Designing retail stores to maximize visual experience

The physical layout of a retail store is known to influence the stimuli and behavior of shoppers, eventually affecting their personal experience and store performance. This talk will focus on the visual stimuli of a shopper and address the following questions: (i) how to quantity visual experience of a shopper moving through a store?; (ii) how is this affected by the angles at which the racks are placed?; and (iii) which racks angles maximize visual experience? To this extent, we introduce a set of visual-spatial statistics comprised of visual measures (exposure and intensity) and spatial measures (space and aspect ratio). We present an approach to capture the dynamics of a traveling shopper's field of vision against a static rack layout. We illustrate the use of our approach to analyze a real-store layout from a mass merchandiser in our region. We then introduce the retail rack layout problem, which determines the optimal single or multi-column rack angles in a constrained space in order to maximize exposure to the shopper. Results indicate that exposure can be increased by 18-226% over 90-rack layouts with angled-racks (acute or obtuse from shoppers travel path) and that this exposure increase is sensitive to the shopper's field of regard (angular limit and depth of vision). Finally, we will share our ongoing work on validating our models via a human subjects study in a 3D virtual store section. We believe our findings will provide quantitative evidence of the sensitivity of exposure to the characteristics of the shopper, confirming that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to retail design.

  • Prof. Pratik Parikh, Wright State University, Dayton, OH (USA)
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  • 2017-03-07

The US-China Business Relationship - Bi-Polar or the Two Pillars of a Stable World Economy - With Implications for India?

This is more of a policy-oriented presentation discussing the extent of trade and FDI involvement between the US and China and what is at stake in the relationship in terms of money, jobs, manufacturing competitiveness, benefits and costs to the US consumer from Chinese imports, and the transition taking place in the Chinese economy. I have added implications for India. This presentation would be of interest to a wider audience and elicit questions and reactions to Don Trump's presidency.

  • Prof. Farok Contractor, Rutgers University
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  • 2017-03-06

What is Impactful Research?

As researchers, we continue to do research in areas which appear to have buzzwords or perpetuated by researchers from so-called top universities or by so-called top researchers from other universities. There is a need for serious introspection into why we do research on topics we choose; how do we choose topics; and how do we measure the impact of our research. Usual metrics for the impact of our research are number of citations, journals published in, and lately impact factor and number of reads. We need to understand and comprehend our research topics/themes and their short term and long term impact on academia, industry, government, and society at large. This seminar is intended to be as much interactive as possible.​

  • Dr. Shailendra C. Palvia, Long Island University, New York
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  • 2017-03-03