Research was taken to observe the space configuration and manipulation methods adopted by the two UK leading supermarket retailers “Tesco” and “Sainsbury’s”. This chapter will be reviewing the methods adopted by these two retailers. The Guildford stores were chosen for this investigation and the reasons are as following: – They are the two leading supermarket retailers in UK in terms of market share, sales and profits. In order to be so successful, they must have adopted good management system in the stores. – The two stores are different sizes and in different locations.
The Sainsbury’s Guildford store is smaller which located in the central of town. Tesco is a larger store located outside town. Choosing two stores with different characteristics will help to understand the differences between the methods adopted. (Please refer to appendix 2 for background of these two retailers)The Tesco store in Guildford is located outside the town centre. It is a 50,000 square feet store which offers both food and non-food products. Within the store, straight line layout is adopted where every shelf are organised in straight lines.
When enter the store, the left hand side are the fast check-out counters for customers who purchased less than 5 items. Products such as sandwiches, drinks, magazines and cigarettes are placed close to the entrance and exit, which is convenience for those customers who do not want to stay in the store for too long. It has even introduced the self check out system which also allows customers to save time. After entering the store, the first products which customers can see are flowers and plants.
It is believed by academic researchers that placing colourful items near by the entrance where customers will be able to see first will bring better mood for shopping. This will make the environment of the store better. Promotional ends method is used to put the on sale or discounted products in the end of each aisles. The reason is to place the products in the places where can be easily seen by customers to bring their attention and encourage them to purchase these products. Although they might not walk though every self in the store, they tend to walk past the end of most aisles.
Manufactures normally will pay the retailers to place their products in these areas where customers will walk past frequently. Different types of merchandises are placed in different areas where the similar categories are. For example, fresh vegetable and fruits are placed in one area, organic products are in one area, non-food products are in one area and meats are in different areas, etc. The location of merchandises is used by the store to channel customers. For example, bread is placed in the right end corner of the store but milk and butter are placed in the left end of the store.
Both of the products are daily products, which most customers would be likely to purchase when they does their grocery shopping. Therefore, this is to encourage customers to buy other products as they walk around the store while they are looking for what they need. On the other hand, it could cause customers to be annoyed because they have to walk quite a distance to get what they need. Within the store, good signage system is used to navigate consumers to find the products which they need, to identify any special promotions offering in the store and also to introduce any special events which organising by the store.
The store has more than ten check-out counters and three express check-out counter which reduces the length of queues. The Sainsbury;’s store in Guildford is located in the centre of town. This is a 15,000 square feet store which offers grocery products and small range of non-food products. Similar to Tesco, the fast check-out counters and products such as sandwiches, drinks, news papers, magazines are locating near by the entrance and exit for customers who do not want to spend long time in the store. The store also used straight line layout and placed similar categories of products in the same areas.
Promotion and discounted products are placed in the end of aisles to bring attention to consumers. There are no signs to navigate customers to the products they are looking for due to the size of the store. It was found that many customers were unsatisfied with the layout of the store. Some customers found it hard to find what they need and the location of the products was changed frequently which has caused confusion to many consumers. Due to the size of the store, customers often have to wait in very long queues to make payments.