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Because industry-specific terms mean different things to different people, here are my definitions to the subjective terms as I use them.

Bubble Plans: Diagram showing product adjacencies and how they relate to each other. It may be diagramed by major worlds of products or might break a world down to subcategories and how they relate to each other. It is often placed over a building shell so that it gives some reference to the space being developed.

Block Plans: Defines circulation and egress in a space and shows departmental adjacencies with square footage or square meterage. This starts to set boundaries for departments and shows which departments might have increased or decreased from a predetermined requested departmental size list because of the site conditions. This plan is always placed within a building shell. Also evident is the design of the space being layered into it and how it works, as a consumer would navigate it in a plan view.

Ghost Fixture Plan: Expands on the Block Plan and adds geometric shapes, showing how fixtures would be placed on a plan and how the departments might start to flow. Geometrical shapes are used to represent how fixtures may be placed, allowing sign-off on the concept before getting bogged down in the fixturing details.

Fixture Plan: Shows actual footprints of selected fixtures in conjunction with design elements. Seen are circulation, egress, department boundary lines and any other architectural elements, all referenced as needed to see the concept in its entirety from a plan view. This is the starting point for Design Intent Documentation and the final product of the conceptual phase.

Merchandise Plan: Added to the fixture plan, usually from a macro standpoint, showing what categories are find down each aisle, or on a fixture in some plans. Most companies would do the micro merchandising as they know the capacity required for each SKU of product to be sold and often fine tune their needs according to the final fixture plan. This plan may be shown in conjunction with the fixture plan.

Landscaping: Refers to the heights of fixtures as they relate to each other and the wall behind them, or in a department. The same is true for small specialty stores that have a more meandering layout.

Worlds: Refers to a grouping of products that make a larger category. Depending on the concept, the brand or the type of store, these worlds may be comprised of different departments. An example would be the Shoe department: in a discount store it may be part of the softlines world with Men’s, Women’s and Kid’s clothing, but in a sporting goods store this could be a world by itself, with small departments within it.

Design Intent Documentation: AutoCAD is used to produce Fixture, Merchandise, Construction, Floor Covering and Wall Finish Plans, as well as Elevations, Sections/Details, in conjunction with fixture details as required to communicate the design intent to an Architect or an in-house department. The goal is to produce a package that any Architect can use to produce construction documents.


  © 2008 - Jim Penn