Planning Your Store Layout – Our Step by Step Instructions
When it comes to the success of your store, you may think only two things really matter:
- Your products
While these will undoubtedly play a huge role in whether or not your store succeeds, don’t forget about its layout.
Put simply, a poor layout will create unnecessary barriers between your customers and the purchases you want them to make. It is vital that you minimize these hurdles by following the below instructions regarding your layout.
Use a Straight Floor Plan
There’s a temptation amongst first-time storeowners to get creative with their floor plans. It’s understandable. Every storeowner sees their business as 100% unique and, therefore, they want an equally unique layout.
The problem is that these layouts tend to create those aforementioned hurdles.
It’s also extremely easy to organize.
You put all the displays and fixtures at right angles to each other. Amongst other things, this leaves plenty of options for typically unused areas, like corners, to feature products or advertisements.
This type of layout can also be used for a wide range of store types, from clothing to technology to art and more.
Thinking About Your Aisles
Unless you just have one or two products, your stores need aisles. The size and placement of them are essential to take into consideration.
Make sure your aisles provide at least 1.2 meters between them, so people are free to move around unobstructed.
One very common layout option that pairs well with the straight floor plan is to use a grid. In this formation, you have aisles running perpendicular and parallel to your walls. This encourages customers to reach the wall, look at what it’s displaying and then turn around to go back down another aisle, maximizing exposure to your products.
On the other hand, if you’re selling products that have distinct categories (e.g. sports/exercise equipment), it makes more sense to create a loop layout. This one is also a good fit for a straight floor plan and it gives you separate sections for the different types of products you sell.
Think About Your Cash Wrap
Your cash wrap is the store’s point of sale. This is where the cash register goes, but it’s also more important than just limiting to this one tool. A store’s cash wrap must do a number of other things, too.
It should encourage the sale by being easy to get to and, if necessary, leaving plenty of room for people to comfortably stand in line. You may also want to be able to place displays near your cash wrap, which would require you to plan ahead so there’s more than enough room for your customers to get by.
Put Necessary Items in the Back
Where you actually put your products will largely depend on what you’re selling and your customers’ behaviour.
However, experts say to place your most popular items in the back of the store. This will force your customers to walk past a number of other products they may need.
Don’t take the layout of your store for granted. How you organize your furniture and fixtures will have a huge impact on your bottom line.