

Once we determined the sales performance and linear feet to make the profit levels a reality the design effort became much easier. We we able to concentrate on innovative design ideas which turned the basic landlord vanilla shell into a radient Euro Design Couture store. Every gown had a home and every piece was able to be displayed in the best possible way. We are proud to say the store has out performed expectations and the future looks bright.

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