A Simple & Effective Entryway...
The Vitamin Shoppe focuses its retailing store layout by means of segmentation within its regional markets. Depending on the demographics, which are the most dominant in the region, the fixtures are exceptionally flexible to cater to its consumer’s regional needs. The company promotes a large retailing space, 550 stores nationally as of October 2012, and it utilizes the square footage to the maximum. It has the largest revenue per square foot in the industry at $400, while the average store is three thousand square feet. With such a maximum space for opportunity and 8,000 SKUs, the challenge remains to not over-burden its consumers with so many commodities.
Walking into a typical Vitamin Shoppe, the consumer is greeted with a large welcome rug and not one store shelf within 15 feet of the front door. The company wants the consumer to feel at-home, comfortable, and not crowded when decompressing the establishment. Also, the checkout counter is in the middle of the store, surrounded by its products organized by health needs. By having the desk in the middle of the store, it makes the availability of its salespeople effortless, in-order to promote help for immediate inquiries. To avoid showrooming, the Vitamin Shoppe uses its extensive discounts and affordable pricing as its competitive advantage in retaining its consumers.
Depending on which market demographic is most dominant, it organizes its wide product assortment in terms of quick accessibility, for consumers on the run. The Store layout is a combination of a Grid style and Free Form arrangement. In a sense, it can be considered a racetrack themed because of the placement of the main checkout counter. Its products are arranged by consumers health and wellness needs. For example, sports nutrition is one section, which is dispersed into multiple sub-sections within the main area. Protein, BCAAs, Amino Acids, Pre-workout formulas, and vitamins are included in that section.
On the opposing side of the store, separate from its sports products, are basic health products, targeted toward mainly women, where herbs and vitamins from A-Z present itself. For its private labels, and super-quality brands, the company displays them within a featured display cased, closed by a key-lock. These do an excellent job grasping a consumers attention where Retail Communities supports this statement showing that special displays are “Very influential” on consumer’s purchasing decisions with 42.5%. In addition to special displays highlighted with track lighting, the Vitamin Shoppe also utilizes its free-standing displays, which typically show its in-store discounts, clearance items, or products of the month. BIGresearch shows that these displays influence a consumer’s purchasing behaviors by 31.4%. While the special displays with track lighting, heightened security, and minimum flexibility are higher cost, the stand-alone displays also attract attention while minimizing its costs.
- One of its main competitors, Vitamin World, is working on a current market expansion. Below is a picture of one of its stores, small in stature, where consumers are bombarded with merchandise within the first three feet of the would be decompression zone.
The environment of the Vitamin Shoppe maintains its relative relaxed feel to promote a sense of healing and positive health. Stores do not always play music, but depending on the store manager, music is sometimes played on a lower volume. As consumers, having music playing creates a sense of individual shopping, where a quiet store makes a consumer feel like he or she is being observed, and is uncomfortable. The type of music depends on the store manager, but varies from relaxation music to the newest hits on the radio. Having today’s hits being played promotes its main new demographic, which is Generation X.
With the soothing feeling of the retailer's atmosphere, health and wellness in-store promotions occur monthly. By having other retailer's or corporations showing the benefits of its products or services, there is a two way benefit, having the display isolated from the store brands, while providing free services for its consumers. These type of promotions help the Vitamin Shoppe from becoming minimally a "Showroom," and maintain its status as a the leading multi-channel retailer in the industry.
- While no consumer wants a store to smell like lemon pledge, or a hospital, so it focuses its efforts to not smell like a sterile environment. There are no special health scents, or herb curing tangibles present. The smell of the store represents its products, being high quality and pure. While stores such as Macy’s or Nordstrom’s may employ a rather pungent smell, the Vitamin Shoppe focuses its efforts on no such smell, or odor.