Store formats. Why should we know them?

Sometimes it happens: you come to a shop and understand that something is wrong with it. There are many things that can embarrass the buyer: prices are not according to the interior, zoning is not clear, advertising is strange… So, what is the problem?
It is in wrong definition of store format and following it.

What is store format?

A set of characteristics defines store affiliation to any standard. The format primarily depends not on its external characteristics (POSM and navigation), but on internal elements that are not directly related to the design.
Important characteristics for determining the format are:
– location (the store is located in the city center, in a residential area or behind the city limits?);

– the area of the hall (is it less than 50 squares or more than 1000?);

– the number of commodity items (here you can buy the most necessary, or is there a large selection of unique products?);

– the technology of product placement (maybe the product is still in boxes, or the layout implies the help of a consultant);

– price (high, low, does it fit with the appearance of the store?);

– advertising and promotion (may be absent, or go through aggressive marketing in the form of permanent discounts, or be quite unobtrusive);

– store services (maybe you can have coffee on the spot, or taste some of the goods?);

– the level of customer service (are there guidelines for sellers, and if so, what are they?);

You can always say something like “yes, I have one store, there is no time for formats”, but this is a big mistake. With proper positioning, the store will become more understandable to the buyer, and your sales will really grow.

What are the formats for the small shops?

The phrase “well, it's a small shop, there's not up to the format" is fundamentally wrong. For small stores, there are successful original formats that should be used. Such stores do not necessarily have to be a part of franchise: one store located in a place suitable for its format can also become successful and profitable.
There are first two types of stores that are based on the analysis of the product being sold.
– Boutique implies premium goods, not necessarily just clothes. A boutique can be considered both a store with unique food products and a premium cosmetics store.

– A specialized store implies a large assortment in a narrow area. For example, an ammunition store for extreme sports - yes, you will find everything for extreme sport there. Specialized outlets may also include shopping islands that rent space in supermarkets, for example, a separate fish island under its own brand.



– A convenience store or a mini-market also does not have to be a chain store. Everyday goods are necessary for everyone, and such a store gets its main advantage due to its location. Convenience stores use a self-service system.

– Shopping over the counter may seem like an outdated format, but sometimes it can be a good option. Communication between the buyer and the seller is one of the sales tools. You will need less space for such a store than for a convenience store with a self-service - this will help save on rent. This kind of stores are best placed in residential areas, where everyday goods are really needed.

Do you want something more original? Then a store combined with a cafe can be a good option for you. It is not necessary to serve thirty dishes: a coffee machine and a small display case with cakes are enough. If you are considering an option with a more serious meal, look at pancake machines: they do not require a large area and knowledge, but they perfectly increase the interest of customers.

– Discounter (low price store). These stores have prices that are on average 10% lower than in the market, and at the same time, the assortment is quite small. The main advantage of such stores is a price leadership. You can achieve this through maximum simplification: the cheapest, the number of staff is quite low, and the design of the hall is often minimalistic and does not imply special spending on design and decoration. The main purpose of advertising in such places is to show: it is cheaper here than everywhere else is.

– DIY (Do It Yourself, "DIY") – shop with building materials and household goods. In these stores, there is a self-service system, and customers themselves get access to the product. Consultations in such stores are minimized.

Now you know the main formats of stores and their advantages. There is one question left:

When is it necessary to take into account the store format?

– Choosing a place for a shop. Do you need commercial premises in city center or in residential area? The answers for boutique and for the shop over the counter will be different.

– PR and advertising, description of discounts and promotions. Do discounts have a permanent place, whether to introduce a discount program, or is it worth doing promotions only in exceptional cases? What about advertising: how to build the positioning correctly and how does your store differ from others? Yes, the store's format will help to answer these questions.

– Store design and its style.
We believe that any store needs a brandbook: this makes it much easier to carry out repairs, expand and monitor the implementation of the corporate identity. Well, the corporate identity of stores of different formats may differ. It's clear that a DIV store and a boutique look different - and a retail book will clearly show it.