Special Reports

The 2012 Know Your Space Study

Article Introduction
The Know Your Space 2012 study is the second installment of a joint production of Kantar Retail and CROSSMARK. The first iteration of the study, The Annual Retail Space Allocation Study, was published in 2010 and used as a basis to establish key trends. The study should further enhance the understanding of suppliers, retailers, store designers, and other stakeholders engaged in understanding the details of retail merchandising, shopper marketing, and the basic approaches used by major retailers to manage their own retail space.

Executive Summary

Overview

The Know Your Space 2012 is the second installment of a joint production of two companies specializing in retail insights: Kantar Retail and CROSSMARK. The first iteration of the study, The Annual Retail Space Allocation Study, was published in 2010 and used as a basis to establish key trends.

In our own ways, both companies are keenly engaged in moni­toring the direction of the industry, working at the intersections of all trading partners to enhance a fact-based understanding of how to grow and adapt to the never-ending challenges of retailing today.

CROSSMARK, leveraging its familiarity with retail conditions in every market and location, undertook the complex task of collecting the data in key markets and key retailers across the country, with the exception of Walgreens, where data was collected and managed by Kantar Retail. Analysis of the data and the text of this report has been the contribution of the Kantar Retail Market Insights team.

This study, like the first iteration, is a way of meeting the needs of our respective clients who request information about the specifics of retail store space, merchandise allocations, and the direction of store design.

The sheer scope and variety of retailing has always made it difficult to find good primary source material that was compa­rable, metrical, and pertinent to analyzing the retail industry. This report remains the only source of information on the allo­cation of space across a statistically significant sample of some of the most important retail channels in the U.S.

In order to better understand the strategic intention of key retailers, we have matched space allocation in many cases to the advertising and circular activity of the retailers to see how well ad space and store space correspond. A sincere thank you to our data partner ECRM is extended for the insight and coop­eration both in this study and in many other initiatives.

Purpose and Scope

The objective of this study is to provide insights and trends in retail space and design through a reliable in-depth sample of the linear space allocation of over 700 stores by department for the following channels:

  • Supermarkets
  • Drugstores
  • Warehouse Clubs
  • Mass Merchandisers (including Supercenters [SC])
  • Value Discounters (often known as Dollar stores)

Value Discounters is a new addition to the report this year, and therefore is the only retailing channel where we have no comparative data from the first report.

Methodology

With this study, we have amassed a database of linear base foot­ages for over 700 stores. Over 100 new stores were added from the last study, including Value Discounters. For year-over-year trends, the same stores were analyzed and aggregated. There was significant overlap in the samples each year. The data is broken out by the following departments:

  • Dry Grocery
  • Non-Food Grocery
  • Frozen
  • Bakery
  • Dairy
  • Meat, Seafood, and Packaged Deli
  • Service Deli
  • Produce
  • Health & Beauty Care (HBC)
  • Cosmetics
  • GM – Hardlines
  • GM – Softlines
  • Promotional Space
  • Prescription (Rx)
  • Secondary or Ancillary Businesses contained within the store

Whenever possible, these department definitions adhere to the standard product hierarchy used by SymphonyIRI Group (IRI), one of the best-known and commonly used sources of Point of Sale (POS) data and analysis. (See Appendix: Category and Product Hierarchy.)

Further, the study captured merchandising information and fixture attributes for each store, including:

  • The number of manned and self-serve checkouts
  • The type of aisle signage (flat or multi-sided) used
  • Whether the store permitted the use of temporary floor displays

Data collection for the 2010 and 2012 studies was conducted during the Q2–Q3 period of the prior year; references to the years 2009 and 2011 in charts throughout this report are the reflection of this timing.

The measurement we chose to use is base linear footage: the running footage of the merchandising space allocated to each department of the store. Although there is a difference between retailers and formats in how high or how deep a set of shelves or fixtures might be, measuring linear footage is designed to capture how much of the possible space facing the shopper the retailer has devoted to each group of products or fixtures. By using base linear footage, we are measuring the percentage of visible shopper impact a particular retailer has chosen to devote to each department. This was deemed the most reasonable and flexible way to compare the merchandising emphasis between retailers, banners, and formats, even when the stores are designed to very different specifications and vary widely in size.

It should be noted that we are presenting specific retailer data only in the aggregate through averages across multiple samples of each operator. Specific addresses and individual store details will not be released for retailer confidentiality purposes. All charts that appear in this report are available for download in supporting Excel files. The Appendix details the data hierarchy and definitions used in the analysis process.

This study should further enhance the understanding of suppliers, retailers, store designers, and other stakeholders engaged in understanding the details of retail merchandising and the basic approaches used by major retailers to their own retail space. Lead author of Know Your Space 2012 is Kantar Retail’s John Rand, Senior Vice-President of Market Insights. Project coordinator is Kantar Retail’s Rema Iyer. Contributing authors from the Kantar Retail analyst team include Rachel Donovan, Director Retail Insights; Robin Sherk, Senior Analyst; Sara Al-Tukhaim, Senior Analyst; Mike Paglia, Senior Analyst; Amy Koo, Analyst; and Jessica Campbell, Analyst. Key contributors from the CROSSMARK team are Joe Crafton, President, CROSSMARK Marketing Services; Wayne Luciano, VP Marketing; Marc Rapp, Division Manager; Justin Clarner, Director, Client Services; Meredith Madden, Sr. Client Services Manager; Carly Baxendale, Client Services Manager; and Shannon McNeil, Client Services Manager.

To submit questions, requests, or feedback on this study, please contact CustomerService@KantarRetail.com.

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