If only the pants fit as well as the sticker in the window.
June 13, 2011 10:59 AM Subscribe
How does merchandising (if that's the right term) work in brand-name chain stores, given the infinite permutations in store layout?
posted by Admiral Haddock to Shopping (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Living in a big city, I often pass by multiple branches of the same chain stores. I'm always struck by the custom-sized merchandising that each store has. Stores A and B might have the same self-adhesive promotion in their windows, and each fits perfectly, despite Store A having a big solid pane of glass as its storefront and Store B having three vertical panes. Obviously, the same goes for every other element of the store merchandising--the posters by the dressing room, the counter fronts by the baristas, the "DVDs this way" sign by the escalators.
How does this work? I would assume that Starbucks, or J. Crew, and Best Buy (as examples) do all their merchandising at some central office and then ship it all out. Do those chains have measurements of every window, wall, cabinet, etc., that they use to resize everything?
Does the same person work on the same 100 stores each month, or would it all be set up so that anyone could prep all of the materials? Or is it only done once, with an algorithm to do all the resizing? Would the same person (or computer) be responsible for both the window stickers described above and the poster by the changing room, or would cardboard inserts be done by different people/firms than the stickers in the window?
And who does the installation? Is is done by the store, local contractors, or someone from the chain who just does merchandising? Are these installers in communication with the manufacturers to tell them, "you know, the stickers keep being 1/4" too short, can you make them longer?" Or is it some Brazil-like bureaucracy where stores keep getting horizontal promos but really need vertical ones and nothing ever changes?
I'd love to hear from anyone involved in any aspect of this.