If you use data that reflects the footfall percentages of the front-end of your store, there’s a good chance you’ll see a lot of checkout lanes are used only during peak business hours. And that’s a decent amount of waste with physical lanes and technology lying dormant much of the time, offering little to no return on the investments you made to create them—on top of the costs to keep them maintained.
But those infrequently used lanes also present you with an opportunity to reclaim some the space that could be used to increase your sales density (again, that’s the average amount of money your store generates per square foot). And when you increase the efficiency of how you use all of the space in your store you can increase your sales density.
In many cases, a retailer’s sales density may be over 500 GBP per square foot, with some brands topping 900 GBP per square foot. Finding even 25 square feet to give back to merchandise sales, particularly near the front of the store, can increase a store’s revenue substantially, even if a store’s sales density remains the same.
So consider the possibilities of what you can do with that space: place more grab-and-go items like bottled water, milk, prepared food and snack displays or use it for something unique like a coffee bar or café that invites shoppers to stay awhile. What could that extra space do for your brand and profitability? And what are all the possible ways you can use it to delight your customers?
For example, there’s a reason why Apple continues to consistently have the largest amount of sales per square foot: their layout is so smart (naming their tech support station a genius bar is, well, pretty genius) consumers often visit their store just initially for entertainment. By allowing consumers to play with and interact with Apple’s latest and greatest new technologies they not only linger in the store they also buy more, which is completely by design.