We were asked by the board of Emporio Armani in 2011, to conduct a European evaluation of the Emporio Armani stand-alone format to determine how to increase performance through various criteria: space planning; department allocation; options densities/ m2 + linear metres; perimeter and mid-floor fixture styling and merchandising; store performance and optimisation; and competitor benchmarking.
After surveying 8 and visiting 15 stand-alone stores of their key European location stores by format (flagship/urban/resort/ airport), we began to classify the data by the different evaluation criteria through space allocation.
Emporio Armani has a distinctive retail language established by Giorgio Armani himself, which needed to be respected and honed to find out how to allocate departments. We broke down the store into its component parts understanding the NSA: GSA ratios, service, merchandising ratios; existing density configurations by product and department type.
On completion of the analysis, we made these proposals to respect the current visual language and use the space more efficiently and commercially. The allocation was all underpinned by sales performance data, sales densities, department adjacencies and service levels.
Within each classification format, we evaluated each department in terms of merchandise presentation and micro merchandising criteria. We devised perimeter and furniture designs taking existing principles and creating either bolt-on elements or new furniture elements to increase density performance and merchandising selling opportunities.
Each department required its own merchandise language to reflect the product types whether hanging or folding, lateral or frontal, best-seller or commodity. We evaluated the formal and casual nature of each collection and evaluated the merchandising adjacencies.
One of the main observations for the merchandise presentation where the allocation of space to the smaller accessory categories such as underwear, jewellery and perfume. It was our recommendation to create a basic standard of display for each category for each format to allow each category to have the required presence in store.
EA accessory products such as underwear and watches were displayed in a more dynamic way in department stores or independent premium luxury multi-brand stores. We proposed dedicated display principles by perimeter and mid-floor for each product type.
Each of these principles was then taken to their internal design team for development.
Behind all of the recommendations and design principles, were extensive analysis and performance data for store rationalization and optimization. For each store visited, we broke down the information by net sales area to gross margin, profit and loss evaluation, options densities, department breakdown by options/ units/ fixture space, benchmark rationalisation, product mix by category, and sales performance by volume/units/ density.