One Stop said it is using space optimisation technology to build a customer-centric retail strategy that helps deliver the products demanded by local communities.

Mervin Nugent, space planning and merchandising manager at the retailer, said at RBTE 2017 that great customer centricity is about fulfilling local need to help build brand loyalty. Nugent said the focus on space planning is key for a neighbourhood-focused retailer like One Stop, which runs 850 convenience stores across the UK.

“We focus on the needs of the community,” he said. “Loyalty helps us to combat competition and helps us expand our market share. If you build your strategy from the customer up, you’re going to bring people into your stores.”

Nugent said One Stop started its space optimisation strategy in 2001. With standards for store layout in place, the retailer became more targeted and introduced a store-specific planning system. Here, managers could start to think about who shopped at the store and how technology could be used to help fulfil those local customer needs.

One Stop introduced store-specific planogram technology from Relex to support its space optimisation strategy. The web-based platform helped franchise managers to add new store-specific products within agreed brand standards. “Relex had great expertise and knowledge – they were a true technology partner,” said Nugent.

Nugent and his colleagues have recently introduced a mission-based concept, which allows store managers to match layouts to customer requirements, such as grouping products together for a night in front of the TV. The firm has also started using collaborative technology to help franchise operators plan store layouts from any location.

“We’re rolling our mission-based concept out across our stores now as part of a refit programme,” he said. “We’re seeing some great benefits in the 170 stores we’ve covered so far. Targeting products to local customers has helped us to reduce waste in the chilled cabinets of some stores by as much as 20%.”