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Dear Finsbury Park businesses,

In 2015 Islington Council commissioned a Finsbury Park retail operator survey, to

understand the trading environment and to recommend improvements for future growth and
development of the area. This visual merchandising guide is one of the projects we have
developed to support local businesses and we hope you find it useful.
Following conversations with many of you, Islington Councils Town Centre Team assisted
in setting up a Town Centre Management Group for Finsbury Park. A Town Centre
Management Group for the area helps provide a stronger voice for local businesses, and a
means for you to collectively inform, shape and prioritise future town centre activities. It also
is also a way that you can keep up to date on wider development activity in the area.

Meetings take place every 2-3 months and are comprised of businesses from all areas of
the town centre. If you would like to join, or be kept informed of issues that could impact on
your business, please email us at We would love to see as
many of you there as possible, so feel free to spread the word. You can also keep in touch
on Twitter @FinsburyParkLdn.

Kind regards,
Barry Causton
Town Centre Development Officer (Finsbury Park)
Islington Council
020 7527 3865

Finsbury Park Shops

Visual Merchandising
Helping you to do what you
already do, just better.

How to use this book

This guide is intended to be a workbook to help you improve the visual merchandising of
your business. Each chapter is divided up to include definitions and explanations of some
commonly used terms, as well as ideas and examples to help inspire you make alterations
to your shop. At the end of each chapter theres a space to have a go planning these
alterations on paper.
This workbook is designed to accompany the visual merchandising and business frontage
improvements as part of the Finsbury Park Shop Front Improvement Scheme.
It has been tailored to the findings from the Finsbury Park, Islington: Operator Survey 2015.
The objective of this research was to understand the current trading environment and to
direct improvements for future growth and development of the Finsbury Park area. This pack
forms one of the direct improvements.

In Store

Product Presentation

What is Visual Merchandising?


Window Design

Types of Display Fixtures and Fittings

Display Design and Coordination
Product Stocking
Product Interaction and Eye Level Displays
Preparing Items for Display 
Product Display Examples 
Design Your Product Display 
Product Presentation Checklist 

Spend By Mode 
Broken Window Effect 
Behind the Scenes
Signage and Graphics
Window Design Examples 
14 Service
Design Your Shop Window 
15 Pavement Licensing 
Window Design Checklist 
16 Food Hygiene 

Shop Floor Design


Footfall and Walkways 

Sight Lines and Focal Points 
Types of Floor Layout 
Profit Zoning 
Product Adjacencies 
Cashiers and Point of Sale Merchandise 25
Sale Merchandise 
Signage and Graphics 
Shop Layout Example 
Design Your Shop Layout 
Shop Layout Checklist 


Creating a Brand 
Social Media and Google Maps 
Business Cards 
Design Your Business Cards 







Creating a Business Plan 

Creating a Business Calendar 
Managing Overheads 
Useful Resources 


In Store
Visual merchandising is
the silent salesperson.


What is Visual Merchandising?

Visual Merchandising is improving the look and feel of a shop with the intention of
increasing sales.
This is done first by attracting shoppers to a business through the power of the window
display, and then through the in-store display and layout. The idea is to encourage them to
stay in the shop and make a purchase, and ensure they have a positive retail experience, so
that they are likely to return.
Research shows that 20% of purchasing decisions are logical - based on facts and
conscious decision-making, whereas 80% of purchasing decisions are based on emotional,
and less conscious factors. Effective visual merchandising plays a vital role in influencing
purchasing decisions which are more instinctive and based on emotional responses.
While a successful advertising campaign can prompt consumers to visit retailers; once in
store, if they cant find the product they are looking for, or if a competitor has a better window
display with more impact, the time and money spent on marketing is wasted.
Visual merchandising should make it possible for the product to effectively sell itself, should
a sales assistant not be present.

As many as 1 in 4 sales are the

result of a good window display.

Window Design
The businesss shop window is the customers first impression of the shop. It has an
important role in attracting a customers attention and drawing them inside the shop, while
explaining the nature of a shops business and its brand.

The success of a shop pivots on the frontage it presents to the outside world. As research
into Spend By Mode has proven, pedestrians are a shops key source of revenue, so
making sure that all shop frontages (along each shopping street) are clean and well
maintained is key to prevent the Broken Window Effect. Creating an successful window
display, is of equal importance. Good displays have a consideration for the following:
Themes, Composition, Colour, Lighting, Signage and Graphics; which all have a
dramatic effect on a customers impression of a store.
Information on all of these elements of window design can be found in the following chapter.

Window Design

Spend By Mode
Spend By Mode refers to the different
spending levels of different people travelling
by different types of transport. It has been
found that pedestrians, bicycle and public
transport users have more spending
power than car users on high streets. The
Local Transport White Paper published by
the Department of Transport, found that
people travelling by foot, bicycle and public
transport are more likely to support their
local high street and local shops, visiting
them more frequently than car users. 1 The
Finsbury Park, Islington : Operator Survey
2015 found that most of its customers
arrived by foot.

Department of Transport, 2010 Creating growth,

cutting carbon. Making sustainable Local Transport
happen. London: DfT.

Transport Studies Unit, Oxford University, 2003

The Effect of Urban Quality Improvements on
Business Location. For DfT. http://www.communities.

Leicester Environment City Trust, 1993 Streets,

traffic and trade: A survey of vacant shops sites
in Leicester City Centre. Leicester: Leicester
Environment City Trust.

Studies in the UK have shown that

pedestrianised areas can bring about an
increase in footfall for shops of between
+20% to +40%. 2 Conversely, it has been
found that as there is more vehicular traffic
along a street, there are more vacant shops
along that street. 3
As pedestrians are therefore the most
important visitors to shops there should
be great effort in making the shop window
appeal to them.

By following the various techniques given
in this chapter your shop can become more
appealing to pedestrians.

75% of first time customers

remember a shops entrance;
which provides the first and
last view of the shop inside.

Window Design

Broken Window Effect

The maintenance of each and every business frontage is important in creating a street on
which people want to visit. The Broken Window Effect states that signs of anti-social
behaviour will trigger further anti-social behaviour. These signs might be graffiti, litter, and
visible security shutters which all create a negative image of a shop. This can lead to the
demise of a whole shopping street if not dealt with.

Removing signs of anti-social behaviour will create an atmosphere of lawfulness, and will
act to prevent further anti-social behaviour. Working alongside your neighbour to maintain
a street also will foster a sense of community, care and pride, which creates a safe and
positive shopping environment to which customers will be attracted. Ways of improving
your shop-front include removing shutters from the front of your shop and keeping your
shop in a good state of repair.

(Also see Service: Maintenance)

Window Design

An effective way of attracting customers to a business is by having good displays. Displays
work best if they are tied together with a Theme. Themes are used to create drama, interest
and inspire potential customers to buy a product.

A Theme is the topic of the window
presentation, and is composed of a
backdrop, graphics and images, props or
mannequins, and most importantly, the
merchandise on which the theme is focused.
A Theme can be anything, often changing
seasonally; with holidays/celebrations; or
promotional offers and media tie ins for
example: St. Valentines Day or Easter.
It is important to consider what theme would
appeal to your target customer. When
designing a display you should consider
why certain merchandise is being put on
display as opposed to others for example
is it seasonal, is it a new product in store
etc? This reason will determine the visual
presentation and design of the display. Keep
in mind that displaying a product both in
the window or as part of a in store display
is likely to increase its demand, so there
should be enough backup stock to deal with

A Prop is something used with a product

in a display that clarifies the function of the
merchandise being sold or the story being
told. A prop in most cases is something
that is not for sale, such as floor coverings,
wall treatments, backgrounds, mannequins,
or furniture, however props may also be
merchandise that is for sale, but is not the
theme merchandise.

When creating a themed display on both

the shop floor and window, merchandise
can be displayed as it would be utilised,
or glamorised with props for fantasy and
(Also see Management: Creating a Business Calendar)

Window Design

Composition is important in creating a business window that is both visually pleasing and
attention grabbing. A good window display will encourage customers to head in store. The
visual composition of the display will determine its success in attracting attention.


Optical Balance is where both sides of the

Some principles of Composition to

consider are:
The Focal point is the point your eye will
be drawn to. All windows need a focal point.
The focal point best placed centrally in the
window just below Eye Level for maximum
visual impact (1.65m).

window share equal visual weight. This can

be achieved in two ways - by using the same
objects on each side of the display to create
a mirror image (Symmetrical Balance), or
by using different objects either side but of
equal optical weight (Asymmetrical Balance)
e.g. a large object can be balanced by
several small items.

Grouping is the arrangement of products

in a visual way. This can be achieved by
either arranging products in a pyramid
(Pyramid Grouping); setting up a focal point
which leads the viewer to look at the other
products; or through repetition of the product
(Repetition Grouping), where multiples of the
product create a stronger impact overall.

Window Design

The effective use of colour can make or break a window display. The Colour Scheme
chosen for a window display or shop interior can change peoples feelings about a business,
and influence whether they make a purchase or not.

Colour has a huge effect on emotions.
People tend to respond in specific ways to
different colours. Warm colours such as red,
yellow, orange, and brown are stimulating
and cheery. They make a room feel warm
and intimate. Warm colours makes a window
or shop feel smaller, but enhance the
appearance of the merchandise, making it
appear larger and optically stand out. Cool
colours such as blue, green, and violet are
calming, soothing and balanced. They help
to create a relaxing atmosphere. Rooms and
windows decorated primarily in cool colours
tend to appear larger and more spacious.

Colour can be explained using a Colour

Wheel which consists of 12 different
colours, divided into 3 groups:

Primary Colours: Red, Yellow and Blue are the starting points of the colour wheel;
other colours are formed from them.

Secondary Colours: Orange, Green and

Violet: are formed by combining the Primary

Tertiary Colours are formed by mixing

Primary colours with Secondary colours to
create colours such as Blue-Green.

Certain colours or colour combinations

also have certain associations which
influence our feelings and when used in
visual merchandising, how we perceive the
product. For example, while displaying meat,
white would be the best choice as it appears
hygienic; while red and green together may
be unsuitable for a Summer display because
of their associations with Christmas.


Different Shades of a colour are made by

adding varying amounts of black or grey to a
colour to darken it.

Tints are created by adding white to a basic

colour to make it lighter.





When designing displays matching

merchandise and windows/shop colours
according to their Shades, Tints and
Intensities to create Colour Groups is highly
effective. Colour Groups include Brights
and Pastels.


saturation of a colour.


Intensity is the brightness, purity and

In addition, following the Colour Wheel from

red through to purple (or the other way) will
always result in visually harmonious and
pleasing designs.

A Colour Scheme is created by combining two or more different colours from the colour
wheel. Some successful colour schemes for shop windows and in store displays include:

A Monochromatic Scheme: Three to five

shades of a single colour are used, such as
several pieces of merchandise ranging from
baby blue to navy blue or black and white,
for example.

An Analogous Scheme: Two or more

colours next to each other on the colour
wheel are used, such as yellow, yellowgreen, green and blue-green together, for

A Complementary Scheme: Two colours

that are directly opposite one another on the
colour wheel are used, such as green and
red, or yellow and purple, for example.

A Double Complementary Scheme:

Four colours consisting of two sets of
complementary colours are used, such as
yellow and purple and red-orange and bluegreen, for example.

A Split Complementary Scheme: Three

colours forming a Y shape on the colour
wheel - a base colour and one colour on
either side of the base colour complement
(opposite colour) are used, such as yellow,
blue-violet and red-violet, for example.

A Triadic Scheme: Every fourth colour on

the colour wheel is used, such as red, blue
and yellow together, for example.


A window display has to

attract attention and invite
people into the shop in just
11 seconds, which is the
average time an individual
will spend looking at it.

Window Design


Lighting plays an integral part in the design of the business shop window and in store
display, highlighting the merchandise in the window and setting an ambiance.

Different types of lighting are required for
different functions, both in the shop window
and in store:

Primary Lighting is used to provide the

In installing lighting, it is worth investing in a

track system with adjustable lamps, which
offers the most flexibility. However inbuilt or
single lights plugged into a electrical socket
can also be effective, when fitted neatly.

overall level of illumination in shop, and

should cover all areas of the shop including
walkways and entrances. It provides a wash
of unfocused light, in which no shadows
or accents are made, and can be best
achieved using a overhead florescent bulb.
It can however make the stock look washed
out when not partnered with other bulbs.

Secondary or Accent Lighting is used

to provide illumination for the designated
display areas, to highlight products and
create interest. Focused on the products,
this is best achieved using an LED bulb,
which provides warmer light.

Primary Lighting

Accent Lighting

Atmosphere Lighting is used to

provide excitement and ambiance in
the shop window display or shop. This
can be achieved by using colour filters
and or spotlights directed on props and

Atmosphere Lighting

(Also see Shop Design: Lighting)


Window Design

Signage and Graphics

Signage and window graphics are part of a customers first impression of a shop. In less
than 10 seconds the sign must tell the customer who the business is, what it has to sell, and
convey a brand identity.

A shops window signage can be either
temporary or permanent and can come in a
variety of formats.

Permanent Signage may include your

business name, shop number, business
description, opening hours, address,
telephone number and even website - for
remote access. Signage can be positioned
as either a fascia sign above the shop
window, a projecting sign, an awning sign, a
fixed window sign or a mixture of the above.

Temporary Signage may be used to

promote any offers/promotions inside the
shop or as part of a window display theme,
and may exist in the form of a sign attached
to the window, or free standing sign on the
pavement. This type of signage should
be used sparingly, and should not block
the view into the shop from the street, or
the merchandise on display. Remember,
a customer is primarily attracted by what
a shop sells, rather than the discounts on
offer. You must advertise your own shop
first, before advertising other businesses
products or services.

The ideal height for the positioning of all

signage is Eye Level (1.65m). Letters should
be designed to legible at a distance of
minimum 8 inches, both for pedestrians and
moving cyclists/vehicles. All signage should
have the provision to be lit up at night to
ensure 24 hour effectiveness.
Any signage needs to be maintained. The
physical state of all signage is a direct
reflection to the customer of the business
itself. A dilapidated sign implies a lack of
concern and interest in the business, and
out of date offers can be misleading to
potential customers.

(See also Shop Design: Signage)


Window Design

Window Design Examples

Example for a window design for a cycle shop

Example for a window design for a book shop


Window Design

Design Your Shop Window

Step by Step:
1. Measure the front of your shop, and using the
grid paper as a guide, draw its existing elevation (or
proposed if you are having a new shop front) like
the examples previously. Make sure you show all
windows, doors and signage.
2. Consider which merchandise you would like to
display in your window. Based on a theme, design
a window display using what you have learnt in this
chapter to help you. (See checklist overleaf.)


Tools required for task:

Tape Measure
1 square = 0.5m

Customer = 1.5m

Window Design

Window Design Checklist

Have you considered your target customer?
Have you considered why you have chosen certain products to display, and the
best way to display them to their advantage?
Does your display demonstrate a clear Theme?
Has your display got a Focal Point and it is in the most advantageous place?
Does your display demonstrate Balance (either Formal or Informal) - Is the
display too full or too empty on one or both sides?
Have you created Groupings (either Pyramid or Repetition) in your products
to maximise product impact?
Have you considered the human reaction you want your display to achieve and
picked colours (Warm or Cool) accordingly?
Have you tied together your colour choices using a Colour Scheme?
Have you used Lighting correctly within your scheme (Primary, Secondary
and Atmosphere)?
Have you considered the Signage and Graphics (both Temporary and
Permanent) in your window display, their style and legibility?
Have you created a clear budget for your window display?
Have you considered how long the display will be up in store and when it will be
Have you created a timetable of maintenance to ensure the window display
remains in tack and clean?


65% of all purchase decisions are

made inside the shop.
Only 35% are made before
entering the shop.


Shop Floor Design

A well designed shop floor is an essential tool in driving product sales in any business.

In creating a successful shop floor design the positioning of various elements in-store
needs to be considered. The creation of Walkways to guide Footfall, Sight Lines and
Focal Points is key; as are Product Adjacencies and Profit Zoning. The position
of the Cashiers and Point of Sale Merchandise as well as and Promotional and Sale
Merchandise need to be thoroughly considered; as does Lighting, and Signage and
Information on all of these elements of shop floor design can be found in the following


Shop Floor Design

Footfall and Walkways

The main purpose of a shop is to enable customers to browse all products first hand. By
creating Walkways in-store the shop can control how the shopper does this and help them
navigate their way in store.

Walkways are created by the shop
through the use of Fixtures and displays.
They should be at least 2m wide (with 1m
between fixtures) to enable enough space
for a shopper to comfortably browse goods
and another customer to pass by them. The
use of a different colour or material on the
floor, is often used to mark key walkways
throughout the store. Footfall is the route a
customer takes through a shop both on and
off these walkways.

Minimum 0.9m




Minimum 1m

Minimum 2m

Minimum 0.9m

(Also see Product Presentation: Display Fixtures and Fittings)


Shop Floor Design

Sight lines and Focal Points

A key part of selling relies on getting people into the store and to the product they are
looking to buy. Creating visually exciting displays in-store, that can be seen from the street,
helps to draw customers through shop, and enables the customer to quickly gain awareness
of all the different products the shop is selling, and its location in store.

Sight lines are imaginary lines that lead the
customer down walkways to certain areas
or specific products at key points known as
Focal points.

Fixtures and displays should be laid out to

allow the consumer to see from the front to
back of the shop, with the lowest fixtures at
the front, and at the highest at the back with
the back wall.

Focal points can be an in-store

display, a collection of carefully arranged
merchandise, or a display featuring key
products that reinforce the shops brand and
identity. Focal Points are arranged at key
positions on the shop floor, often at the end
of walkways.

Sight lines


Shop Floor Design

Types of Floor Layout

The layout of a shop is important in ensuring the maximum exposure of shoppers to the
maximum amount of merchandise in the minimum amount of time. It is a way maintaining
traffic flow and control, while making best use of the space available.

There are various different tried and tested
ways in which to layout your shop:
In a Grid Layout fixtures run parallel to the
walls creating a grid of aisles. Grid layouts
are easy to shop because they offer clean
sight lines throughout the entire shop, and
they allow for the maximum amount of shelf
space to be achieved, and maximum End
Point exposure.

In a Loop or Racetrack Layout one

main aisle circles throughout the shop. The
perimeter fixtures run perpendicular to the
wall, and the fixtures in the centre of the loop
run parallel to the side walls. Loop layouts
offer maximum product exposure, because
the perimeter walls are just as important as
the End Caps. The layout leads customers to
the wall each time they go down an aisle.


In a Free Flow Layout there are no set

aisles or straight lines. Instead fixtures are
placed at angles, encouraging shoppers to
easily move throughout the shop, where they
will find new merchandise displays at every
turn. This layout offers many opportunities
to be more creative with the display of
merchandise, but offers less shelf space.
This is similar to a Soft Isle Layout where
fixtures are arranged randomly into groups
to free up floor space and encourage more
wall browsing.

In a Minimal Layout the minimal amount

of selling fixtures is used on the shop floor,
allowing for wide open browsing spaces
where customers can view whole collections
of merchandise before viewing it up close.
In this approach the merchandise is treated
more like art. It is often used for high end,
designer goods.
More often than not most stores use a
Combination Floor Layout which
employs the best features from each layout
to suit the shop shape. For example sale
merchandise may be positioned on fixtures
arranged in a different layout from all full
price merchandise on the shop floor.
(Also see Product Presentation: Display Fixtures and Fittings)


Shop Floor Design

Profit Zoning
Understanding the profitability of different areas within a shop floor is important to ensure
that spaces are used to their maximum efficiency.

Zoning is where the shop floor is divided
into four Zones in relation to sales : Platinum,
Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Platinum
Zone - closest to the door, attracts the most
customers; and the Bronze Zone, furthest
from the door, the least customers. The
Platinum Zone should be full of high demand
and high profit items to attract people in
shop and present the best possible image to
the high street. If a shop can get a customer
through the Platinum Zone to one of the
other areas they will be more likely to stay in
shop longer, and make a purchase.

Power Walls are key positions for sales

within shop. As most customers have a
tendency to turn left when they enter a
shop (similar to the way we drive) a key
merchandising area is on the left hand side
as entering the shop. This wall should be
used to display new and seasonal items and
high demand and high profit items.
Changing rooms and storage should be
positioned in the Bronze Zone at the rear of
the shop so not to take up high profit space
for merchandise display.

Bronze Zone

Silver Zone

Gold Zone

Platinium Zone

Cashiers can be placed either in the Bronze

Zone as a way of drawing people through
the shop, or on the left hand side just past
the Platinum Zone to allow the door to be

(Also See Shop Floor Design: Cashiers and Point of Sale Merchandise)


Shop Floor Design

Product Adjacencies
Project Adjacencies help the customer locate their desired products easily, and are more
likely to lead to impulse purchase within shop departments.

Product Adjacencies refers to the deliberate positioning of similar products next to each
other as a way of guiding and helping the customer navigate through the shop e.g. frozen
food next to chilled, or ties next to shirts. Back walls, that can be seen from a distance, can
be used effectively to clearly mark different product areas, that can be used as navigational
starting points. Areas that all shoppers frequent such as unisex products, cashiers or
changing rooms can be used as dividers between different product areas, to help reinforce
different product areas.


Shop Floor Design

Cashiers and Point of Sale Merchandise

The cashier is the last point of interaction between the customer and business, leaving the
final impression of the shop and generating last minute sales.

The Cashier should be easy to find - being
located within a key sight line (See Zoning).
They should provide enough space for
shoppers to queue without obstructing
other customers viewing merchandise.
Cashiers should be free from clutter, and
should enable customers to lay down their
merchandise and bag, allowing enough
space for the transaction to take place.
Cashiers are a key point for extra sales to be
made also.

Point of Sale Offers are low cost impulse

buy items placed either next to key products
or around the cashier. They include gift
vouchers or an economical collection of

Add on Sale Offers are lost cost items

which the sales staff encourage shoppers to
buy to complement their main purchase e.g.
shoe polish with a new pair of shoes.
While these items do not initially attract a
customer into the shop, they are likely to
be bought once a shopper is inside. By
placing them by the cashier, key space in the
Platinum Zone is made available for more
higher value sales.

Shop Floor Design

Promotional and Sale Merchandise

The careful positioning of Promotional and Sale Merchandise can encourage customers to
enter the business and purchase from non-sale goods.

Promotional or Sale Merchandise
should be pulled together and placed at the
rear of the shop on a single fixture or group
of fixtures. Positioning of Promotional and
Sale Merchandise at the back they will force
people to walk through the non-sale goods
in order to reach it, increasing the likelyhood of a purchase of non-sale, higher profit
goods. After a sale or promotion is finished,
any remaining stock should be relocated to
the least visually dominant position.
While a sale or promotion can be advertised
in the shop window, you should always aim
to present your highest quality goods rather
than sale ones in this key space.

Sale merchandise still remains a company

asset until it is sold. Effort should be made
to present using the same techniques listed
above to ensure good product presentation.
In pricing sale goods, it is useful for the
customer to see the original price and the
corresponding reduction next to it or the
percentage saved (use one or the other
and apply the same strategy throughout the
shop). The use of bright colours such red on
sale marketing can also create a sense of
urgency to encourage purchasing.

(Also See Shop Floor Design: Signage and Graphics)


Shop Floor Design

Signage and Graphics

Internal signage is important in helping provide customers with information that may be
useful to them in terms or store layout or merchandise, to ensure they have a enjoyable
shopping experience.

Signage comes in a variety of different
forms for different purposes. All shops need
a combination of all the different types to
operate successfully.
While branding should be incorporated into
all signage, Branded Signage is designed
simply to reinforce the brand message.
This can be repetition of the store name or
logo inside often as a large wall graphic.
This is the most important type of signage

Directive Signage is used to help the

shopper navigate the space, for example
showing the location of different types of
merchandise and parts of the shop including
toilets and checkouts. These are often wall
or ceiling mounted to enable them to be
seen, wherever a customer is positioned in

Point of Sale Signage is used to provide

extra details about a product. It is normally
located next to a product, and reduce the
need for detailed explanation by sale staff.


Promotional Signage is used to highlight

certain types of products, often sale or
seasonal wares, helping customers find
opportunities to save and make the most of
their shopping experience. In addition, they
create a sense of urgency encouraging the
customer to spend.
When designing signage there are certain
guidelines to follow to ensure its success:
A shops signage both should convey
its Brand Identity using any brand
logos, colours and fonts which should be
standardised throughout the shop and on
any marketing.
A shop sign needs to be legible. Text font
should be simple and contrast in colour
with its background to ensure legibility by all
All signage should be professionally
printed (not hand-written) to establish an
air of professionalism. For both permanent
and temporary signage text and graphics
adhesive vinyl is a quick, durable and cheap

Text on all signage should be kept to the

minimum needed to convey the required
Only a few signs should be used at any
one time in a shop wall to prevent the shop
and message from becoming confusing or
creating visual untidiness. Less is always
All signage should be regularly updated,
cleaned, and repaired with a routine
assessment of the shop front and shop
taking place on a regular basis.

A shops signage should be properly affixed

to the wall, window or fixture it is attached
to using durable fasteners. Care should be
taken to make sure its correctly positioned
and straight.
(Also see Window Design: Signage and Graphics Marketing: Creating a Brand)


Shop Floor Design

Lighting plays an integral part in the design of the business premises, both in enabling the
customers to easily find what they are looking for, highlighting in store products and setting
an ambiance.

When thinking about in-store lighting it is
important to understand the following:
While an overall flood of light is required to
illuminate the entire store; shop windows,
priority walls, back walls, display areas,
and task areas such as checkouts and
fitting rooms, will require further lighting
with accent lights. Lighting of these areas
should be at 2-5 times more intense than the
ambient lighting level of the store.
Lights should be properly focused on the
display fixtures and merchandise in these
areas, not on blank walls or floor, and should
be at an angle to maximise the area that is
illuminated. In angling lighting light beams
should be crossed over to avoid shadows.

Lights in shop windows, areas with glass

counter-tops, or walls with mirrors, should be
adjusted to prevent glare in shoppers eyes.
Some colours and materials absorb light and
others reflect it. If a light absorbing colour
such as black is being used or a material
such as fabric or carpet, extra lighting will be
Time of day also affects colour. In the day,
with bright light shining in the shop window,
more light will be required in-store to
compensate. Less lighting is needed at night
because the windows stand out against their
dark surroundings. Lighting should ideally be
on a timer.
Bulbs and reflectors should be kept clean as
dusty lamps can dramatically reduce lighting
output. Dirty walls and ceilings can also
decrease light reflection.
All electrical cables should be hidden from
sight, either in trunking or the within walls or
ceilings, or along floor edges.

(Also see Window Design: Lighting)


Shop Floor Design

Shop Layout Examples

Example layout for grocery shop

Example layout for clothing shop


Shop Floor Design

Design Your Shop Layout

Step by Step:
1. Measure the inside of your shop, and using the
grid paper as a guide, draw a plan view of your shop
(like the examples previously.)
2. Measure all your display fixtures within your shop
and draw them inside your plan in the most suitable positions, based on what you have learnt in this
chapter. (See the checklist overleaf.)


3. Remember to draw in an area for your cash

desk, storage, admin (and changing room if you sell

Customer = 0.5m


1 square = 0.5m

Tools required for task:

Tape Measure

Door= 0.85m

Shop Floor Design

Shop Layout Checklist

Have you created defined Walkways using display fixtures and a route around
your shop you would like to take?
Have you considered Sight lines in your design and created key Focal Points
along these walkways?
Have you ensured customers can see through the shop by using lower fixtures at
the front and creating Power Walls at the rear and sides?
Have you considered what type of Shop Floor Layout (Grid, Loop, Free
Flow or Combination) is most suitable for your business?
Have you considered Zoning in your shop (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum
Zones) and planning your merchandise accordingly?
Have you considered Product Adjacencies - ensuring different products are
positioned next to each other in a logical way?
Have you located your cashier in the most suitable position? Have you set up
scenarios to encourage Point of Sale Offers and Add On Sales?
Have you positioned your Promotional and Sale Merchandise in a position
that encourages customers to browse non-sale goods?
Have you used all types of Signage effectively (Branding, Directive,
Informative and Promotional) Is it professional and legible?
Have you considered in-store Lighting to show your merchandise in its best



A customer will be attracted to

a in-store display within 3 to 8
seconds. This is the average
time a customer spends to
determine whether they are
interested in a product.


Product Presentation
The presentation of a product in-store can be as crucial to its sale as the performance of the
actual product itself. A poorly presented product can often be overlooked.

The presentation of merchandise can be controlled by the effective choice of different
Types of Display Fixtures and Fittings and by the product Display Design and
Coordination on the fixture. Product Stocking is also important, as is how the display
encourages Product Interaction, and how the product is Prepared for Display.
Information on all of these elements of product presentation can be found in the following


Product Presentation

Types of Display Fixtures and Fittings

The correct use of different fixtures and fittings that is suitable for both the type and quantity
of merchandise, to shows it at its best advantage, is essential in ensuring its sale.
It is worth investing in a range of good quality fixtures and fittings for this purpose.

Tables can be used to display a variety of
goods. Clothing and home-wares can be
stacked on them, or half mannequins or
busts can sit on their surface. Two different
sizes of tables together are often used to
create maximum impact.

Gondolas are a movable shelving unit

End-Caps are units at the end of gondolas.

and are important selling locations and
should be used for high-profit impulse or
seasonal merchandise.

(usually rectangular) approachable from all

sides, used in self-service retail shops to
display merchandise. As movable fixtures,
they can be lined up in rows to create an
Aisle or used singularly to create an Island.
Shelves on the gondola are usually flexible,
allowing them to house a variety of different
products. Some have lighting and or signage
fixtures built into them. In using gondolas,
customers generally look to the centre of the
gondola first, and then to either the right or
left. In stocking them, related merchandise
should be grouped together. Larger items
are usually placed at the bottom, with
smaller items occupying the top shelves.

(Also See Product Presentation: Product Interaction and Eye Level Display.)


Rails can be to display garments in a shop.

Capacity Rails which are designed to show
many options of garments and carry a large
amount of stock. They have adjustable arms
and can be shopped at from two sides (T
stand) or four sides (Quad Rack) or wall
mounted. They are easy to replenish and
can be manoeuvred around the shop. Single
Rails are designed to show less stock; often
more expensive clothing, a trend or whole

Circular Rails are useful in presenting a

single piece of merchandise in a variety of
different colours or styles. Fixed Rails can
be attached to the walls also, providing a
single sturdy rail, with little flexibility but able
to take more weight.

Slat Wall and Grid Systems are a system

A Vendor Fixture is given by the supplier

to the retailer to house and display the
vendors branded products. The advantage
of these types of fixtures is that they are
free and will be suited to carry the specific
product. The disadvantage is that it may
cause that particular brand to dominate your
shop and the fixture may not fit in with the
shop brand - this needs to be weighed up.

of prongs, rails and shelves which can be

fitted together in various ways to create a
series of wall spaces on which to display
goods. Shelves can provide spaces for a
variety of products, often with inbuilt lighting.
Shelves can only be accessed from one
side and hold a limited amount of clothing


Product Presentation

Display Design and Coordination

The way in which merchandise is arranged on fittings and fixtures in-store can be used to
create an impact and appeal to the aesthetic sensibility of the customer, thus determining
whether they become interested in purchasing the product.


Colour Blocking is a style of

Product Blocking is a style of
merchandising whereby a fixture or fitting
is stocked with just one product or range
to increase its visual impact. This is best
suited to volume merchandise. It is low
maintenance and easy to replenish, and is
logical for the customer as they can see all
colours and sizes clearly.

merchandising whereby the colour of the

product is used to create visual impact.
Products are grouped according to colour,
or arranged as a collection of products
in colour order, to create an aesthetically
pleasing display. Arranging products in
rainbow colour is very effective in this way.

Product Collection Merchandising is

Chequered Merchandising is where

where all of one type of product is displayed

together, enabling the customer to see
varying brands, colours, styles, sizes and
price points.

different colours or types of products are

alternated along a length of wall, to create
visual impact.


Horizontal/Vertical Merchandising

Coordinated Merchandising is where

is a style of merchandising whereby

merchandise is hung or shelved in horizontal
or vertical rows. Each horizontal row or
vertical line can be arranged by colour, the
same style of product item, or can be used
to show different style options.

collections or themes of products or

garments are grouped together to create a
cohesive look. These are designed to give
the customer inspiration and educate them
on how to put products together.
In fashion this is can be extended to
Anatomical Merchandising, whereby
garments are hung on top of each-other in
the same way they would be worn.

Symmetrical Merchandising is a style

of presenting a product to create a mirrored
effect. This is best suited to wall fixtures. The
product is presented the same way on each
side with an imaginary line running vertically
through the middle.

Product Presentation

Product Stocking
How merchandise is maintained on displays and fittings is important in maintaining an
appearance of a successful, cared for business, and one in which people wish to engage.

Displaying the right amount of merchandise on in store displays is important to ensure sales.
An Overstocked Display can appear
messy or overpowering to the customer,
giving an impression of a lack of care, which
can reduce customer trust. Displays with
too much merchandise can lose their selling
message and theme, and can become
confusing. While shelves should be well
stocked, goods should not be piled so
high that the customer fears in removing a

An Understocked Display makes a shop

appear as if it is going out of business.
Displays should be restocked before it
gets down to the last item, to prevent lost
sales. Old merchandise should be cleaned
and pulled forward as new merchandise is
added to the back. As merchandise begins
to have broken sizes or assortments, the
display area for the items should be reduced
to be in proportion with the available stock.

A Empty Display is a time of no sales.

Display work and restocking should
be planned to take place when all the
necessary equipment and merchandise is
available, prior to removing the previous
display. It is also important to consider
undertaking restocking at a time when it
causes minimum disruption to customers
within shop. You should aim to maintain a
professional shop floor at all times.

(See Window Design: Themes and Schemes)

Product Presentation

Product Interaction and Eye Level Displays

Displays should encourage product interaction. In enabling the customer to interact more
fully with the merchandise on display both visually and physically, they are able to make a
more informed decision about its purchase, which can lead to increased sales.

Product Interaction can be created in
various ways. In all shops the positioning
of shelf heights is fundamental -if a shelf is
too high or too low, and causes strain, then
the customer will be unable to see or reach
the product to purchase. The ideal position
for goods is at is Eye Level Buy Level
(1.65m). The worst position for placement
of goods is the top shelf, closely followed
by the bottom shelf. In order to prevent
strain, the bottom shelf should be no lower
than 30cm above the ground and the top
shelf no higher than 2.2m. When positioning
different goods on each shelf, your target
market should also considered e.g. the
lower shelves are prime space for targeting

In home-ware or beauty shops, a sample

of a product should be removed from its
packaging to allow the customer to handle
and feel the item. On filling shelves, a starter
gap - in which at least one item is missing
should exist, so the customer will not feel
like they are messing up a neat display.
All clothing shops should provide changing
rooms which is easy to locate and visible to
the customer from the shop floor, to enable
clothes to be tried on. Customers that try
on clothing are 71% more likely to buy the
item. Changing rooms should be spacious,
comfortable and well lit, adding to the
pleasure of the shopping experience.

display only
small items
medium items

Eye Level
(Buy Level)

large heavy


Product Presentation

Preparing Items for Display

Each product needs to be prepared before being put on display to ensure it looks new and
appealing to the customer.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Product Preparation is key. All clothing


items should be steamed or ironed before

being put on display. Hangers should all
match and be hung on the rail all facing the
same direction. Maximum of six to eight
items should be stacked together in piles.
Step 5


Step 4

Step 6

Step 4

All clothes should be stacked or hung in size

order from the smallest to largest, front to
back or left to right. All merchandise should
be cleaned and checked for any damage
daily, and ensure all price information is in
tact and correct.

Step 3
Step 5
Step 1

Step 2

Product Information should be displayed

clearly alongside all products. All tags and
labels should be the same across the store,
and be professionally printed using a legible
font. All price labels should be attached
where they are least likely to mark items,
and on folded clothing and mannequins
should be tucked inside out of view. Sticky
price labels should be placed on the bottom
of each item as they are likely to mark.

(Also see Store Design: Signage and Graphics and

Store Maintenance)

Product Display Examples

Example of product presentation for a hardware shop

Example of product presentation for a handbag shop

Example of product presentation for a chemist


Product Presentation

Design Your Product Display

Product display on a Wall Grid System

Product display on Gondala

Step by Step:
1. Pick one or more of the display fixtures and fittings
similar to what you already have in store, or alternatively draw your own below.
2. Draw your merchandise on the display fixture
based on what you have learnt in this chapter (like
the examples previously.) Dont forget to use the
checklist overleaf.


Tools required for task:


1 square = 0.25m

Product Presentation

Product Presentation Checklist

Have you chosen the most appropriate Display Fixture or Fitting in which to
display your different types of merchandise?
Have you used a variety of Display Design and Coordination Techniques

(Horizontal/Vertical Merchandising, Chequered Merchandising,

Coordinated Merchandising etc.) to best display to your products?
Have you effectively used Product Blocking and Colour Blocking when
presenting your products?
Have you adequately stocked (not Overstocked or Understocked) your
displays, and ensured you have back up stock to refill them?
Have you set up a plan to monitor your displays and ensure they remain tidy and
Have you checked the height of your shelves to ensure that they are accessible
without strain and are stocked appropriately?
Have you considered the importance of Eye Level displays and targeted them
at your target market? Have you considered product positioning on shelves?
Have you presented example products to encourage Product Interaction?
Have you Prepared your products thoroughly and hung/stacked them in an
appropriate order?
Do all products have Product Information accompanying them, in the form of
tags and display labels?



Behind the Scenes

On average, loyal customers
are worth up to 10 times as
much as their first purchase.
It is 6 times more expensive to
acquire a new customer than
it is to keep a current one.


Creating a visually engaging business is just one part of the larger brand image that is
required in order to create an atmosphere which encourages people to buy. Even with this in
place, a store with poor service can have poor sales.

A customer will judge the overall service they receive from a business on a variety of
factors: amongst these are the level of Customer Interaction; the general appearance,
Maintenance and cleanliness (Hygiene) of the shop or restaurant; and the quality of the
merchandise and service the shop offers.
Information on all of these elements of service can be found in the following chapter.



Customer Interaction
A key part of service in any business is how its employees interact with their customers.
Staff can help to create a positive experience that will encourage customers to undertake a
transaction and return again.

The key to good service is being
knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming. This
can be achieved through various shop floor
Smile when greeting a customer in person
and on the phone (people can hear it in your
voice). Use age appropriate greetings. The
live customer always takes precedence over
the customer on the phone.
Never judge a book by its cover. All
customers deserve attention regardless of
their age or their appearance.
Stay visible and available, but do not hover,
and do not turn away if you see a customer
Be proactive and ask if you can help. Learn
to read body language to see if a customer
could use some help.
If a customer asks for help and you dont
know the answer, endeavour to find out from
a colleague. If a customer wants something
that is not on display, go to the stock room
and try find it. If the item isnt in the stock
room, offer to order one in for them.

Never discuss customers in front of other

customers, (since they will wonder what you
are saying when they leave.)
Make any personal calls out of earshot, and
do not play on your phone. Do not discuss
your personal life in front of other customers.
Do not let chatty customers monopolize your
time if others are waiting.
Leave any food or beverages away from
Inspect merchandise before bagging it to
make sure its not defective or the wrong
size. Ensure the customer has everything
they have paid for before they leave.
Smile as you are saying goodbye and
encourage the customer to come again.

78% of consumers have not

made an intended purchase
because of a poor service


Pavement Licensing
In owning a business you should always be looking for opportunities to improve your
business and the service you offer, to ensure customer satisfaction and remain competitive
in your market. Applying for pavement licensing can be useful in achieving this, giving your
customers the opportunity to sit outside or you to advertise directly on the street.

All businesses within the Finsbury Park
area can apply for Pavement Licensing
online on through the council website. Once
an request has been made to the council
an officer will visit your shop to make an
assessment. Following your assessment you
are required to make a formal application
with: drawings of the seating or advertising
boards location on the pavement; photos
of the proposed items; evidence of a public
liability agreement for the sum of 3million;
and an admin licence fee. The process
can take up to eight weeks to approve so
applying well in advance of the period you
wish to using the seating/board is important.
Further information can be found at:



Food Hygiene
In running any business within the catering industry hygiene is key. Not only is hygiene
important in attracting people to your establishment, but in making them return. Customers
are unlikely to return to somewhere that has made them or a friend ill. Word of mouth can be
detrimental to a business of this kind!

As way of improving hygiene in each
business and to make customers aware of
the hygiene standard of a establishment
in which they may want to eat, a rating
scheme has been devised called The Food
Hygiene Rating Scheme. Run by local
authorities in partnership with the Food
Standards Agency, each catering business
is subject to a planned inspection, where it
is given a hygiene rating from 0-5, based on
the standards of hygiene found (with 0 being
poor and 5 being very good.)
The rating given will depend on the following:
how hygienically the food is handled; how
it is prepared, cooked, and cooled; what
measures are taken to prevent food being
contaminated with bacteria; the condition
of the structure of your premises, including
cleanliness, layout, lighting, ventilation,
equipment and other facilities; and how
you manage and record what you do to
make sure food is safe. This rating can be
improved, following guidance issued by the
inspecting officer.
Further information can be found at: http://

Key ways to improve your hygiene are:

Always wash your hands before handling
food and between handling different types.
Make sure hair is tied back and jewellery
Avoid cross contamination of food by only
using different equipment for each food type
and preparing food in a space large enough
to prevent cross over.
Ensure all food on display or in store is
covered and adequately chilled/heated to
the appropriate temperature - Cold food
must be kept at 8 degrees or below, and hot
food 63 degrees or above.
Ensure all equipment, appliances, worktops,
walls, floors, and ceilings, are cleaned and
disinfected at the end of each day. Ensure all
pest control measures are in place.
Remove food waste as quickly as possible
to an external bin, compliant with local
authority requirements.


How a business visually welcomes customers has a lot to do with whether or not they enter
a shop. It is hard to overcome the negative image of a poor shop exterior.

Certain areas should be checked on a
regular basis to ensure their maintenance:

Make sure all the shelves are regularly

stocked and clean, and counters decluttered.

Walk along the street and check the

business frontage can be seen from a
distance. Ensure there are no objects (bins,
signage, clothes rails, produce) blocking its
view or obstructing the doorway.

Assess if the floor is showing areas of wear

an tear, and consider if it needs replacing or
repairing. Make sure it is swept and mopped

Assess if the business frontage needs

repairing or repainting. Check all information
presented about the business is legible and
up to date.

Ensure all deliveries are put away out of

sight, and all rubbish is disposed of in the
bins outside.

Sweep the areas around your business to

ensure they are clean and free from litter.
Wash the windows so they look clean and
inviting from both outside and in.
Regularly inspect all window displays to
ensure they are still intact and relevant, or if
they need tidying or updating.
Inspect all external and internal lights to
ensure they are working in the shop and
window or if they need replacing.
Assess if the inside of the business needs
redecorating, or if any of the display stands
need repairing or replacing as they are worn

The most common methods of

gathering information prior to
making a purchase are :
Using a company website (36%)
Face-to-face conversation with
a salesperson or other company
representative (22%)
Face-to-face conversation with a
person not associated with the
company (21%).


Good marketing and promotion is key to business success. While having a well visually
merchandised and maintained stop is important, if no one knows it exists you can only
appeal to passers-by. According to the Finsbury Park 2015 operator survey, nearly 40% of
local businesses currently dont undertake any promotional activity at all. In an area which
is seeing rapid changes, it will be those businesses with an effective marketing strategy that
will succeed.

A business must first define the Brand
image it wants to portray, its target
audience/s, and identify the mix of channels
it will use to get its message out. These
could be printed materials such as leaflets
and posters, press adverts, and though
creating an online presence through a
company website, or free channels such as
Google Maps (and other online directories
such as and Social Media
like Facebook and Twitter. Face-to-face
marketing - talking to potential customers
and networking - is also important, and youll
need a good Business Card to hand out.

Your need to understand your customers

to have an effective promotional strategy
for example; will they appreciate informal
or formal language and which digital (ie.
Facebook, Twitter etc) and traditional media
(ie. local newspapers) channels do they use?
You can conduct your own market research
e.g. by talking to your customers, through
online surveys (such as Survey Monkey),
through looking at online feedback and
website analytics.

Your promotional activity will influence how

customers see your business. If your website
is out of date, if your leaflet has not been
produced professionally or if your tweets
have spelling mistakes, this will reflect badly
on your business.
Information on all of these elements of
marketing can be found in the following


Creating a Brand
Creating a successful brand image is important ensuring you attract your target customers
and improve the chances of purchases and repeat business.

A businesss Brand Image is the
retailers identity in the shoppers mind. It
encompasses not only the goods it sells, but
also the businesses atmosphere, reputation
and service. It should be incorporated in
everything the shop does.
A shops brand image is driven by the
retailers Business Plan a formal
expression of the retailers purpose for
operating the business. This is often
translated into a simple slogan for the store,
that appears on much of its marketing. The
Mission Statement summarises what the
business plans to do, who its target market
is, and what makes it unique (its USP) in
the face of its competitors. A good way
to decide on your Unique Selling Point
(USP) is to consider what things you sell
the most of, what you make the most profit
on and what you want to be known for. This
will tell you what you are good at, what you
make money from, and what you enjoy. It is
crucial to define your USP because it is what
makes you stand out from the crowd.

(Also see Management: Creating a Business Plan)


A businesses Target Market is the

identified segment/s of the population that
is a good fit for your product or service and
the focus for your promotional efforts. The
Finsbury Park operator survey indicated that
most shoppers in Finsbury Park are female,
with a high proportion of 25-44 year olds.
Finsbury Park serves a predominantly local
customer base of regular visitors, a mixture
of both local residents and workers, with a
large number of families.
Your brand is communicated in the
relationship you develop with your
customers. The friendliness of your staff,
reliability, convenient opening hours,
responsiveness to customer needs and
complaints, and rewards for customer loyalty,
all help build up brand image.


Google Maps
Featuring your business on Google Maps gives it an online presence even when your shop
is not open, and enables your business to reach more people.

On using Google Maps customers are able to find out the following:
An overview of your business - the business type, including the merchandise you sell or
service you provide.
Images of the inside and the outside of your shop and merchandise.
Reviews for your business.
A link to your website.
Your opening hours and contact details (phone number and email).
The address, and directions to your business in relation to public transport.
The service is free, easy to use and can be updated regularly by the shop owner.


Social Media

Creating accounts on social media can help keep people up to date with your business.

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook is a free way to market your business - thus
reducing the budget required for marketing. It can be used not only to help your business
reach a larger amount of customers, but to also enable your business to retain a link with
existing customers. Customers are able to directly contact you and give you feedback and
you are able to directly contact your customers with sales, offers or events in shop. The
most powerful marketing for a business is recommendations from friends and family, which
following/liking a business on social media provides.
The service is free, easy to use and can
be updated regularly by the shop owner.

3 out of 4 customers are more

likely to visit your store, if your
online info is useful.


Business Cards
Having a well designed business card is important when conducting business afield. They
create an air of professionalism when swapping details with someone else, and, when
designed well, can give a good first impression of your brand.

Business cards should be created
professionally and not at home. They should
be created to look consistent with all your
other printed materials.

Business cards should reprinted as

company information is updated - do not
handwrite updated information on cards.

Their design should be unique and reflect

the brand. Font should be simple and easy
to read, at a size that prevents people from
having to squint.
The traditional size for business cards is
85mm x 55mm. Odd or die cut shapes can
be memorable but should not compromise
clarity of information.
Business cards can be one or two sides,
often with an image/colour/logo on one side
and contact information on the other.
At minimum your business cards should
include four pieces of information: your
business name, your name, phone, number
and email address. It may also be useful to
include your address, website or any social
media profile names.

(Also see Marketing: Creating a Brand)



Design Your Business Cards

Business Card Front

Business Card Back

Step by Step:
1. Using your company branding and contact details,
design yourself a business card. Use the example
overleaf to help you.

Tools required for task:



A well considered business

plan can double your chance
of successful growth of your


Having clear procedures in place to help manage your business is vital to its success. This
ensures that not only do you and your employees understand clearly what it is you are trying
to achieve, but also how and when you are trying to achieve it.

The two most important documents in a businesss paperwork are their Business Plan and
Calendar - a document that should be shared physically or digitally amongst all employees.
A strong understanding and control of company finances is also integral; something that is
most effectively controlled through Managing Overheads effectively.
Information on all of these management elements can be found in the following chapter.



Creating a Business Plan

A Business Plan gives a company a clear idea of what it plans to do and how it plans
to do it. It gives the you clear tasks and goals and enables others (possibly investors) to
understand your business and its aspirations.


A typical business plan is 15-25 pages and

includes the following seven sections:

An Executive Summary provides a short

and clear synopsis of the business plan that
describes: the business concept; financial
features and requirements (i.e. cash flow and
sales projections plus capital needed); your
companys current business position (i.e. its
legal form of operation; when your company
was formed; principals and key personnel);
and any major achievements in your
company that are relevant to its success.

A Business Description is a brief

description of your business within the
industry, and its outlook. It should also
include: your business operations structure
(i.e. wholesale, retail or service-oriented);
who you will sell to; how you will distribute
your products/services; the products/
services itself; your businesss legal
structure; its principals and what they bring
to the organization.

Market Strategies is where the you as

Operations and Management Plan

a business define your target market and

how you plan to reach them. This should
demonstrate research and familiarity
with the market so the company can be
positioned within it. You must analyse the
market in terms of size, structure, growth
prospects, trends and sales/growth
potential. This section also talks about your
distribution plans and promotion strategy
and tactics that will allow you to fulfil your

explains how your business functions on a

daily basis, its location, equipment, people,
processes and surrounding environment. If
your business creates a product (e.g. food)
you must explain the how and where; and
describe the businesses work facility, the
personnel, the legal environment (such as
licensing, permits, special regulations, etc.),
key suppliers and inventory. Within in the
various tasks assigned to each individual
within the company will be explained.

Competitive Analysis is where you

Financial Factors should include your

determine the strengths and weaknesses

of the competitors within the market, and
strategies that will provide you with a distinct
advantage (your USP - Unique Selling Point),
and the barriers that can be developed in
order to prevent competition from entering
your market. You should show why the
business will be a success over others.

personal financial statement, start up

expenses and capital, your projected cash
flow statement and 12-month profit-and-loss
Business plans can be written by yourself or
a consultant can be hired.



Creating a Business Calendar

Having a Business Calendar is just as important as having a business plan. It keeps you
on track, allows you to plan ahead, and takes stress out of the equation when it comes to
remembering all the things you have to accomplish.


Creating a business calendar can be

undertaken in a few simple steps:
Choose a Format for your calendar.
Calendars can either be manual or digital
- be on a desk or wall in your shop office,
or on your computer or phone. Microsoft
Outlook, Google Calender or iCal are
very popular and can be shared amongst
employees, making editing easy. Whatever
format, they should allow you and others to
clearly see the year ahead. They should be
able to be shared easily and backed up.
Create an Organisation System for your
calendar, to make it easy to read. Look at the
list of events youve compiled and separate
each event into categories, then choose a
different colour for each category. You can
also make the calendar less cluttered by
using abbreviations like MTG for meeting
and HOL for holiday.

Add Key Dates to your calendar including:

-Business meetings
-Stock check and shop maintenance review
-Cash flow review (invoices)
-Promotional/sale periods
-Window and in store display reviews
-Staff holidays, reviews and meetings
-Marketing review
-Business plan review
-Any business goal deadlines
Some Key dates for your Calendar include:

February 14th - St. Valentines Day

February - Chinese New Year
March 17th - St Patricks Day
March -Holi
March/April - Easter
May - Mothers Day
June - Fathers Day
June/July - Ramadan and Eid
September - Back to School
October - Diwali
October 31st - Halloween
November 5th - Guy Fawkes Night
December- Hannukkah
December 25 - Christmas Day
December 31st - New Years Eve


Managing Overheads
Managing expenses is a key for business success, and overhead costs play a pivotal role in
realising favourable profit margins. Almost all companies have some form of overhead consisting of specific categories of indirect expenses. The better your business is in managing
overhead costs, the more competitive your will be in the marketplace.

Keeping a close eye on your Business
Rates can be an effective way to minimise
your overheads. If your business rent is
reduced, you can apply to your council to
have your business rates reduced. This is
because the rates are based on the rent
that you are paying for your premises. Visit in order to check the
value that your rates are based on, and
whether you could have grounds for a reduction. You will then need to check with your
local authority.

Minimizing your Stock can help reduce

your initial overheads. Stock is cash that has
been locked up into products. This means
that your business is less liquid. Commonly
this also results in overstocked shelves and
store rooms, as well as resulting in many
items that need to go on sale at the end of
their shelf life or season.

Renegotiating your Utilities Bills can be a

great way to save money. Change your supplier regularly to negotiate a discount. Set a
date in your calendar a month before your 12
month contract is up, and renegotiate with
your current supplier or go elsewhere. Cut
down your bills by reducing your energy use.
Think about when you can switch off lights
during the day, or shut down computers at
night in order to slash your utilities bills. Use
LED bulbs, rather than incandescent or fluorescent, since they will pay for themselves
many times over during their lifetime.






Useful Resources
Visual Merchandising Books/Guides:
Bell. J and Ternus. K / Silent Selling: Best Practices and Effective Strategies in Visual
Merchandising / Fourth Edition / Fairchild Books / New York / 2012
Diamond. J and Diamond. E / Contemporary Visual Merchandising and Environmental
Design / Third Edition / Pearson Education / New Jersey / 2004
Morgan. T. / Visual Merchandising: Window and In-Store Displays for Retail / Laurence
King/ London /2008
Pegler. M / Visual Merchandising and Display / Fourth Edition / Fairchild Books / New York
/ 2004
Visual Merchandising a Guide for Small Retailers / North Central Regional Centre for Rural
Development / Iowa State University / 1991

Business Guides:
COBRA - Complete Business Reference Advisor
Food Hygiene: A Guide for Businesses
The Small Business Online Marketing Guide - Google

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