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Smaller footprint retail stores have been a trend for some time; the challenge most retailers face is optimizing the more diminutive space.

One retailer that’s succeeding on this front is True Value. The company’s Destination True Value (DTV) store format debuted in 2007. Its female-friendly store design combines contemporary merchandising, an updated layout and product assortments engineered to provide consumers what they need.

Initially the model was for an 8,000- to 12,000-sq.-ft. store, but the retailer soon learned it could pack high-volume sales into a smaller space and not miss a beat. In fact, the DTV stores are not only outperforming non-DTV units, True Value CEO Lyle Heidemann reports they’re “way outperforming the industry and the economy.”

The new small store format is roughly 5,000 sq. ft., yet the store retains 68 percent of the SKU count. The model is adaptable for stores with lower ceilings and unusual structural features; design tweaks include shorter hooks and space-saving fixtures. The True Value merchandising team developed 79 new planograms to help organize the store -- an indication of just how flexible and customizable the smaller model can be.

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