A department store chain is designing a layout for a new store. The store manager wants to provide as much convenience as possible for her customers. Based on historical data, the number of trips between departments per hour is given in the following closeness matrix. A block plan showing a preliminary layout is also shown.

Customer travel between departments is restricted to the aisles shown in the block plan as dotted lines.

Follow a systematic process (as given below) to develop a good layout for the department store.

Step 1: Evaluate the Current Layout by computing a load distance score for the current layout.

Step 2: Determine the Total Closeness Rating for each of the departments. Place two departments with the most total closeness ratings in the middle of the building.

Step 3: Rank order the department pairs by closeness rating in descending order.

Step 4: Place the rest of the departments in the layout. Start with the department pair with the largest closeness rating. Continue this process until you have placed all the departments in the new layout.

Step 5: Evaluate the Improved Layout by computing the new load distance score for the current layout. What is the percentage improvement in the load distance score over the current layout?

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