Secrets to Good Store Layout


No matter its size or product lines, every retail business must constantly work to create an attractive and inviting shopping environment. Here are a few tips from to keep the customers coming.

1. Make the windows shine – “Just like your eyes are the windows of your soul, store windows are the eyes of the store. Each window should tell a story.”

2. Make an arresting first impression – An eye-catching display at the entrance will slow down customers and get them in the shopping mood.

3. Steer customers to the right – Shoppers tend to prefer to move right and walk counter-clockwise around the store. Make it easy and interesting for them to follow their natural shopping inclinations.

4. Lead them somewhere – Store layout should encourage customers to continue shopping. Eliminate aisles that lead to walls and other dead ends.

5. Have an angle – Create visual interest by placing aisles at angles (if space allows).

6. Create breaks – Shoppers get bored on long aisles – create visual breaks with signs or displays in the middle of long aisles.

7. Offer hugs – Use round and u-shapes on signs, displays and floor layouts. People find these shapes inviting.

One-on-one meetings with the retail consultants of the Virginia Small Business Development Center’s Small Town and Merchant Program can help retail and restaurant owners improve the layout of their businesses. To learn more about environmental influences on consumer behavior, check out Paco Underhill’s books Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, Call of the Mall and What Women Want: The Science of Female Shopping.