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The pet industry is a linger longer retail sector and therefore consumer space is especially critical.
What is called “the personal bubble” or “buttbrush” by Paco Underhill, varies from country to country. Australians need largest personal space, whilst Indonesians require least personal space. The Brits require more than French and so it goes on.
In an article like this, I can only apply general rules.
As a general rule, 60% of your retail floor space should be allocated to consumers and 40% to product. As you tighten consumer space by placing more stock on floor, your result is consumers will see less stock.
I recently worked with a client where we removed 20% of stock to get consumer: product ratio correct.
When we had completed exercise, we surveyed their customers. The biggest response was a ‘congratulation’ on extending product range. It was just that customers could now see product.
It’s Not Product; It’s Category Placement
One of keys to success is called ‘bounce merchandising’. In supermarket industry they strategically place toilet paper, coffee, bread, sugar and cheese to ensure that you visit all parts of supermarket. Consumers do not realise they are doing this, but I must admit, my wife, who knows theory, finds it infuriating, but she is a minority.
The same applies to a pet store; you need to introduce bounce merchandising and you achieve this with critical placement of key categories.
Remember, for example 55% of Americans have a cat or dog and pet supply category is worth US$18 billion in that country alone. The location of cat and dog food is critical to maximising sales per square foot or metre across whole store.
Ideally, cat and dog supply categories should be separated in store. Neither category should be located in first third of store; make your customers shop shop.
John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 20 years experience in 15 countries. John works with pet retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. Visit www.johnstanley.cc or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.