Pets at Home is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support store planning in its 440 retail stores across the UK.
Working out the most effective layout for a retail store is a science. From where products are located within the store, to their exact placement on the shelves, careful thought goes into making the best use of the space.
Pets at Home was looking for a scalable solution for analysing and improving the performance of space across its real estate — a solution that would provide recommendations for balancing the amount of space given to different categories of products and to in-store services.
According to Symphony RetailAI, its AI-enabled store planning and optimisation solution will help Pets at Home determine the best use of floor space at each store, including how much space to allocate to its veterinary practices and pet grooming service.
The technology draws on SKU-level performance analysis of previous trading periods.
During a detailed review and proof of concept, the company demonstrated an optimal allocation of merchandising space for each category, aisle and department. In one scenario, this reduced store display space by approximately 20% and reallocated space to services such as veterinary care, and in another scenario it optimised an unchanged space allocation.
“We want our stores to be the best pet shops in the world, and we knew that implementing world-class planning technology is important to achieving our goal,” commented Mark Wilkinson, head of Merchandising & Space Planning for Pets at Home. “By taking the time to continually optimise our stores, we can ensure we provide the service and convenience our customers have come to expect.”