Store Layout and Design Analysis Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1920 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Store Layout and Design Analysis

Store Introduction:

recent visit to one of the newest IKEA U.S. locations in Portland Oregon, inspired this analysis. The brand itself is a European import that stresses high quality design forward house wares and furniture at low prices. The store specializes in design forward, customizable furnishings for the home and office that are in many ways self-contained, as is the European style of complete ownership of the entire contents of a home, including the kitchen. The store is also mindful of diminutive square footage plans and really caters to furnishing small spaces in a complete and entirely livable fashion. Each new area of the store, which can be admittedly kind of confusing, though signage is appropriate and everywhere, is a new environment.

Store Layout and Description:


The IKEA Portland location is contained in a large boxed sized storefront of 280,000 sq.ft. split between two floors. The second floor consisting of nearly half the total square footage contains a cafeteria style cafe with seating near the front windows of the store and the built environment of three full model homes, and 58 room settings of various square foot plans that are located in an intertwining area with area designated spaces that meet specific needs, large household furnishings, office furnishings, storage solutions, bedroom furnishings, textiles and rugs, window treatments, lighting, kids furnishings and toys and kitchen design center.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Store Layout and Design Analysis Assignment

The full rooms and full home layouts are true to size, and utilize many of the IKEA feature products for storage and decoration. Several of the room designs, especially the kitchens can be purchased in their entirety, excluding accessories for one price, that includes all features, except such things as tile and flooring. All cabinets, appliances, countertops and large furnishing items can be purchased in a group. They boast two kitchens and several other room settings that can be purchased in their entirety to be customized to the appropriate square footage for between $1,200 and $2,000. The company, being of European dissent specializes in design forward furnishings for smaller square foot plans, so the center home model is titled "living in 480 sq feet" and demonstrates how an individual can layout a single bedroom, one bath apartment in a single 480 sq ft area.

The majority of items are built for display and then tagged with pertinent information for retrieval in the warehouse located downstairs or in the market place for smaller self-serve items. Many of the design features are custom, as each item, such as sofas, loveseats, chairs and even space saver beds are ordered in the size you need and a custom cover can be purchased simultaneously, that fits the base and comes in an array of design covers. The upscale looking build outs can then all be customized in several ways to create exactly the look you are going for.

Main Floor

On the main floor of the building there is large entry, opening on to an escalator, under which there is a shopper's daycare center. On the other side of the escalators there is a self serve cart center with small carts to accommodate self serve items available throughout the store but then mostly located on 1/4 of the main floor, directly under the showroom (marketplace). The Marketplace, as the self serve area is designated contains mostly small items for the home, including kitchen wares, lighting, design areas such as wall art, floral and candle sections and even a pet retail area, so the dog can have stylish accessories as well. The remainder of the main floor, excluding the warehouse contains a Swedish food market and a small bistro or food stand, serving the staples of the Swedish food market, and located near the exit of the store after checkout. Last, but not least the slightly more than half of the square footage on the main floor is the warehouse, where larger to be built items are located by row and isle number, a small as IS section where items that have been damaged or misallocated are contained (selling for deep discounts) and last located directly behind the checkout is an area where thematic on sale, merchandise can be found.

The Portland store, being one of the newest IKEA U.S. locations is a version of the U.S. prototype, designed by IKEA to best meet the needs of the U.S. market and the U.S. customer. Unfortunately a full floor plan was not available for display here and full room designs are found on the website in the form of adobe flash player images with multiple product links.

Effectiveness of Layout:

It is clear that the first visit to IKEA can be a bit confusing, as winding hallways lead the shopper from one section to another but transitions are logical and the environment, i.e. full room and house floor plans pepper the store with fascinating things to look at, that apply the whole concept of the store and feature matched lines of furnishings and fixtures, as well as fantastic storage solutions that can be used in nearly every home, even if your home does not have a high design feel. If the full room and home layouts did not exist the whole of the store would be fragmented and overwhelming to everyone but the savviest design professional. Overall, the layout is fantastic and filled with colorful and imaginative design. When broken down the particular furniture and design plans, can be put together to make coordinating systems in any home, and there are many IKEA employees interspersed throughout the store to answer questions and show you what role they can play in a new design for a room or even your entire home. The layout definitely facilitates cross selling as all the items in the store are clearly marked, as to where they can be found if they are self-serve (i.e. In the marketplace) or need to be picked up in the warehouse.

The store can also offer a quick trip for the consumer, if the consumer knows what he or she wants and where it is located in the store, but the marketing of the store and its layout are genius because you can rarely visit the store without having at least the desire to go look at new rooms and full floor plans, which are changing all the time. The food offerings as well as easy access to display create a situation where a leisure, i.e recreational shopper could feasibly spend the whole day looking around. In short the layout could meet everyone's needs, as the self serve marketplace is accessible through a downstairs "shortcut" or the oversized elevators on the upper floor.

Additionally transitioning to a large cart to pick up flat boxed furnishings is super easy, located at the edge of the marketplace and the entrance to the warehouse. The warehouse, though daunting and cold in environment is also populated by center isle specials that the consumer might have missed in a built environment upstairs and signage flows through the store, everywhere, including food ads on the shopping carts! The warehouse is also kept warm and large hangtags advertise store specials, such as gift cards you can receive if purchases are made in larger dollar amounts and ads for store features such as on sight building of furniture, delivery and even low cost short-term truck rentals to bring items home yourself. The display area, located on the second floor is genius as items that you might need to take home and build are viewable and touchable. You can open and close cabinet doors, turn knobs on appliances, touch covering options, and see all those options broken down separately. The store also stresses understanding how things are made, and has several cut out displays of cores, such as pieces of wood that are split but then come together to make larger items, that look and feel solid. The lighting area is another example of genius as all the accessories needed, including specialty light bulbs (almost all of the energy efficient variety) are located just under the item they are used for.

Suggestions for Improvement:

To be honest I cannot think of a thing that would improve the store, unless one could pick up a design professional at the door, who had been in your space and could walk you through the thousands of options, available. The store does offer design consultants though.

Atmosphere and Visual Merchandising:

The atmosphere of the store is fantastic as each area, excluding the warehouse somehow feels homey, even though in your mind you are aware that you are in a huge built environment. The atmosphere is consistent with its purpose and function, and for someone who doesn't really even like shopping it is very welcoming. The signage, as has been mentioned earlier is excellent and every item in the display area has an information tag that clearly directs you to purchase, if it is not available to put in your cart, right there. Lighting is appropriate for the spaces,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Store Layout and Design Analysis" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Store Layout and Design Analysis.  (2008, February 25).  Retrieved October 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Store Layout and Design Analysis."  25 February 2008.  Web.  27 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Store Layout and Design Analysis."  February 25, 2008.  Accessed October 27, 2021.