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Theme Context

Place is a "container" for a variety of different ARTS Data Model subject areas that answer "where?" questions.  Generically, "where?" questions are answered by location-related entity types.  There are many different kinds of "locations" in a retail enterprise.  There are locations that refer to buildings and lots.  There are locations that refer to areas inside buildings or subdivisions of lots.  There are locations that designate where items are sold, stored, returned, etc.  Location may refer to a street address, a specific longitude and latitude, a general area, etc. The point here is that location is a semantically overloaded concept in retailing.

To lighten the semantic workload on location, ARTS introduces a number of qualified entity names and very specific definitions for different kinds of places.  The subject areas included under the Place topic identify, define and describe different ways to answer the "where?" question in a retail enterprise context.

Retail World Physical View Context: Places on a Map

Site is a physical building or lot at which a retailer conducts business. A site is geographically identified as a point designated by longitude and latitude.  A developed site is associated with a mailing address.  Geographic points may be aggregated into different geographic areas.  Different geographic areas may be aggregated into larger areas and so on.  This geographic view of place is aimed at enabling retail enterprises to map their physical facilities in the physical world.  The Logical 10108 - Enterprise Physical Locations View subject area identifies the ARTS entities, relationships and attributes that address this real world view of location.

Retailers overlay this physical, real world view of place with an organizational model that decomposes the enterprise into administrative areas based on geography.  This is reflected in business unit groups like market areas, regions, territories, etc.  The association between geography and retail enterprise organization is modeled in the Logical 10110 - Enterprise - Location Retailer Organization View.

Retail Site View Context: Locations Inside Retail Buildings

The real world geographic view identifies sites.  There is also a need for retailers to identify, define and describe places inside each site.  This need is fulfilled by floor plans, blueprints, functional areas (e.g. sales floor, receiving, inventory storage, administrative offices, etc.).  A site may be decomposed into identified, named, described areas which are modeled as Location entity types.  In ARTS, the formal treatment of location is always placing it inside a Site.  The ARTS data model allows retailers to decompose locations into smaller areas.  As part of this decomposition, retailers may assign level codes to name different location aggregations.  For example a retailer may create a three tier approach to  represent locations within a site that consists of:

Floor (e.g. basement, first, second, etc.);

Area (e.g. sales floor, stock room, receiving apron, returns area, offices); and

Department (a breakdown of the sales floor area based on merchandise categories).

The concept of identifying and naming areas within a site (which is the ARTS formal treatment of Location) serves as the foundation for future development of planograms, in-store way finding and other intra-site services.

The intra-site modeling of places is addressed in the Logical 10100 - Enterprise - Locations Macro View subject area.

Retail Item Location Place Context: Areas Inside Retail Building Locations

The formal treatment of Location as a multi-level specification of intra-site space is extended by assigning assets to named points within a designated area.  For example, a site's selling area may have a number of point of sale workstations positioned to settle retail transactions.  Each of these point of sale workstations has a designated spot in the selling area.  That spot is typically represented as a point within the designated selling area.  In a grocery store, for example, point of sale terminals are located at the front of the store (in a selling area - front-end location) and at the administrative office (customer service location).  This treatment of place designates the placement of specific retailer assets within locations (intra-site named areas).

This treatment of place is reflected in the Logical 10120 - Enterprise - Location, Workstation Operator and Till View.  It puts the accountability for handling tender and sales by operators at workstations into a "place" context.

In future versions of the ARTS Operational Data Model, planograms will be modeled by providing named cubic areas where merchandise is place for display and sales.  The cubic areas will typically be represented as real world fixtures which in turn are decomposed into sub-cubes and linked to specific items (and item quantities based on cube constraints).

Channels and Their Relationship to Place

A Channel entity represents an identified, named, defined set of functions, states, touch points and media that define how parties interact in the buying and selling of goods and services as well as conducting conversations (social media) related to retail products and services.  The notion of touch points combines two dimensions - how and where customers and retailers interact.  The concept of channel will be developed further in future releases of the ARTS Data Model.  For now, because the notion touch point is aligned with place, channel is included under the Place topic.  Channel is fully explored in the Logical 10400 - Enterprise - Channels subject area.