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Retail sector in India is one of the fastest growing and emerging sectors in India. With increase in the consumption index of Indian population, retail sector has immense potentials. The income levels of the country are rising and so is the demand for packaged goods. Not only this the growth of consumption class as described in Pricewaterhouse cooperââ‚¬â„¢s report also tells the story of huge potential in this sector as shown below:
VM is the presentation skill that educates the customers through visual mode, creates desire for the product and converts browsing into buying. VM consists mainly of two factors. First one is the change in the look and ambience of the store with the change in the season which makes the customer feel innovative and she can feel the fresh arrival of the new stock through the senses also. Secondly VM deals with the placement of the products inside the shelf also. It defines at what level the product should be kept in the rack so that the customer can access it easily. The level of the product placing varies with many factors like usability of the product, price of the product, response of the customers towards the product, local factors etc. Generally the shelf-product positioning is defined from the corporate offices of the stores.
Receiving and replenishing stocks
The receiving is an important aspect of the store operation as it leads to careful inspection of the material arriving at the store. The receiving is generally the first process of the day to start with and at the receiving site sometimes every single item has to be checked to minimize the level of waste and dump which causes pure loss in the revenue of the store. While talking about replenishment in most of the cases it is not that efficient in stores in India as it is done manually. The personnel involved in the section has to rely on his intuition whether this is the time for replenishment or not. This may result into a situation where a lot of customers go back without making any purchase. For better service forecasting has to be done well in advance and special arrangement should be there for weekends and holidays.
Schemes and offers
Generally schemes and offers are set by the corporate offices with consultation to the store but sometimes the store manager also can take decision for quick sale of a product which is accumulated in inventory and has a low shelf life.
Week end activities and Events
The main problem during the weekends and event days is the waiting of customers in queues. Even after selecting the product if the line is very long the customers leave their basket within the store and make no purchase. For improving this situation the store management has to deploy necessary actions. Number of billing counters can be increased or some quick billing method can be introduced.
This is the most important part of a store. Following the rule that customer is always right helps in building the customer friendly image of the store and reputation strengthens. The customer service office is common for every section of the store, so any end receiving of the bought product from any section is also made through this centre. Customer service in the store we studied was limited but effective. Anything the customer said is considered to be true and subsequently product exchange or money return decision is made instantly with the consultation of the customer.
The store layout design is very important and has now become a strategic tool for differentiating the offerings of the store and retaining customers. Today there is a change in customer perception, gone are the days when shopping for weekly/monthly groceries or even clothes or appliances were a boring chore or a liability. Customers see shopping as an activity which gives fun and excitement for the whole family. So stores/malls are trying to provide a wholesome shopping experience and in the process attracting more customers & increasing their sales. In the retail sector more systematic attention is given to the efficient designing of the store which influences the buying behaviour of the customers. The most significant elements of in-store design are the store layout & visual merchandising. The store layouts adopt different patterns that encourage circulation of the customers to all parts of the store and provide easy accessibility to the merchandise.
The ambient conditions refer to background characteristic such as noise level, music, lighting, temperature & scent etc that effect employee performance and morale/psyche of the customer. By providing a suitable ambience, the store can increase the amount of time customers stay and the money spent. The various parameters of Food Bazaar as regards to the ambience are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 least favourable & 5 most favourable).
This aspect is particularly important in planning the circulation path of the customers and grouping of merchandise. The circulation path should be such that it provides maximum expose to the merchandise while placing any service along this path. Some of the specifications of the floor layout of the Food Bazaar section of Big Bazaar are as follows:
The above relationship chart shows the relative closeness that the various sections in Food Bazaar should have as per the attached weightage. We have found that in Food Bazaar the various sections like Fruits & vegetables are very close to each other while the Chef Zone & Hungry Kya sections have important relation between them and are located nearer to one another. Similarly as a large section of the Indian consumer are vegetarians, so the Non Veg section has a undesirable relation with all other sections (except for the chill station, as both need cooling) and it is located farthest from the other sections. Only one observation from our side is that the Candies, confectionaries & Dry fruit sections should be nearer to the Chef Zone & Hungry Kya sections (important relation). This is important to induce buying from this section while the customer strolls through these food sections. The billing section has not been included in the above chart, as basically it has to be nearer to every section (including other Big Bazaar sections). But the Food Bazaar is the closest to the billing counters on the ground floor and catering to the customers who visit to store only for food & grocery purchase.
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