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How to Create The Perfect Retail Store Layout

by | Apr 9, 2024

Contrary to popular belief, online shopping does not reign supreme. Brick-and-mortar stores still account for 94% of total retail sales. From connecting with knowledgeable staff to interaction with a physical product, many consumers still enjoy stepping into a store and your retail store layout plays an important role.

A retail store layout has the power to directly impact the customer’s product choices and, ultimately, the conversion rate of shoppers purchasing additional items.

The Importance of Choosing A Retail Store Layout

Layout is an opportunity not only to influence buying decisions, but to create an atmosphere while effectively utilizing the available space. Layout design largely depends on the usable area, types of products sold, and how you want to impact the customer’s in-store behavior.

Most large retail stores take advantage of a classic loop layout to usher shoppers through the space. A loop maximizes product visibility, as the consumer typically stays on the created path and is exposed to items they may not otherwise see in a classic grid layout. Loop layouts are common for apparel, housewares, and specialty stores, and wall displays are critical. Choose racks and shelving that are clean and easy to see.

The classic grid layout works effectively for grocers, bookstores, specialty foods, and personal care stores as it easily accommodates higher traffic flow. Endcaps that spotlight sales or seasonal merchandise add to the shopper’s experience. Ready for new shelving? Consider stamped metal or custom units that make your products stand out. However, shelving and display components should never overwhelm the items.

Entryway 101

First impressions matter. It’s essential to create an uncluttered entryway that welcomes guests into your store. The lighting must be right and on brand, all glass surfaces should be smudge-free, and the floor clean. In addition, it’s also important to design a layout that establishes a “decompression zone” for everyone who enters. Shoppers need to be able to step inside, take a breath and leave the everyday world outside.

On average, a retail store should offer about five to 15 feet of entryway space. This area should be free from clutter, oversized displays, and product piles. Allow your customers to enter and take a minute to assimilate. Your entrance, along with window displays, help set the tone for the rest of the shopping experience.

Check-Out with Ease

The front left space is prime for a checkout station since 90% of shoppers turn right when walking into a store. A register located at the front left becomes the last stop on a consumer’s natural path. Another good option is to place the checkout at the back, but only if the store has the bandwidth to maintain a presence at the front as well. Doing this means shoppers will be required to walk through your store, increasing the likelihood that an additional product will catch their interest along their way to the back.

Checkout tips:

  • Multiple lanes move larger crowds
  • A wide queue can decrease customer stress
  • Offer last-minute products in easy-to-reach displays
  • Cross-selling generates more sales

Wherever the registers are placed, make sure you reinforce your brand with signage and merchandise.

Considerations For Your Retail Store Layout

The layout of a retail store requires careful consideration because of how it impacts shopper behavior. Once a layout is determined, custom display materials, shelving and signage can be selected to complete the design. Planning your retail store layout may take time, but if you follow a few guidelines and keep customers’ needs at the forefront, you’re far more likely to succeed. For more tips, check out this infographic.

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