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Retail Design That Works For Both Busy And Quiet Periods

When designing a store’s layout, one of the most difficult factors to assess and accommodate for is customer traffic. If you are able to accurately know the number of customers that will frequent your shop at any time, you can organise your floorplan accordingly and reap the benefits of perfectly spaced displays. The issue is, however, that it is impossible to ever accurately predict levels of custom. And, perhaps more importantly, footfall will change at certain times of the year and certain days of the week.

It may, then, seem rather hopeless for a retailer to pursue efficacious retail design but there are actually many ways that stores can operate well with support from their shop design too. We’ve put together three of the best methods and designs that retailers can incorporate into their stores to ensure that their potential sales are optimised during both busy and quiet periods.

Modular Thinking

Dynamic shelving that focuses on adaptability is undoubtedly the best design that a retailer can enable within their shop. There are a number of modular shop fittings that contribute to a flexible design, furniture and shelves that are underpinned by their ability to be changed quickly and easily.

This could, for example, be compactable freestanding display units or slatwall panels, both of which can be simply rearranged to suit both the products and the busyness of the store. So, when readying a shop for a busy Saturday or a Christmas shopping period, integral store elements can be moved or removed to free up greater space for customers to browse. This trade-off, between space and fittings, works both ways too, meaning that, should more wares be needed on the shop floor or a display need setting up, the shop’s comfort never needs to be compromised.

Focal Points

When shoppers browse a store, they are inclined to navigate themselves via displays and focal points. Vertical displays especially will become beacons for navigation and, without these, customers will be more likely to lose their orientation and even become frustrated.

Effective store design, notably for large stores but also for smaller retail concepts, is found in its focal points. Be sure to consider each perspective, from when a customer enters the store, to their point of when trying to seek the checkout counter. Not only will clear guidance enable them to shop with satisfaction, but it will also prevent stalling, a problem that, during busy periods, can cause customers to congregate and block items from view or reach.

Planned Respite

The effectiveness of decompression zones have long been supported by retail psychology and appear most commonly at a store’s entrance. This area, one without disorientating displays and with an abundance of space, allows customers to adapt to the store upon entering. They are, however, seen less often elsewhere despite their effectiveness.

Decompression zones, or planned respites, are useful for two reasons and not solely for customers to acclimatise to the indoors. In fact, they are incredibly useful as areas of relaxation. Such an area, one free from densely displayed products and advertisements, give customers the opportunity to take a break from the shopping experience. This period, even if only for a moment, can reduce stress as well as help the large crowds of busy periods reduce their density.

Emily Carter: Emily, a trained environmental journalist, brings a wealth of expertise to her blog posts on environmental news and climate change. Her engaging style and fact-checked reporting make her a respected voice in environmental journalism.