Retail Space Planning Charter

ARC Launches a Community for Retail Space Management Professionals

September 7, 2022, CHICAGO, IL –At the height of the pandemic in 2021, the Association for Retail and Consumer Professionals (ARC) launched the revolutionary ARC Virtual Campus to host the 2021 CMA|SIMA annual conference titled, Rising to the New Retail Reality. The uncertainty of the times, the need for connection and community, and focus on technology and innovation was the driving force to continue to build growing communities where retail and consumer professionals could find a common language, resources, and innovative tools to move into the ever-changing future of retail.

ARC is the master association and parent company for both the Category Management Association (CMA) and Shopper Insights Management Association (SIMA) and will become the overarching body for all new charters, communities, and associations. “We have long believed that the need for networking and connection, peer learning and continued education, common languages and talent retention should exist within all functional areas of the retail and consumer industries. It is why we started SIMA and have begun implementing our Charter and Community strategy in 2022.” This vision is being shared by Emily Callahan, President of ARC.

“ARC is excited to launch, the first of its kind, a Retail Space Planning Charter specifically for retailers. We know through our success with the CMA and SIMA that organizing visionary partners and resources gives each organization a better way to address foundational concepts, core language, training and certification for employees who share the same job title – but not the same skills – across companies. The Space Planning Charter is off to an incredible start, and we plan to launch several new charters in 2023.”

Hear from Charter member Mike Borrello from Tractor Supply and Facilitator Flora Delaney on the origins and goals of the Charter during their sit-down with emcee Phil Lempert at the CMA | SIMA Annual Conference in March 2022.

Why Space Management?

A survey by One Door of more than 50 retailers found that only 24% believed they could retain top talent in space planning once hired. With the tremendous pressure on space planning teams to integrate omnichannel retailing into their brick-and-mortar stores and a plethora of new technology solutions coming onto the market, now is the time to build a unified voice for retail practitioners in the Space Management field to advance the industry into the future. This has become ARC’s natural first Charter.

The plan for the Space Planning Charter is to tackle research, build formal and informal networking and mentorships, create a common language, and build the process for advancing the maturity of a discipline that is recognized across the entire industry. We want to bring Space Planning as an industry to the same professional level as Category Management, Shopper Insights, Supply Chain, and other recognized retail functions. Initial meeting topics include ranking people, process, and technology in order of importance, and identifying key metrics to include in a retail-agnostic space planning scorecard.

Charter meetings and workgroups led by ARC and Flora Delaney, Delaney Consulting, have been underway since April 2022, with eight founding member companies. These visionary members span the grocery, auto, drug, and home improvement channels and conversations are entirely non-competitive in nature. One charter member shared, “While I think this is going to be good for us, what I really think is that this is going to be an orchard that we’re planting, so that the people coming up behind us have it better than we did in terms of resources, in figuring out what is at their fingertips and how to succeed in this industry.”

What’s Next?

To expand the reach to more industry professionals, the Space Planning Charter is now accepting additional member applications for the first retailer-exclusive Space Planning professional organization. Interested applicants may fill out an application form. Participation will be most valuable for the most senior thought leader of a retailer’s Space Management department that touch on the following: planogramming and store planning, new concepts and data analytics, cross-functional integration and all the most high-level deliverables that a well-run Space Management team delivers to a retail organization. To learn more about this exciting launch please visit