The strategic retail analysis typically includes following elements:
In retailing, the strategic plan is designed to set out the vision and provide guidance for retail decision-makers and provide an outline of how the product and service mix will optimize customer satisfaction. As part of the strategic planning process, it is customary for strategic planners to carry out a detailed environmental scan which seeks to identify trends and opportunities in the competitive environment, market environment, economic environment and statutory-political environment. The retail strategy is normally devised or reviewed every 3– 5 years by the chief executive officer.
At the conclusion of the retail analysis, the retail marketers should have a clear idea of which groups of customers are to be the target of marketing activities. Retail research studies suggest that there is a strong relationship between a store's positioning and the socio-economic status of customers. In addition, the retail strategy, including service quality, has a significant and positive association with customer loyalty. A marketing strategy effectively outlines all key aspects of firms' targeted audience, demographics, preferences. In a highly competitive market, the retail strategy sets up long-term sustainability. It focuses on customer relationships, stressing the importance of added value, customer satisfaction and highlights how the store's market positioning appeals to targeted groups of customers.
The retail format (also known as the retail formula) influences the consumer's store choice and addresses the consumer's expectations. At its most basic level, a retail format is a simple marketplace, that is; a location where goods and services are exchanged. In some parts of the world, the retail sector is still dominated by small family-run stores, but large retail chains are increasingly dominating the sector, because they can exert considerable buying power and pass on the savings in the form of lower prices. Many of these large retail chains also produce their own private labels which compete alongside manufacturer brands. Considerable consolidation of retail stores has changed the retail landscape, transferring power away from wholesalers and into the hands of the large retail chains.
In Britain and Europe, the retail sale of goods is designated as a service activity. The European Service Directive applies to all retail trade including periodic markets, street traders and peddlers.
Within the retail environment, different spaces may be designed for different purposes. Hard floors, such as wooden floors, used in public areas, contrast with carpeted fitting rooms, which are designed to create a sense of homeliness when trying on garments. Peter Alexander, retailer of sleep ware, is renowned for using scented candles in retail stores.
Ambient conditions, such as lighting, temperature and music, are also part of the overall retail environment. It is common for a retail store to play music that relates to their target market. Studies have found that "positively valenced music will stimulate more thoughts and feeling than negatively valenced music", hence, positively valenced music will make the waiting time feel longer to the customer than negatively valenced music. In a retail store, for example, changing the background music to a quicker tempo may influence the consumer to move through the space at a quicker pace, thereby improving traffic flow. Evidence also suggests that playing music reduces the negative effects of waiting since it serves as a distraction. Jewellery stores like Michael Hill have dim lighting with a view to fostering a sense of intimacy.
In order to maximise the number of selling opportunities, retailers generally want customers to spend more time in a retail store. However, this must be balanced against customer expectations surrounding convenience, access and realistic waiting times. The overall aim of designing a retail environment is to have customers enter the store, and explore the totality of the physical environment engaging in a variety of retail experiences – from browsing through to sampling and ultimately to purchasing. The retail service environment plays an important role in affecting the customer's perceptions of the retail experience.
The environment in which the retail service encounter occurs is sometimes known as the retail servicescape. The store environment consists of many elements such as smells, the physical environment (furnishings, layout and functionality), ambient conditions (lighting, temperature, noise) as well as signs, symbols and artifacts (e.g. sales promotions, shelf space, sample stations, visual communications). Collectively, these elements contribute to the perceived retail servicescape or the overall atmosphere and can influence both the customer's cognitions, emotions and their behaviour within the retail space.
Retailers can opt for a format as each provides different retail mix to its customers based on their customer demographics, lifestyle and purchase behaviour. An effective format will dtermine how products are display products, as well as how target customers are attracted.
The design of a retail store is critical when appealing to the intended market, as this is where first impressions are made. The overall servicescape can influence a consumer's perception of the quality of the store, communicating value in visual and symbolic ways. Certain techniques are used to create a consumer brand experience, which in the long run drives store loyalty.
Relationship between market Large retail enterprises of relationship marketing refers to a large retail enterprise with suppliers, customers, internal organization, channel distributors, market impact, and other competitors such as the interests of the enterprise marketing process related everything to establish and maintain good relations, thus maximizing the interests of the large retail enterprise in the long-term marketing activities, it was based on the relationship marketing concept as the core of innovation. Different from traditional marketing concepts, relationship marketing focuses on maintaining long-term good relations with relevant parties on marketing activities. The ultimate goal of relationship marketing is tantamount to maximize the long term interests of enterprises. The marketing activities of large retail enterprises mainly have six relationship markets, which are supplier relationship market, customer relationship market, enterprise internal relationship market, intermediary relationship market at all levels, enterprise marketing activities influence relationship market and industry competitor relationship market. Among these six relational markets, supply relational market and customer relational market are the two markets that have the greatest influence on the relationship marketing of large retail enterprises. Substantial retail enterprises usually have two sources of profit. The principal source of profit is to reduce the purchase price from suppliers. The other is to develop new customers and keep old clients, so as to expand the market sales of goods. In addition, the extra four related markets have an indirect impact on the marketing activities of large retail enterprises. The internal relationship market of an enterprise can be divided into several different types of relationships according to distinct objects, such as employee relationship market, department relationship market, shareholder relationship market and the mutual relations among the relationship markets. The purpose of carrying out relationship marketing is to promote the cohesion and innovation ability of enterprises and maximize the long term interests of enterprises. Another relationship of relationship marketing middlemen is the relationship between market and intermediary in the process of corporate marketing is playing the intermediary role between suppliers and customers, in the current increasingly fierce market competition, more important distribution channels for enterprises, but for retail enterprises, too much sales levels will increase the cost of sales of the enterprise. Therefore, large retail enterprises should realize the simplification of sales channel level by reasonably selecting suppliers. Large-scale retail enterprises purchasing goods to suppliers with procurement scale advantage, can directly contact with the product manufacturing, with strong bargaining power, therefore, direct contact with the manufacturer is a large retail enterprise to take the main purchasing mode, it is a terminal to the starting point of zero level channel purchasing mode, therefore, the elimination of middlemen, so as to make the large retail enterprise in the marketing activity, the dealer relationship market is not so important. Then there is the enterprise influence relationship market, which is a relational marketing influence in the enterprise supply chain. It mainly guides and standardizes the advance direction of enterprises through formulating systems at the macro level. The relationship market mainly includes the relationship between the relevant government departments at all levels where the enterprise is located, the relationship with the industry association to which the enterprise belongs, and the relationship with all kinds of public organizations, etc., and the enterprise influence itself cannot directly affect the marketing activities of the enterprise. The final relational market is the industry's competitors, potential competitors, alternative competitors and so on. How to correctly deal with the relationship between competitors and the market has become a problem that large retail enterprises need to solve.
The retail environment not only affects quality perceptions, but can also impact on the way that customers navigate their way through the retail space during the retail service encounter. Layout, directional signage, the placement of furniture, shelves and display space along with the store's ambient conditions all affect patron's passage through the retail service system. Layout refers to how equipment, shelves and other furnishings are placed and the relationship between them. In a retail setting, accessibility is an important aspect of layout. For example, the grid layout used by supermarkets with long aisles and gondolas at the end displaying premium merchandise or promotional items, minimises the time customers spend in the environment and makes productive use of available space. The gondola, so favoured by supermarkets, is an example of a retail design feature known as a merchandise outpost and which refers to special displays, typically at or near the end of an aisle, whose purpose is to stimulate impulse purchasing or to complement other products in the vicinity. For example, the meat cabinet at the supermarket might use a merchandise outpost to suggest a range of marinades or spice rubs to complement particular cuts of meat. As a generalisation, merchandise outposts are updated regularly so that they maintain a sense of novelty.
According to Ziethaml et al., layout affects how easy or difficult it is to navigate through a system. Signs and symbols provide cues for directional navigation and also inform about appropriate behaviour within a store. Functionality refers to extent to which the equipment and layout meet the goals of the customer. For instance, in the case of supermarkets, the customer's goal may be to minimise the amount of time spent finding items and waiting at the check-out, while a customer in a retail mall may wish to spend more time exploring the range of stores and merchandise. With respect to functionality of layout, retail designers consider three key issues; circulation – design for traffic-flow and that encourages customers to traverse the entire store; coordination – design that combines goods and spaces in order to suggest customer needs and convenience – design that arranges items to create a degree of comfort and access for both customers and employees.
Retail designers pay close attention to the front of the store, which is known as the decompression zone.This is usually an open space in the entrance of the store to allow customers to adjust to their new environment. An open-plan floor design is effective in retail as it allows customers to see everything. In terms of the store's exterior, the side of the road cars normally travel, determines the way stores direct customers. New Zealand retail stores, for instance, would direct customers to the left.
The way that brands are displayed is also part of the overall retail design. Where a product is placed on the shelves has implications for purchase likelihood as a result of visibility and access. Products placed too high or too low on the shelves may not turn over as quickly as those placed at eye level. With respect to access, store designers are increasingly giving consideration to access for disabled and elderly customers.
SM Retail has ownership over SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket and Savemore chains which would later be called collectively as SM Markets. It also owns The SM Store department stores and food retail stores under WalterMart and Alfamart (joint venture between SM and the Indonesian-based mini-mart/convenience store chain for Philippine franchise).
Since the company underwent a merger in February 2016 with various local retail companies, SM Retail has ownership over other retail brands such as Ace Hardware, SM Appliances, Homeworld, Our Home, Toy Kingdom, Watsons, Kultura, Baby Company, Sports Central, Pet Express. It also has majority stakes in Alfamart, Forever21, and Crate & Barrel's local operations.
Retail stores may be classified by the type of product carried:
Types of retail outlet by product type