Style Choices - How the Layout of a Store Can Affect your Shopping Experience

When it comes to the store layout, project managers and designers can be real crafty creators, as the way they choose to lay out the store can really affect the success of a sale. After all, how likely are you to return to a store which is cramped, hard to navigate and has sparse, unattractive lighting? If you don�t feel welcome in a store, nothing is essentially keeping you from taking your business elsewhere. By combining a number of different elements; a few of which we will show below, retail store designers and managers find a way to increase sales and revenue.

Easy to Navigate and Attractive

Many stores are organised into particular categories in order to provide some guide for the customers. If a store has no logical organisation, even vague categories or signs that differentiate men from women�s clothing for example, customers are likely to feel frustrated and powerless and are less likely to spend time there. While it can be very easy to simply go up to a member of staff and ask for a particular product, many people prefer to browse at their own pace and discretion and this can be intimidating for some.

By separating your stock into specific categories, you allow customers the freedom to browse wherever they like, or to head straight for the section or aisle they are looking for in particular. You can also create �themes� for these sections, by adding their own unique design flair so that they are instantly recognisable upon entering the store. For example, book stores will often have a bright and colourful section complete with plush chairs, trees and train sets to represent the children�s section. You know immediately that the children�s books are likely to be located there, so it saves a lot of time and effort in your search. .

Gifts and Nibbles By The Till

You�ve seen several different retail outlets that contain a whole number of treasures and little gifts that adorn the isles on the way to the till, where you can finally pay for your product. This is another marketing technique that seems a lot like the salesmen are waving a piece of candy in your face. You might not entirely need everything that you see along these isles, but they can be useful in situations and will always make good stocking fillers. Products such as lip balm, chocolate bars, gum and socks are often seen in these aisles as you never intend to buy them, but they are often something you might need.

Choice of Lighting

Certain retail stores will be flooded with bright lighting, spotlights everywhere highlighting various products, as well as multi-coloured lights flickering on and off to keep you entertained. On the other hand, other retail stores have more muted lighting, or dim lighting to make you concentrate more and focus on the product at hand.

Consider the appearance of a Soap store in comparison to a clothes store. Soap stores will be lit with different colours, spotlights shining on certain products, but in general, the lighting is more muted as you will be focused on the texture and the scent of the product. In comparison, visual appeal is everything when it comes to clothes, so a clothes store will appear brightly lit with attractive lighting in order to bring more appeal to the garments within.

While you may not be thinking about all these elements when an article of clothing or your favourite band�s latest CD catches your eye in a shopping centre, you can certainly bet that the store�s marketing managers and design assistants have worked for hours to get the arrangement just right. Attracting customers to their stores is a major part of advertising as without customers, the product isn�t sold and the company goes out of business. By creating attractive layouts that are easy to understand, brightly coloured and simple to navigate, you also create a welcoming atmosphere that makes shoppers far more likely to buy your products. It is all about marketing.

Article provided by Prop Studios, a multi award-winning company specialising in the design, project management, manufacture and installation of bespoke, luxury retail window display schemes and in-store visual merchandising.

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