Creating an Optimal Retail Store Layout

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creating a retail storeAn optimal layout makes your customers feel comfortable and inspires them to spend

The layout of a retail store can have a serious effect on sales. Consumer behavior is subtly, but significantly, influenced by product displays, service counters, check-out designs and more. Follow these tips to create an optimal layout that makes your customers feel comfortable and inspires them to spend. 

Choose a Layout that Fits Your Business 

Grocery stores steer customers up and down aisles in a grid layout, but that does not mean it is right for your business. A free-flowing layout encourages impulse buying because shoppers can freely move throughout the store. 

Create an Inviting Entrance 

Not even the best in-store layouts can woo shoppers if they do not come inside. Lure customers in with a stunning, eye-catching entrance. Increase your curb appeal by making at least a few products visible to passerby through the windows. 

Be Aware of the Decompression Zone

When American shoppers enter a store, they generally turn right first. Keep this in mind as you position your merchandise. When they enter, most patrons also do not notice displays within 15 feet of the entrance. Called the “decompression zone,” this is the worst place to put your biggest merchandising displays. Instead, use them as “speed bumps” elsewhere in the store to grab attention. 

Stay Visible 

Keep your shelves low enough to maintain good visibility to reduce your inventory losses, and make sure that temporary displays do not accidentally provide cover for shoplifters. 

Minimize Counters 

Psychologically and physically, counters separate the customers from sales clerks. This creates an “us vs. them” mentality, sending the wrong message about your store. Instead of sticking your sales staff behind a counter, instruct them to roam around the store when not engaged in another task. This makes the store appear busier, which puts customers at ease. If you need counter space for paperwork, choose a model no bigger than a desk. 

Beware of Behinds 

The “butt brush effect” is when customers avoid checking out products if another customer’s backside is in close proximity. Consumer behavior experts have found this to be true even when shoppers are interested in the product. Avoid the effect by allowing patrons plenty of personal space in aisles and in the floor space.