Canadian Music Trade - February / March - Page 28

BUSINESS MATTERS Space-Saving Design & Merchandising Tips From Retail Store Designer Chris Miller Are you getting the most merchandising space out of your backroom, showroom, and even checkout counter and office space? And are you displaying your merchandise in a visually effective way? Chris Miller has the answers to these questions and more. M iller is the president of Pacific Store Designs. Since 1981, he has redesigned thousands of retail stores across the pet, automotive, pool and spa, motorcycle, hobby, and musical products industries. He has a long history with NAMM University, having presented at The NAMM Show and on the road for the organization going back to 1996. At last month’s NAMM Show, he presented an Idea Center session on “10 Space-Saving Merchandising Secrets” and was also a panelist for the 2018 Store Design Summit. Speaking with Canadian Music Trade, he shares some of those tips from his presen- tation and elaborates on other problematic areas he sees in many MI stores. “A lot of retail is downsizing and they’re trying to offer the same selection out of less square footage. With the rents the way they are and the brick and mortar stores having to be more and more competitive, [they’re] finding ways to fit 100 pounds of groceries into a 10-pound sack,” says Miller. “I usually start in the back rooms when I talk about stores. If we can maximize the back room, then we free up retail selling space and we’ve done our job. So the average backroom for the average store is around six per cent of the square footage. If they’re a large rental company, then obviously it’s going to be larg- er because they have to stock the inventory,” 28 CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE says Miller. “But what we do then is, in many of my stores, we put in double-deck mezzanines in the back and have gone with high-pile storage and/or mobile aisles. A mobile aisle is where one aisle services many rows of shelv- ing and you roll these shelving units left and right and then you have a mobile aisle. You’ve probably seen them in file rooms. So if we have high ceilings, then we go with the mez- zanine. If we have a low ceiling and we need to get the capacity, then we go with mobile aisles. If we can free up [space] or keep them from having to expand or, again, getting more utilization of the same square footage, it’s the best way to free up some selling space.” Elsewhere, Miller notes it’s common for stores to have an office space on the show room floor. “They basically count money in there or do orders and things like that. It’s something that’s very easily done at home. The value of a 10 x 10-ft. office is 100 sq. ft. times $200 per square foot per year, which is equal to $20,000 a year in sales. If they’re aver- aging 40 points of margin, that’s $8,000. You get down to a rent of, say, a couple bucks per square foot, that’s another $2,400 a year. So if we’re to lay out $10,200 on the table and say, ‘Can you do your paperwork at home to free up your selling space?’ most people go, ‘Yeah, I think I can do that.’” If an office work space is needed in the store, Miller says sometimes he will create an office workstation at the checkout counter. SWING PANELS SLI %9A91L