Retail Store Layouts
Critical consideration is required in the design of retail stores, as the shopper experience is directly influenced by the spatial presentation of the merchandise, as well as the clarity with which a customer is able to move through the shop. Retail store layouts ultimately determine the way in which shoppers interact with the merchandise, which in turn affects their purchasing behavior. While there are many standard layouts to choose from, it is critical to always account for the personal space of every shopper by leaving appropriate room between merchandise and fixtures. Traditional retail store layouts include the grid, loop, straight, diagonal, angular, geometric, mixed, free-flow, and boutique store layouts.
The two most important factors in store layouts include space management and flow of foot traffic. Displays should act as a backdrop to promote the merchandise and access to this merchandise must be easy to achieve. Customers are willing to crouch down to reach for cheap items, but the overall placement of goods in the store and on the shelves should be intentional based on profit concerns.
Retail design is a discipline that responds to the substantial demands placed on retail spaces through architecture, interior design, graphic design, and advertising. Retail design must take into consideration the need to make an enjoyable experience for customers as well as the type of product being stocked and stored. The entrance and display windows must tell the story of what’s inside while drawing people in to look around. If a retail space is part of a chain, then the same design or theme must be seen throughout all stores.
The success of a store layout is determined by the amount of foot traffic into the store. The design is intended to create the best environment for which to highlight the goods and products and ultimately, make them look desirable to consumers. When laying out the merchandise, it is important to note that naturally, customers tend to enter and walk through the store in a certain order (counterclockwise) and products placed at eye-level are considered high profit items. A free flow pattern as seen in a clothing store allows for meandering, visual appeal, and flexibility which in turn has been found to increase impulse purchases.