Store Visual Planning, Part 4

This is the 4th in a series of posts to provide tips and knowledge to make you a better merchandiser. You will want to start with the first posts if you have not already been following this topic. Click the links here for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Now you are ready for Part 4, the Cash Wrap Zone!

Where is the Cash Wrap Zone?

    • Commonly called the “Cash Wrap,” the Cash Zone is where purchases are made. It is likely that every patron in the door will ultimately wind up in line at the Cash Zone. This is then the highly trafficked spot. Rather than center it in your retail environment, place it to the left of the store center.
    • The cash wrap also serves as a security checkpoint and as an area that can allow visibility to all parts of the store. When designing the cash wrap area, keep in mind the many functions that will be accommodated by the space and plan accordingly.
    • Add-on and impulse merchandise should be placed above, behind, and near the cash wrap where possible. The cash wrap is the location that offers the most captive audience (a waiting customer) and is the point at which impulse sales are most often made.
    • From a design for Ralph Lauren stores: “Behind the cash wrap counter is the Ralph Lauren logo on an animated light box that dances through the spectrum of colors that are available in the cosmetics line….The experience is focused on the cash wrap. By doing this, the purchase of cosmetics becomes the climatic build of the shopping experience and the woman’s exit from the store becomes a reaffirming act as she takes her place back on street level.”

    The fifth and final installment of our Store Visual Planning series is up next! Stay tuned next month for “Creative Merchandising!”
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Store Visual Planning, Part 2

And now we move past the Entrance, or “decompression zone” to the next, and very critical space in your retail environment: The “Strike Zone.” 

What is this Strike Zone?

Once your customer passes through the “decompression zone” they look at the price of the first item, generally to their right, that is easily accessible. This initial item should have a price point that is not overwhelming to your customers, as this area, called the “strike zone,” offers your customer their first impression of your store’s prices.

Extensive video studies by psychologists and professional retail designers has found that in Western cultures, customers usually turn right immediately upon entering a store into the “strike zone” and continue on their journey through your store. Here are the key tips:

  • You should consider placing a compelling display of affordable products (in relation to the price point of your overall merchandise) in the “strike zone.”
  • The strike zone is about 10-20 feet inside your shop, and here is where a customer will often pick up an item, turn it over and look at the price. The strike zone is the best place to put items that are very affordable, and “impulse easy.”
  • Impulse Easy (a LobbyPOP term) refers to those items that can easily be added to a shopper’s list without great thought of the impact on the wallet. The strike zone is often visited twice: Once when heading into the retail environment, and again when heading out. Two great opportunities to add on a goodie to the customer’s list.

We believe everyone should own the knowledge, so stay tuned as we bring you more about store planning to make you an expert. Next up: The Right Wall