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How Do You Decorate a Store?

One of the most important parts of opening your store is making sure you have everything in order. What colours do you want to use? How will you display your products? Do you need to invest in new furniture or decorations? So many questions come up when thinking about what kind of store owner and decorator you'd like to be. This blog post aims to give some helpful tips for getting started with what might seem like an overwhelming task.

Ideas for Decorating a Retail Store

Making design decisions are among the most important tasks you undertake for your retail store. The way the store is decorated sends a message to customers about the kind of merchandise they'll find and the shopping experience they can expect. If you need decoration ideas for a shop, spend time looking online for ideas and visiting shops with merchandise similar to yours.

Decide on a Theme

Your merchandise influences your choice of theme. For example, boutique shop design decoration for a store featuring high-end clothing might be modelled after something customers would expect to see in a fashion-forward city like Paris or London. A camping goods retailer could recreate the feeling of the great outdoors with murals of nature scenes and display areas featuring wood or rock.

Retail Shop Design Layout

Create a floor plan that takes advantage of shoppers' natural tendencies to start at the right side of a store and move counterclockwise. The first display they see when entering the store should be high-impact, with on-trend, in-demand products and seasonal items.

Guide customers through a loop, sometimes called a racetrack design, because it feels natural and comfortable. If customers have to zigzag through aisles or cross from one display to another, they may feel uncomfortable without realizing why. Instead, make it easy for customers to stroll through your store and browse. Customers who are comfortable in a store stay longer and are likely to buy more.

Retail Shop Design Layout Strategies

Additional strategies can maximize the effectiveness of your floor plan. Think about ways to incorporate any of the following ideas:

Display high-demand anchor items in prominent places so that customers with specific buying intent can quickly locate what they're looking for. Use the space around anchor items to display related goods that customers didn't realize they wanted or needed. For example, a display of athletic shoes could also include a variety of shoelaces and socks.

Make customers pause along the path with eye-catching displays of items in keeping with the products displayed nearby. For example, position a rack of colourful hats and mittens next to a shelf full of winter sweaters. In summer, a display of sunglasses and straw hats complements a rack of bathing suits.

Keep customers from feeling overwhelmed by providing adequate signage to guide them where they want to go. Avoid overly tall shelving so that the entrance and exit are always in view. Leave enough room between displays so that customers have sufficient personal space.

Adjust the Lighting

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In selecting lighting for your store, you need to find the right balance between creating a mood and providing sufficient light for customers to see the merchandise. Consider the following:

Choose lighting with a high colour-rendering index (CRI) so that customers can see colour as accurately as possible. This is especially important for clothing and food items, where dull or distorted colours could negatively influence purchasing decisions.

Understand how light affects mood. Warm and ultra-warm white lights create a relaxed vibe, perfect for a small boutique. Dim lights are forgiving when customers are trying on garments. On the other hand, bright lights can better showcase a variety of products and make it easier for customers to read product labels and compare items.

Use lighting to attract their attention to merchandise displayed in this key location. In addition, call attention to other items or sections in the store with lighting that creates a path from that starting point.

Vary the light sources. Use a combination of track lighting, sconces, lamps and picture lights to highlight merchandise and various storage areas.

Expand Space With Glass and Mirrors

Glass shelving and display cases take up less space visually than their metal counterparts because light passes through them, and customers can see through them. Glass can make a small store seem larger than it is. Mirrors also expand a space by reflecting light. They're added security, too, helping you to track activity in hard-to-see areas of the store.

Keep Customers Comfortable

In addition to lighting and traffic flow, there are other things you can do to make customers comfortable and keep them in the store longer. Adjust the temperature, which might mean air conditioning in the summer and a lower temperature in winter to accommodate coat-wearing customers—play background music tailored to the demographic you want to attract. Create a lounge area where shoppers can take a break.

Inexpensive Ideas With Impact

When you don't have a lot of money to spend on decorating, try the tips recommended by design pros:

  • Paint an accent wall. Use a bold colour on one wall of your shop to create interest and make the space seem larger.
  • Think vertically. Take advantage of vertical space, especially when floor space is at a premium. Varying the heights of the displays, such as by hanging shelves at different heights, keeps customers' eyes moving.
  • Employ open bookcases as display shelves. Open bookcases are relatively inexpensive and work well as display shelves, whether used vertically or horizontally. They can divide a space without making it look closed off.
  • Use neutral backgrounds. Walls and furniture painted in neutral colours fade into the background, letting your merchandise stand out. Because the background is not competing for attention, the space appears less cluttered.
  • Could you keep it clean? Shoppers aren't likely to stay in a store that doesn't appear clean. Make sure windows and glass sparkle and that shelves and merchandise are dust-free. Consider using a subtle ambient scent such as vanilla, citrus or pine.

Holiday Decorations

Many retailers make 30% of their annual sales during November and December. Holiday decorations can play an important part in influencing customers to buy. Get started early, as many shoppers start researching holiday purchases by the end of October. Keep the following points in mind:

  • Avoid clutter. A few items, especially high-end items, are more impactful than displays packed with products.
  • Choose a featured product. Pick one item to be a focal point and then add other items around it.
  • Create a scene. For a sporting goods store, for example, you might show skiers on a snowy slope. If you're selling items for the home, set the stage by creating a cozy nook in front of a fireplace.
  • Build a tree. Arrange merchandise pyramid style so that it resembles a Christmas tree.
  • Create height. Position items at eye level so customers can see them easily. Vary the heights of display items to create visual interest, but make sure the display is neither too tall nor too wide, preventing customers from seeing through and into the store.
  • Add light. Use Christmas tree lights as well as spotlights to highlight merchandise and make it visible day or night.
  • Walk by and drive-by. Go outside and walk past your window. Note what catches your eye. Do the same with a drive-by. When you see your display from the customers' point of view, you can make adjustments as necessary.

Using Professional Design Services

Suppose you're not confident about your design abilities. In that case, it may pay in the long run to hire a professional with experience in retail shop design layout and boutique shop design decoration. Using the services of a pro can help you avoid costly design mistakes.

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  • Paint an accent wall. 
  • Create window-like effects. 
  • Think vertically. 
  • Avoid a cluttered look. 
  • Move beyond shelving. 
  • Use open bookcases as dividers. 
  • Illuminate your space in different ways.

The store layout is the design of a store's floor space and the placement of items within that store. Store layout helps influence a customer's behaviour, which means when done right, it's a key strategy to a store's prosperity.

4 Types of Store Layout You Need to Know About

  • Grid.
  • Herringbone.
  • Loop (Racetrack)
  • Free-Flow.

The layout, signs, and items on display have to be carefully planned out for a good store design. Business objectives include increased sales, meeting legal requirements and cost control, identifying business costs and reducing expenses.

One of the main purposes of the layout is undoubtedly to create smooth customer flow through the store. To achieve this, it is important to create the right balance between fast and smooth (customer) flow on the one hand and provision of space on the other.

How to Create a Retail Interior Design That Leads People to Check Out

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Retail has been around for a long time, and there are endless ways to approach how you design your retail space. However, there are also some common design strategies that all retailers should know to garner more sales. 

Retail Interior Design

Retail interior design is how you organize and design your retail space. Your retail design is responsible for welcoming customers, guiding them through your store, inspiring them to interact with your products, and—ultimately—encouraging them to buy.

At first glance, you may think retail design applies to how you merchandise your products. However, while merchandising is certainly an important component of retail interior design (as we'll touch on below), it's not the only one. 

From your store's entryway to its checkout display, every element can impact your customer's path to purchase. For that reason, retail interior design applies to your entire retail space.

Retail Design Tips

The following tips for retail design will help you attract customers and provide an experience conducive to shopping and making purchases.

Use Color Wisely

Consumers connect with colours more than they consciously realize—well over 50% of those seven-second first impressions are made based on colour.

While a vibrant shop can create a bright, positive shopping experience, too much colour can be overwhelming and cause shoppers to exit early. Likewise, sensory overload can make it difficult for customers to concentrate on your products and focus enough to make a purchase. It's also unlikely that shoppers will return to your store if they don't like the aesthetics.

To avoid this, thoughtfully incorporate colour into your retail design. First, consider the psychology of colour. For example, black, a common colour for men's clothing stores, communicates authority and classiness.

Update Product Displays Regularly

Product displays, otherwise known as visual merchandising, are proven to increase sales. Shoppers can examine your products "in action"—a hanging plant, staged living room, or dressed mannequin—which can help them decide to purchase.

Displays also provide interactive shopping experiences (which we'll touch on later) and provide easy opportunities for user-generated content—aesthetically pleasing displays encourage shoppers to share photos of your store on social media.

Enter the Threshold

The threshold area, also known as the "decompression zone," is the very first space that customers step into when they enter your store. It typically consists of the first five to 15 feet worth of space, depending on the overall size of your store. 

It's also the space where your customers make the transition from the outside world and first experience what you have to offer. At this point, shoppers also make critical judgments like how cheap or expensive your store is and how synchronized your lighting, fixtures, displays, and colours are. 

Since they're in a transition mode, customers are likely to miss any product, signage, or carts you place at your store's threshold.

Because of this, your retail design should ease shoppers into your store—not bombard them. Welcome them with a subtle display or calm, welcome area. Consider staging helpful signage farther into your store or right outside the door before shoppers decide to enter.

Pave a Path for Your Shoppers

Use furniture, displays, racks, and other tools to pave a clear path for your customers to journey through your store. Of course, the exact path will vary greatly depending on your store's size and store layout.

However, you know that most customers will naturally turn right. Your job is to make sure that, as they do, they continue through your store to browse more of your products. 

A well-thought-out shopping path not only increases the chances of customers making a purchase but also strategically controls the ebb and flow of foot traffic in your store. This can help you preemptively manage busy shopping periods, measure shopper engagement, and better monitor your store.

Keep Shoppers Comfortable

You may already know something known as the "butt-brush effect," coined by consumer behaviour expert Paco Underhill. He discovered that most customers, especially women, will avoid browsing in an aisle where they could potentially brush another customer's backside or have their backside brushed. This holds even if the customer is very interested in a given product. 

An easy way to avoid this problem is to ensure that your aisles and displays allow customers more than enough personal space when browsing your products.

Retail Design Is More Important Than Ever!

Retail design has always been an essential component of any store strategy, but these days, it's more important than ever before. The retail landscape is a lot more competitive, and the best strategy to win is to create experiences that set you apart from other shops. Having a strong retail design strategy helps you accomplish that and more. 


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