Well known techniques for retail store layout

Recently i requested one of my friend who know any retail designer to give some tips on retail design. He sent the following tips for you. Hope you like ūüôā Also he request to visit this link which talks about future of retail design xxx



There are many different strategies retailers engage in to drive sales and improve the customer’s shopping experience, but I’ll try to name a few that are widely practiced:

Entrance:¬†Many stores have an open space in the front of the store right after entering– sometimes referred to as a “landing zone”– where you won’t find much except for a sign or two and maybe an attractive merchandising display.

This is to slow the person down and set them into a “shopping” mindset, so they’re more likely to view the act of shopping the store as its own experience and less likely to view it as a mission to pick up an item or two.

Navigation:¬†May seem obvious, but stores spend a lot of time thinking about how easy to make their stores to navigate. Many stores that are mission-driven, such as convenience stores and supermarkets, have very detailed signs leading you to the specific product group and type you’re looking for.

Project-driven stores that look to inspire a shopper unsure of what they want (thinkToys”R”Us¬†or even¬†Best Buy) will clearly highlight major departments or “needs” (e.g. TVs, sound systems, Star Wars) and leave the in-asile navigation a little less directed.

Regardless of which strategy, signs need to be clear, specific, and standardizedthroughout the store.

“Flow” of the store:¬†This relates to the store layout of the different departments. To keep it brief, stores try to intuitively design department adjacencies so that you will find complementary products near each other– the cleats are by the baseball bats, which are near an end cap (display at the end of an aisle) of sunflower seeds and bubble gum.

The actual strategy for designing the flow differs across stores too, with a popular approach being a “store-within-a-store” format. Many sporting goods stores do this (Whole Foods¬†is also surprisingly good at this given it’s a supermarket)– they break their store into separate “mini-stores” around different departments (baseball, basketball, outdoors, etc.) with each area having its own displays, dedicated service, and product types (you might find shoes, hats and suntan lotion in each separate section).

Pricing and promotions: This one should also seem intuitive, that stores highlight low prices and promotions they have on their products. More specifically, they tend to draw a shopper into the store with high-value items advertised through bright and distinct signage midway into the stores and aisles. Then, they often offer a clearance section of heavily discounted items in the back of the store or in another corner of it, to bring the customer as far into the store as possible (and past many of the pretty end caps). They also practice a similar strategy for their high-traffic items that drive many of the customers to the store in the first place (as Tom Cookpoints out for milk in supermarkets).

Brand communication:¬†Stores try to balance highlighting popular and credible brands (I saw an¬†Angry Birds¬†bin at Walmart the other day!)¬† to build a perception of quality and their own private label brands (such as the “365 Everyday Value” at Whole Foods), which have a significantly higher profit margin. They usually do this through branded displays or brand-specific promotions.¬†Target¬†does probably the best job I’ve seen at promoting both types of brands.

End caps and drive aisles: End caps are the displays you see that stick out at the end of an aisle and perpendicular to it, while drive aisles are the bins or mini-aisles you see in the middle of a major lane through the store. There are three major strategies for how you stock these areas:

  • To try and and bring the shopper into an aisle containing products complementing those on display (a popular video game leading into the aisle for consoles, controllers, other games, etc.),
  • To advertise a particular project that will require other items throughout the store (this can be seen in arts & crafts and home improvement stores frequently), or
  • To offload any extra merchandise you don’t have room for or are no longer carrying– more of a tactical decision and less of a strategic one (and should only really be done for significant excess inventory)

Regardless, all displays should be¬†attractive¬†and¬†easy to change. There is very high turnover of these displays to keep them “fresh” and therefore need to be, on a functional level, easy to remove and restock. Next time you are in any major retailer (with the exception of Target, which chooses to not place anything in their drive aisles to keep them clean and easy to walk), look at the bins running through their major aisles– you’ll often see bins that either have wheels or are cardboard displays on top of a wooden foundation (which can then be easily replaced with a new cardboard box that easily opens up into a display).

Also, most stores have a final drive aisle of “impulse” (low cost, high profit margin) items near their checkout, either a long one customers snake around (most Best Buys now, and I remember¬†Borders¬†used to do this too) or individual mini ones by each checkout (Target and almost all supermarkets are good examples). You often see items such as batteries, magazines, drinks and sweets offered in these areas.

Hope this was helpful, there are a few other tips and tricks a lot of stores do – especially depending on the type of store and what they’re offering – but these are some of the major ones.

This entry was published on April 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm. It’s filed under Retail Resign and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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