In the world of consumer sales, the back of the house is a store’s secret, the hidden-from-public-view beating heart of the retail body.
These are the areas set aside to house the functional elements of an operation, the real estate that supports the store’s daily operation and provides essential areas for storage and facilities for staff.
But while the aesthetic of a store’s ancillary spaces is typically durable basic, that’s no reason to overlook their design. Indeed, it’s arguably just as critical here as in those parts of the store that are in full public view.
Some suggestions on making the most of your back-of-house.
The more cleverly a retailer designs her from-scratch back-of-house layout, the better efficiency the space can realize. Effective design and management of stock-room areas have a direct-line impact on pick and retrieval rates, which in turn improve wait times and customer satisfaction. A service door at the back offers easy access for deliveries and the removal of packaging and other waste from the site.
Effective back-of-house storage is critical to ensuring the methodical storage and efficient retrieval of merchandise. Ideally, the stock room will be as large as possible and racked up to the ceiling to take full advantage of the height of the space. Choose racks that are strong and robust and can be quickly and easily adjusted without tools.
Smart lighting’s ability to gather and analyze data promises to streamline processes and improve customer experience. By way of information-gathering sensors installed in fixtures, these innovations can alert facility managers to inventory counts and looming shortfalls. More than that, they can collect data on the movement of people and assets throughout a warehouse at an extremely granular level and advise on the real-time location of specific items, including product pallets and forklifts. Additionally, HVAC systems integrated with connected lighting platforms allow for more comfortable facility temperatures to ensure a pleasant working environment.
Given the intense traffic and heavy loads a back of house is expected to host, the more robust and hard-wearing the floor coverings, the better. Vinyl is a serviceable choice for lots of this space, including walkways, staff canteens and washrooms. Loading bays in warehouses and stock rooms might need a heavier-duty pick.