New retail store format from Svyaznoy – Flex, or flexible spaces

Hey.

After an article about the MTS flagship store, in which the mistakes in its design and design were sorted out, I decided that it was necessary to revise other players as well. And the very format of the material in which we disassemble the device of the store, what is right and wrong in it, you liked.

The Svyaznoy store was the second “victim”, as I read an article in the Vedomosti newspaper, which stated that the retail chain had come up with a new, flexible format for distributing goods by zones. The note can be found here.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

A certain unnamed representative of Svyaznoy sold the story of the end of 2017 to the Vedomosti newspaper, it was then that the Flex format was created (translation is probably not needed here, since the original idea was borrowed from European operators). By mid-January 2019, the Svyaznoy chain had more than 200 stores in the Flex format, they are quite large and have an area of ​​100 square meters or more. You can read the note from January 2019, which describes the success of these stores, Sasha Pertseva revealed the number of points and gave a look from the side of the company, you can find the text here.

But this is even more interesting, because the format does not have to be the newest. The typical retail format, which was modified to meet the real needs of sellers and buyers, looks even more interesting. There are several hundred stores in the Flex format, they differ noticeably from each other in layout, but this is inherent in their idea. The store mentioned in the Vedomosti article is located near the Baumanskaya metro station in the Yelokhovsky Passage shopping center. You can see the “Messenger” showcase from afar, as it goes out onto the street and occupies the left side of the entrance.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The shopping center is small, old format, so there are crowded shops and small common spaces inside. Before you even enter the store, you will see bright lightboxes with advertising offers, they are hung from the back of the payment terminals.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The solution is winning for several reasons, the terminals themselves are hidden in wooden boxes, no wires are visible (only the wire between the terminals, for some reason it was not hidden), but the main thing is that the glowing advertisement attracts attention. I have heard the argument several times that people do not understand that it is possible to pay for communication services in the store, and therefore it is impossible to hide the terminals. But this is something contrived and invented for the sake of controversy. It seems to me that any person understands that in “Svyaznoy” you can pay for the phone. And the service itself is not very interesting for retail, it brings scanty money.

Let’s take a look at the interior of the store, pay attention to the layout.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

Racks with basic goods go along the walls, they are divided into zones, and quite logically. Phones in one place, accessories in another (this is illogical, but in fact, having picked up a phone, a person is transferred to another place, so as not to create pandemonium in one shop window).

Pay attention to the Apple branded table with a rug, which is also part of the company’s image. In MTS, this rug was placed exactly in the path of visitors so that they could wipe their feet on it. In Svyaznoy, someone turned on their head and moved away from the canons of the Apple brand book (the table should be placed exactly in the middle of the rug and nothing else! This always made me laugh). Note that the rug was shifted to the right in the photo, that is, removed from the road. You enter the door that is shifted away from the entrance (in autumn and winter, a few extra steps mean less dirt in the store, and this is very important), and then you can turn to the payment terminals or go to the sellers in a straight line, their table is located against the far wall …

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The pink dog is just an element of the interior that is designed to revive it a little. I have no feeling that they managed to do this, but surely someone likes it. In the central part of the store there are small counters where accessories are located. In theory, in the Flex format, there should be promo stands from different manufacturers, that is, places are sold for vendor marketing, as we saw with Apple. Now “Messenger” has filled this place with pedestals with accessories, so that there is no feeling of ringing emptiness.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The idea of ​​the store is simple and straightforward – to split the goods by directions and place them along the walls. The central place is given to promotional stands, they can be easily removed and placed here anything. In Svyaznoy, the Flex format was adopted with their own edits, European operators place chairs with goods instead of bedside tables, install installations – in a word, they enliven such a space, flirt with potential buyers. There is a fashion for beauty in the world today, but they want to achieve this beauty with minimal effort. In “Svyaznoy” they refused beauty, they considered it a waste of budget and money. Which is logical, especially if you look at how the neighboring stores are arranged, every square meter is filled with tables with products on sale. In Russia, as a whole, there is a shortage of people who want to invent beauty in their stores, there is not even such a position – “chief in beauty”. However, the design is always created according to some residual principle, they mold everything together from the materials that were found in the stores of the performers. Many salons of cellular communication are built on the principle of an exhibition complex, and, as you know, it is temporary. Almost no one builds shops for a long time, it is believed that it is expensive. Although when you start counting how long a stick-rope structure made of plexiglass and the like will last versus normal retail furniture, the gain is not in favor of cheap materials.

Envelopes with SIM-cards of different operators are a kind of independent decoration; this is an art object. SIM cards are sold at the counter, and such a display is not needed. Moreover, the logic of visitors is always different, they ask the consultant about what is on sale and how much it costs. It is unlikely that anyone will consider envelopes without conditions of tariffs and other details.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

Zoning is indicated by different colors of the showcases, these are banners on the top of the cabinets. An inexpensive way, since they are highlighted from below, the inscriptions can be changed at least every day. For some reason, Svyaznoy decided to call the categories of goods ecosystems, there is an ecosystem of “Smart Home”, “Travel”, “Gaming” and others. As for me, someone just picked up the buzzword “ecosystem”, not fully understanding its meaning.

You can see from the store that the task was to make it bright, functional and for a minimum budget, which can only be welcomed. Vendors are sitting in the fortress at the cash desk, at the end of the hall. But unlike the same MTS, they instantly come up and ask how they can help. You refuse help, and they immediately return to their fortress. In many retail stores, this has become the norm, sellers sit at the front desk, it’s easier and more understandable. And this happens not in small stores, but in stores with a fairly large area.

Let’s go back to the showcases. For example, you can look at the “Smart Home” ecosystem, there are many columns, and some of them are open, and some are laid out in boxes. I could not understand the distribution logic, accessories for a smart home are usually in boxes. You can mix this approach, but then open devices are what is in the focus of the store, and there cannot be many of them – one or two devices on the shelf. These are heroes that are guaranteed to attract attention. There is no such idea here, these are just randomly placed goods.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

There are smartphones on Samsung promotional stands, where the price tags indicate absolutely absurd things. On one smartphone, this is DEMO, and the neighboring one was distinguished by the fact that it is Mock-Up, although the device works great.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

In the neighboring “Know-How” they solved the issue much more elegantly, there the price tags say “Demo sample”, and this is true.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The Svyaznoy store doesn’t even smell neat, but let’s look at specific points. There are several crumpled price tags on Apple’s desk, which spoils the whole impression, it shouldn’t be that way. And there can be no excuses for this.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

On the shelves there are phones with branded stickers, some, apparently, were shown to customers. The stickers are crumpled, look obscene, and some phones are simply smeared.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

It’s the salesperson’s job to make sure that doesn’t happen. Crumpled stickers should be put into the box, phones should be polished to a shine. There is time and opportunity for this.

It remains to mention that the store has a couple of touch screens, this is access to the online storefront, you can order those products that are not available at this point.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spacesNew retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The general impression of the Svyaznoy store in the Flex format (these are not new stores, not a new format!) Is simple, cheap and cheerful. That is, they tried to do it smartly, there are some points that were done correctly at the level of design, ideas. But there are also operational shortcomings, shortcomings of those who work at the outlet. The costs for such a format are minimal, and the possibilities to rethink the space are unlimited, there is no expensive commercial equipment.

In the center of the store there is a printer for printing films for various smartphones.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

This is the correct location, as a working printer is visible from all angles and can interest other visitors. This is exactly what is thought out and done well. On this I think that there is no point in describing an ordinary Svyaznoy store with a large area, you obviously were in such. I tried to describe the pros and cons, I hope it worked out, as well as I managed to tell you about the format itself.

I could not resist and dropped into the neighboring shops to see how things were going there. Small size MTS has good design, but you can feel amateur performance and fatigue from people, for example, look at the payment terminal.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

The stickers are given for a reason, but due to the fact that the interface of the terminal itself is not well thought out, people get lost in basic operations. Now look at the photo with the tablets and think about what is wrong with them.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

Two tablets on the shelf are turned with the front part, two with the back. This was clearly not done intentionally, simply, laying out the goods on the shelf, no one thought about uniformity.

New retail store format from Svyaznoy - Flex, or flexible spaces

Bubbles on the film after re-sticking it on the screen is the scourge of any store, you do not need to glue the film. You need to wipe the screen from fingerprints and carefully place the goods on the shelf. Such a film in bubbles will not do anything good anyway.

PS Tell us in the comments which store to visit next, the flagship of one of the operators (MTS was already there!). Mark who you want to see in this debriefing.

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