Retail shopping behaviour is one of the major factors of the retail marketing. Retail shops environments influence consumer shopping behaviour and effect consumer decision on where to go for shopping. Thus store environments have become so important for retail marketing strategies. The purpose of this research is to present the empirical findings of the three retail stores which were visited to examine various aspects of the store atmosphere. For this study 3 clothing stores were investigated.
Clothing sector is chosen for research as the competition is strong and you can see the rapid changes easily and very often. And these stores also are high street fashion stores, trendy and their target segments are very similar to each other. This retail stores sell women’s outerwear, including dresses, blouses and tops, knitwear, trousers and jeans, suits, jackets, coats and rainwear in the UK. And also these stores were chosen for observing because they are localized in same shopping area and nearly same size. That makes easier to compare these stores. In this summary 3 clothes store was observed and the finding were analysed.
For comparison to findings, simple rating scales was used that from 1-10 where 10 is best and 1 is worst. GAP I began my research by visiting GAP first. The store includes woman and men clothes. The first part of the store is allocated for woman clothes. Once you enter the store on the right hand side you see first section which is designed for woman out wear and placed with woman trousers, jeans; you see tops and dresses hung on the left hand side. The second part of the store is designed for man clothes and there are a few dress-stands at this part. All clothing categories can be seen from any point in the store.
At one glance you can know where to find blouses, skirts, sweaters, jackets and trousers. Wall shelves carry tops and blouses. It isn’t easy to reach to the items placed on the highest shelves. Most of clothes are assorted according to their colour and size. Service area is located in the middle of the store and it acts as a barrier for customer traffic flow. There is only one wide aisle in the store that is enough to handle two-way traffic flow in the store. And that makes it hard for customers to go to the end of the store from the entry when there is a crowd in the store.
During the observation there were 15 customers in the store, 5 of them were waiting in the queue and the aisle was narrow because of the queue. Other customers were attracted to bargain clothes. I chose one top and went to fitting room. The fitting rooms were so chilly as to be downright uncomfortable and they weren’t display accessible to people in wheelchairs because of they were too narrow for a wheelchair to turn. There wasn’t a handicapped accessible toilet in the store. The store doors weren’t automatic. End of the observation, I could say that there was no more energy in this store.
Background music was better but not enough to attract customer and also the store colours and other design items were white and black. Overall I gave this store 6 out of 10 ratings. I would recommend some ideas to improve the interior store design. The store layout might be chanced according to customer traffic flow. New fashion clothes might replace to right side of the store because most customer attract to go first right side in the store. Customer service area and check out can not be blocked traffic flow. The store music can be more energetic.
My research followed to visit Dorothy Perkins which is one of the most established and prominent fashion retailers in the UK. The store includes tops, nightwear, dresses, jeans, skirt, shoes and bags. When you enter the store you see that the store was designed as a labyrinth because hankers are arranged to make aisle. It allows efficient traffic flow and gives more useful area in the store. Service area and checkout are located on the left side of the store and next to entry. The store has 2 doors and 2 of them can be used entry and exit to the store. In front of the entry is first section of the store and placed for trousers and jackets.
New fashion clothes were behind of them. There were around 20 customers in the store and they were interest in to new fashion clothes. The customers were following the same paths to reach the clothes. A few customers were walking around the service area and carrying clothes that they seemed prepared to buy. The aisles were wider than Gap’s aisles and this store was lighter than Gap’s and also more energetic music was playing. End of the store section is designed for shoes but this section can’t be seen from the entry or other point of the store. The fitting rooms are behind the shoes section.
I popped in to fitting room and observed its design. The rooms are more spacious than Gap’s and it has more mirrors and the rooms are more accessible to people in wheelchairs. This store is designed as more colourful than Gap’s and traffic flow is more efficient. There were more customers inside this store. I gave this store 7 out of 10 ratings. I would recommend a few ideas to improve the store layout. For example the new fashion clothes can be replaced with trousers. Because the new fashion clothes should be showed more attractive and allocated behind the shop windows to get more customer inside the store.
Visible distribution of clothes can be managed. Missselfridge is a major UK high street store which began as the young fashion section of department store in London. The store includes dresses, tops, denim, skirt, knitwear, bags and accessories. Before entering to store, you can realise that the store windows are exciting, colourful and attractive. When you enter the store, on right and left hand side of the store is allocated dresses and tops which are colourful and glossy. Accessories were in the middle and next to mirror. The walls were covered by models poster. There were a lot of bargain clothes at the end of the store.
The store was so crowded if it is compared with other stores. People visited the right part of store first and they were likely to touch bright clothes. End of the store is design for shoes and one armchair was put in front of the shoes shelves. Service area and checkout was left side in the store and separated by chain for queue. It makes to customer traffic flow efficiently. The customers were moving in the store easily. The aisles were wider because there were a few hangers in the store. Most of clothes were designed next to walls and wall shelves carried them in this way all clothing categories can be seen from any point in the store.