Anatomy of a Store Plan – The Essential Guide

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Store Plan Terminology

This Store Plan Essential Guide describes the terminology used in a Store Plan.

Gross Internal Area, Sales Area and Back of House

The whole store plan footprint is measured as Gross Internal Area or GIA and is then divided into the Sales Area that customers visit and the Back of House which includes the warehouse and staff facilities such as canteen, toilets and changing rooms.

Sales Area – Macro Space Definitions

Focusing in on the Sales Area, we see that in a convenience store example the Macro Space contains the various departments such as Ambient Food, BWS (Beers, Wines & Spirits), chilled produce, frozen foods, fresh foods and electrical deparments.

Categories within a Department

Each of these department is then made up of a number of categories for example with Ambient foods the categories include baking, biscuits, bread and cakes.

Bays, Aisles and Gondola Ends

Individual bays or gondolas are lined up, with the aisles defined as the space inbetween, and the ends are known as Gondola Ends which is the prime promotional space valued because of the high passing footfall.

Category Adjacencies

The category adjacencies are the categories that are located directly next to each other – in the video it shows frozen vegetables and frozen meals are the category adjacencies to frozen meats. These are important considerations in the retail planning process.

Fixtures and Fittings

These are the equipment used in store to display the products whether they are shelves, chillers or freezers – which can be upright or horizontal chests.

Run Lengths

The run lengths is a key dimension in store planning and is used to describe the continual length of shelving from one aisle to the next.

Sales per Linear Metre

A key metric used to understand which categories are selling well and which are not, and therefore need attention in the store planning process.

Micro-Space and Planograms

Focusing down into micro-space allocation we look at the planograms to understand the detail of which products are to be displayed on the shelf.

We hope this video gives you the Essential Guide to a Store Plan, but if we have missed any terms you think should be included do let us know.


If you would like to discuss how our retail planning services can help you optimise your retail space and performance or to see a demonstration of our store planning software StoreSpace®, please contact Guy Moates or Pete Humm on 01493 412806 or email