Select Page

retail shelves fullFor the purpose of this article, the writer has chosen Pick n Pay as the retail brand example. The contents herein do not specifically pertain to the said supermarket only, but to the retail industry in general. Pick n Pay has been chosen as a household brand known to all South Africans, as well as various other countries on the African continent. As a disclaimer, the writer hereby wishes to state that the use of its brand name is merely a generalised template wherein Operations Management in the retail environment exists in a salient capacity.

Whenever one enters Pick n Pay, one’s purchasing experience has already been preplanned, from the products seen on the shelves, to the layout and design of the store. This is done by the retail operations management as well as salespeople and managers, irrespective of the size of the store or the business.

Retail operations management

Retail operations refers to all aspects of the functioning of the store that keep it running smoothly.

The Operations Manager must have strong communication skills and the ability to handle difficult customers. The thread running throughout all aspects of the retail industry, is the psychological one, which is perceived subliminally by the customer.
As there are various aspects to the role of managing operations in the retail industry, the writer has selected one to elaborate upon. This being the layout and design of the store.

If one looks at the layout and design of any retail store, in this case, a Pick n Pay one, there are various aspects whereby psychology is implemented.

The meat counter at the butchery uses specific lighting that showcases the cuts to look fresh and eye catching.
It is unusual to shop in any supermarket, even with a well thought out shopping list, without popping additional unplanned extras into one’s basket. For this reason, products that one may buy on impulse, like chocolates, chips, sweets, cold drinks, newspapers and magazines, are strategically placed in the narrow isle where customers queue to pay.

Shop space design and people movement

Who hasn’t stood in that queue and perused the cover of a magazine, picking it up and putting it into one’s basket! These isles are narrow enough for one to be attracted to “impulse buying goods” right up close, on both sides.

They are also long enough to snake around a fair amount of space. Thus, the display counters are filled all the way from the start of the queuing section. This does not happen by chance, but by careful planning. The longer and slower the queue, the more time it offers to be entrapped in this meticulous marketing and operations method.

Ops management short course