A retail analysis of the Best Buy location in Fullerton, CA was completed on April 12, 2013. The analysis evaluated the store’s appearance including fixtures, promotional materials, layout, and merchandising. Best Buy is an electronics retailer and its Fullerton store is located in a secondary business district on the cross streets of Orangethorpe Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. The Fullerton Best Buy location is the corner store in a busy shopping center. Some of the stores nearby are Factory 2 U, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Rubio’s Baja Fresh, and Burlington Coat Factory.
The well-known Blue and Yellow colors of Best Buy can be seen from down the block, drawing the consumer to its location. The structure is on a corner lot facing the busy street and in the same vicinity as multiple shopping centers that contain a variety of retailers, restaurants and services. The shopping center of orangethorpe and harbor is an all-around convenient location for customers when needing to do errands, or any shopping in general.
Parking isn’t an issue as the location is on the far end corner lot from the other major retail stores, which makes it a suitable location for Best Buy customers.
As you walk in through the sliding glass doors, you can visually see the full layout of the store. It has an open floor plan designed to allow accessibility to any part of the store. Overall the store uses a clean, well- organized layout, design and visual merchandising strategy. Best Buys target marketing strategy is designed to appeal to small business owners, tech savvy middle class consumers and young entertainment enthusiasts.
They also generally appeal to men, seen from the all-male employees to the masculine colors used throughout the layout.
The stores, layout seems to be designed for their targeted consumers by ocusing more on their broad selection of name brand products. The stores lighting, fixtures, colors and the quiet open spaced feel sets an overall consistent image inside and out. From the Best Buy logo imprinted on the front of the building to the writing on the banners, it all creates a simplistic touch. This allows customers to feel comfortable walking into Best Buy knowing the signs are easy to read and straightforward, which can be appreciated when in a retail store.
The simplicity of their design inside the store completes their image by not distracting the customer rom their main selling focus. As one of the top selling leaders of consumer electronics, Best Buy highlights there main selling items by putting the consumer electronics aisles closest to the opening of the store. Designed for the ease of use for customers, they also have well trained employees that seemed friendly and willing to through the multiple products that they offer. All of these characteristics are designed to be consistent with Best Buys Brand image and in hopes to create brand loyalty for their customers.
The segments being targeted are familiar with the stores ayout and ambience, which makes the consumer comfortable entering a best buy and finding what they need. The store’s overall image portrays that they know they are considered the largest retailer in computers and electronics, which allows them to not strive that hard to change the perception they have already created in their customers minds. The stores strategy is to keep their layout clean, simple and focus in on the variety of products they carry. The display cases, racks, and end caps are all designed to drive you straight to the products.
The calm, quiet, well lit atmosphere trangely related to the overall image of Best Buy. The only noise heard was the voice of another customer talking to an employee and music that was being played on one of their electronic items being featured. Once again, this states that the company is product driven and wants to create an environment that is consistent with attracting its target market. If best buy had different layouts that weren’t so structured and added special lighting for certain items they are emphasizing, than it would enhance the consumer experience and help attain the involvement of the consumer when hoosing their products.
Overall, the company has been successful at creating the image of being a product focused company that takes away an ambience that allows the customer to be comfortable to shop at ease. This is portrayed, as all aspects of the store including its fixtures, promotion, layout and merchandising all compliments the specific and unique style that Best Buy has adapted as its brand image. Fixtures The fixtures at Best Buy portray the image of daylight. It keeps the consumer awake and aware of their surroundings.
A shopper’s first impression will be shaped at the tore entrance. The lighting should be aesthetically pleasing and complement the architecture while facilitating safe passage and creating a sense of security. Store entrance lighting should be designed to help customers visually adapt from the exterior to the interior environment. Best Buy has met these expectations to promote a pleasant shopping experience. The store’s large rectangular floor plan is well lit throughout. The roof has several skylights installed to let in natural light during daytime hours.
Natural light would be desirable in most retail stores but in an lectronic retail store the light becomes irritating and takes away the detailing of some of the lit displays. Hanging linear fluorescent lights makes up the majority of the store’s overall lighting. The hanging lights are not strategically placed throughout the store resulting in some aisles being darker than others. The ceiling from where the lighting is hanging from is very high and has a warehouse look and feel, taking away from the high-tech electronics environment.
At the end of certain aisles are light boxes that feature images of new products that Best Buy has released. The soft ighting behind these images details the featured product very well and portrays a great value in the product shown. The main center of the store features racks and shelving that are between 5 to 7 feet in height and display a wide array of Best Buys CD, Blu Ray/DVD, video game, and accessory products. Most of the shelving fixtures are a bland grey with little character and many aisles appear to be under stocked even though the shelving is generously spaced apart.
The fixtures used to display the the fixtures shows little thought was put into displaying the bulk of the store’s product. In the front and center of the store is a large mobile phone kiosk that features an interactive display where customers can test out phones and speak to several sales associates on hand that are managing the area. It is apparent that Best Buy finds this area very important to sales because the fixtures and displays highlight the product in a very appealing way. Promotions Best Buy relies heavily on branded signage to merchandise products.
Cardboard stand-up displays, countertop units, and end caps from well-known brands such as Energizer, Phillips, Garmin, ‘Home, and even Hello Kitty dot the walkways and aisles, ach competing for the shopper’s attention. This results in a less-than-cohesive look throughout the store, and leaves smaller brands to get lost in the clutter of the generically branded aisles. Non-branded signage throughout the store is very stock- photo heavy, and generally unattractive and uncreative. Images of people using various electronics are hung blandly around the perimeter of the store, while uninspired blue directory signs are suspended overhead.
It is clear that the store’s visual strategy relied on taking a back seat to brand-directed merchandising displays, ut the effectiveness of each of them is limited to selling the individual brand or product, rather than maximizing visual marketing tools to sell across an entire category. Theatrical effects are present particularly in the video game section, as the store provides interactive video kiosks for a handful of popular games and gaming systems, including Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo 3DS and Wii. Screens flash with colors and characters calling shoppers closer.
Headphones are plugged in and ready so testers could get the full auditory experience of the game. Some kiosks even offer paces with couches for customers to get the true “living room” gaming feel. A touch- screen ordering system allows customers to preorder new games and equipment before launch, and instantly order online any games that may not be available in the store. The theatrics carry over into the computer section of the store, where Apple has established its prominence with a large, black pop-up wall emblazoned with a glowing iconic Apple logo.
Housed inside it is a TV monitor with an Apple-branded video showing the simplicity and innovation of Apple products. In front of the video all stands a familiar-looking light wood grain table encircled by MacBooks Just waiting to be played with. It is clear that this is the miniature Apple store-within-the- store, designed to imitate the ubiquitous Apple store with its exquisite branding. The “big box” layout of Best Buy stores leaves a large expanse with effectively only three walls in the space available for merchandising.
The far right wall is used somewhat uncreatively to hang computer bags and backpacks and display computer monitors. The left-hand wall space, hidden behind a mass of washers and dryers, is wasted eal estate with a row of open-box discount appliances, a miscellaneous assortment of novelty electronics, and computer game gift cards hung in rows. The two bright spots of wall-based merchandising in Best Buy are in the back left corner and the back wall. The back left corner is resourcefully used to display operational car speakers and stereos, inset in rows along the wall.
It is a powerful and attractive use of the corner space, allowing the customer an out-of-box, eye-level view of the various systems, easily comparable for shoppers. The most prominent wall in the space, the overing the entire breadth of the wall. It is a visually striking use of the wall that emphasized the sheer volume of choices the store offered, and that also makes it easy for customers to compare options between those choices. Suggestive selling is a sales technique where the employees ask the customers if they would like to include an additional purchase or recommend a product which might fit the client’s needs.
Suggestive selling is a great tool to use to increase revenues for the business. Best Buy excellently trains their sales staff to encourage shoppers to buy additional omplimentary items in addition to the original purchase. Purchasers are suggested to buy the added warranty in the high definition television area. Employees advise the buyers that the extra accessories like screen protectors and car charger are a must in the iPad and iPhone departments. Consumers are endorsed to buy cover cases in the laptop section. Suggestive selling is a strong attribute demonstrated by the Best Buy sales staff.
Customers will not be disappointed when visiting Best Buy for the latest innovations. Best Buy sales staff are definitely friendly and helpful. Customers are greeted with friendly smiles by several employees at the main entrance. The store has all the current gadgets and gizmos when customers scan the view from left to right. The appearance of all the electronics can be mesmerizing for the high tech lovers. Customers can see that Best Buy has welcoming and accommodating sales staff after focusing clearly from all the alluring inventions. The store has sufficient employees in every department.
Employees acknowledge customers with affectionate smiles and ask if the buyers need assistance upon entering departments. The caring gesture makes the customers feel the employees are courteous and gracious. There is a consistency with the image of the Best Buy sales staff with the image of the store. The image of the store is business casual and it does translate to the image of the sales staff. You do see a theme of ocean blue color when customers enter the store. Shoppers are greeted at the front door with employees wearing khaki pants and ocean blue collared t-shirts.
Customers feel invited with this business casual look. Buyers notice the knowledgeable managers in their distinctive long sleeve shirts and ties. The dress appearance of the managers and employees give shoppers a vibe that the associates are well-trained, skillful, and professional. Layout The layout of the store is basically following the straight floor plan, in which the shelves are arranged parallel. The carpet on the floor is Best Buy blue with a beige E that supports the customers walking way through the store.
The two back corners of the store are rounded with diagonal shelves that follow the beige carpet line all other shelves are arranged either horizontally or vertically. The check-out is inconspicuous and located on the front left side, hidden by a wall. Pick-up, customer service and the newly invented geek squad are also located separately in the front. Big signs hanging from the wall throughout the store make it easier for customers to find the category they are looking for. The shelves are small so an averagely large person can look over them, and everything is within reach.
The aisles are wide enough to take out merchandise and have enough space to look at it in depth. A customer kiosk is located in the center of the store to assist people and chairs offer the possibility to take a break. The layout is good for people walking in the store, picking what they urchases. No exciting shopping experience is created. Overall the layout could be easily applied to a clothes store, a grocery store, or any other store, since it does not offer something distinguishingly unique promoting the sale of electronics (apart from the geek squad maybe).
In addition to that the check-outs do not support the overall layout of the store, which is intended to be open and friendly. There are only two reasons for hiding the check-outs in a corner behind a shelve: The first one is you don’t want your customers to be able to find it until they have picked up more erchandise, the second one is you want them to leave without merchandise. Neither helps retaining customers. A layout plan that breaks out of the traditional straight floor plan even more and offers a fun and exciting shopping experience would be much better for Best Buy.
Customer Service should be located rather in the center than on the front left side. They, in fact, implemented a new layout and floor plan last year (check-outs throughout the store, geek squad, etc. ) which, the way it seems has not been implemented thoroughly in the store visited. Merchandise Best Buy utilizes various different types of fixtures to maximize space productivity. Gondolas with shelving are used thorough out the store. There are various rows of gondolas used for video games, DVD’s, CD’s, and etc.
Several fixtures use slatwalls in order to fit shelves and hooks to display their items. Moreover, clearance items, such as DVD’s, CD’s, etc. , are put on round basket fixtures. By using the round basket fixtures Best Buy is left with more space on the gondolas for sale and regular price items. In addition, accessories, iTunes cards and other smaller items are placed on endcap’s. Furthermore, towards the end of the store Televisions are displayed in the wall and bellow the displayed televisions shelves’ are used to place accessories.
When displaying other electronic items such as cell phones, cameras and laptops they use display tables. There are also display tables and fixtures that display merchandise for the customer to test, but they also place items on the bottom half. In addition, in the aisle there are a few items that are displayed in cardboard double- sided gondolas. There are bigger packaged products like Televisions that are displayed by placing them on top of each other. The display tables used for the Apple products and the display Television’s increase interest in the products offered by Best Buy.
Best Buy has all their merchandise separated by department and then by categories. For example, on the left side of the store the customer can find the appliance department, there the customer may find refrigerators. On the middle of the store the electronic departments are found and separated by categories. For example, on the middle left one find Music, organized by type of music, Video games also separated by the type of games (action, violent, children, etc. , DVD’s, Blu Rays also separated by categories like, action, comedy, Sci-Fi, horror, etc. and electronics, such as cell phones cameras, laptops, ipods, tablets, which are separated by brands, and a separate section for apple products. Suggestions The lighting fixtures help Best Buy to increase its sales, by enhancing the customer’s experience. By researching the most effective light fixture location could boost Best Buys customer transactions. Highlighting some well- known products sold at Best Buy, such as laptops, would possibly help to increase the foot traffic in that area.
The urrent use of brand imaging is very stock photo related for Best Buy and may appealing to customers would greatly benefit Best Buy and make the shopping experience much more entertaining. Best Buy definitely makes customers feel pleased and refreshed upon entering the store. The intelligent sales staff knows their products and recommends accurate product purchases. Best Buy positively rewards patrons with a fabulous shopping experience for the latest designs and devices. Best Buy could build on these benefits by updating the interior of the store with newer shelving, paint, and carpet.
Technology is constantly evolving and Best Buy should keep that theme going by constantly updating and improving its stores. The clutter of branded signage such as cardboard stand-up displays, countertop units and endcaps all competing for customer’s attention can be a bit overwhelming and generally unattractive. Reducing the amount of signage would clean up the store making the floor plan feel more open therefore putting the shopper at ease. To achieve this they could focus on different brands each month and be more effective with fewer advertisements.