Dept. Store Layouts Get Big Makeover: Hodgepodge Displays Lure Customers

By Numajiri, Tomoko; Shono, Kazumichi | The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), May 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

Dept. Store Layouts Get Big Makeover: Hodgepodge Displays Lure Customers


Numajiri, Tomoko, Shono, Kazumichi, The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan)


Well-established department store chains have been drastically rearranging the layouts of their sales floors.

The focus of the changes is the tendency for certain goods--clothes, foods, juice and miscellaneous items--to always be sold in the same corners.

While online shopping is on the rise, department stores are getting competitive by making sales floors places where customers can enjoy shopping while also strolling for fun.

But some customers have complained that they are confused by the changes, and so department stores have continued the trial-and-error process.

Tokyu Department Store Co. completely revamped the sales floors for women's clothing on the first and second floors of its Toyoko store near Shibuya Station.

Before that, the sales floors had been separated by brand, and customers were targeted by age group through a grid pattern.

After the rearrangement, the sales floor became oblong in shape and display shelves were placed in a space that had formerly served as a passageway.

In about 600 square meters of space on the first floor, products of 32 brands were placed.

The layouts deliberately avoided sorting out goods based on standard categories of usage.

For example, spring knitwear, hand cream and jewelry such as earrings were all placed next to lipstick.

The Isetan chain's flagship store in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, also refurbished its sales floors for clothing from the second to fourth floors in March.

Long passageways were created to envelop escalators. Corners for selling books, miscellaneous goods and fresh juice were scattered in various locations. Spaces such as open cafes were also set up so that customers would unconsciously look at goods as they took a break from shopping. …

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