Choosing the Best Layout for Retail Stores
October 3, 2012
•IADT General, IADT Orlando, Retail Merchandise Management
• 0 Comments
One of the earliest challenges a retail merchandise manager faces in the store design process is choosing a layout.
There are a variety of possible layouts to choose from, but before you settle on a certain floor plan, there are several factors you have to consider. Most significantly, you need to analyze the size of the store’s space, the amount of merchandise, the type of merchandise, and the desired traffic flow.
Once you examine these elements, you have to think about the type of fixtures and displays you want to use. Fixtures and shelving in certain shapes and sizes can range widely in price, so the layout you choose should also follow a budget to ensure that you don’t choose one that’s too costly.
Here are some of the different types of store layouts used in the retail industry.
Straight—shelving or displays run parallel with the walls, maximizing the space used for merchandise. Most grocery stores, for example, use a straight layout.
Diagonal—shelving runs on a diagonal to the walls, allowing the cashier to easily see the entire the store
Loop—a loop layout is designed so that traffic flows in a circular pattern. This can maximize the amount of time a customer spends in the store.
Angular—uses circular fixtures to create unique angles in traffic flow. This can be expensive, so it’s typically reserved for high-end shops.
Geometric—fixtures and displays have geometric shapes to create a fun and fashionable layout. This is used often in clothing stores.
Free-Flow/Mixed—incorporates elements of multiple retail layouts without a consistent pattern, usually used for customizable functionality
When you consider your store layout options, always keep appearance and function in mind. The store should be comfortable, appealing, and have its own distinct style. Learn more about store layout types and techniques by enrolling in a retail merchandise management degree program.