owner of visual communications agency VM Guru, market expert in visual merchandising and store design.
Divide into boys and girls
In a children's shoe store, as in any other shoe or fashion store, the assortment needs zoning. The first priority by which zoning is done is gender and age groups. Shoes for boys and girls are always presented separately, and within each of these groups the assortment is divided by age so that it is convenient for customers to navigate. As a rule, these are four age groups: nursery, preschool, school and teenage. Deeper than the four groups should not be divided, because then it will be difficult for you to arrange the shoes in accordance with other priorities, which we will talk about later.
At the same time, I recommend the presentation of nursery shoes for boys and girls in a single zone. Most of the models for babies are “unisex”, therefore it is logical, the offers themselves are small, and this “mix” allows, at times, to save the floor space.
#life hack1: The store should have clear sex and age zones and at the same time, of course, the baby assortment should not be next to the teenage one - watch for the correct age range.
We always consider seasonality
The second priority of assortment zoning is functional-style groups. At the same time, seasonality is always observed: in the foreground we present the shoes of the current season (the so-called parallel division of the assortment - for example, according to season and style). That is, the collection is further divided into age groups, depending on the assortment structure of the brand into style groups. If this is a large, full-fledged brand of children's / teenage shoes, then it is possible and necessary to clearly present clear functional-style groups.
At the same time, it is important: groups of sports models should be distinguished separately and brightly so that they are striking. “Sport”, like “nursery”, it is advisable to present a separate zone, inside which the assortment is divided by sex (vertical division of the zone) and by age (horizontal division of the zone, when different ages are located on different shelves).
At the same time, of course, it is important to build VM standards “under the brand, taking into account the specific assortment structure, marketing priorities and planning features, the footage of a typical trading floor. Then we manage to take into account all the “introductory” ones and create a truly optimally selling presentation.
#life hack2: If a brand has a sports line (or there are sports models in the multi-brand store’s assortment), it is best to separate it into a separate “sports” zone and divide shoes by gender and age inside it.
As mentioned above, there should be a clear zoning of the assortment by age, including in a single zone of sports shoes: shoes for kids are always located on top, for teenagers below, otherwise large models will crush small ones. Shoes on the shelves are presented on the principle of a pyramid. On the central "gold shelves" should be located the most profitable line. As a rule, these are shoes for schoolchildren, they are bought most often: between the ages of 7 and 14, children’s feet grow quickly, and parents sometimes have to buy a few pairs of shoes a year, not because the old one has worn out, but simply because it has become small. School shoes are the most profitable in the assortment, bringing the lion's share of revenue, that is, priority in the presentation.
#life hack3: The choice of age zones within the Boys or Girls zone begins with the location of the most profitable, priority age group for you in the best “hottest” place of the product presentation - as a rule, from the “school shoes” category, and longer on different sides, “Without crossing”, we present shoes for preschoolers and an offer for teenagers.
Fashion in "childhood"
And, finally, another important basis in the presentation of children's shoes is the selection of seasonal fashionable collections. That is, within the collections it is necessary to additionally highlight seasonal hits: present them on “hot equipment” and create a visual emphasis on these models, for example, by placing special stands, bright cubes, adding POS materials. Seasonal hits are very important models in sales, although they are not always top sellers. It is on them that customers come to the store, they attract. Later, in the store, the buyer begins to examine the assortment more carefully and, as a result, perhaps buys the base model. But if you do not attract the buyer with a trendy bright model, he may simply not go into the store.
How to plan the space?
Of course (especially for the mass market), store capacity is important as well as the emotional component of the design project, capacity and emotions are equivalent. At the same time, it is not effective to build, for example, recreation areas for children in the store, sacrificing retail space.
To create a comfortable atmosphere, to influence the emotions of customers in a small store, limited in space, do the following: convenient dressing areas (in a children's store you can make attractive ottomans, in the form of a boot, hemp, etc.), “plant” a pair of large soft toys, but, I repeat - not to the detriment of the retail space.
If the store is larger than 250 sq. meters, this is a large three-line multi-brand, where the male, female and children's assortment is presented, only in this case, it makes sense to make a full-fledged small area for children's recreation. But objectively speaking, the trend of building some kind of recreation areas for children in stores is leaving - too expensive a trading space. It is better to make an interesting store, working with the upper non-trading levels, trading equipment and the style of the store.
One of the most successful new children's shopping concepts is now with the Mango brand. These are clothes and shoes, where shoes are presented both in a separate zone and under a weight. Original and emotional design concept, with multi-colored decor elements and ones. At the same time, the store does not seem overloaded with decorative details, since it is not located in the retail space, the commercial equipment itself is light, functional and delivers good goods. All "emotions" are collected and accurately added to the correct "non-trading" places.
It is important to understand: we do not make a sales presentation “for children”, but “for adults”, because it is they who choose the product and make a purchase decision. Therefore, when building equipment, we use adult “golden levels” - the customer’s eye level with a height of 170 cm and the level of her outstretched arms, the distance between them is your golden sales resource. On these shelves, goods are sold best.
I recommend that the shelves of the wall presentation of the goods be removable, then it is possible to change the configuration of the equipment for the season: increasing the number of shelves in the summer. Making the bottom shelf at the 25 cm level from the floor is not effective, it has been proven: the shelves located below the 60 cm are selling the worst. An exception is expensive accessory niche cabinets that are used in the luxury and luxury segments, with lighting and other spectacular attributes, where the lower level is additionally highlighted. But even here, lower-level shelves sell worse than other shelves.
If we are talking about the mass market, then it is not necessary to lower the trading shelves too low. There are monstrous examples of ineffective wall presentations when there are too wide distances between the shelves, while the shelves are located along the entire height of the wall, to the floor itself. Children's shoes do not look at all on such equipment, they are lost and literally fall into the void. Therefore, it is better to have removable wall equipment so that you have the opportunity to adjust the capacity of the hall: for example, in the spring and summer, increase the number of shelves between the "gold" levels, adequately present shoes with complementary goods on them, and thereby increase sales.
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