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September 9, 2021

While many opt to go with online retail, there are still plenty who go to brick-and-mortar establishments. The main reason for this loyalty is the convenience of it all. However, it is also because consumers want a specific experience while they shop. For business owners looking to launch a brick-and-mortar store, they need to understand retail space requirements. Additionally, they need to know how they can satisfy their customers’ overall retail experience.

Location is key among retail space requirements

Selecting the right location for your business is one of the major retail space requirements. Cheaper locations can be tempting, as is relying on marketing to generate a steady customer flow. However, nothing beats a busy area of town. Choosing a location downtown could be more expensive than somewhere that’s a few miles out of town. Nevertheless, the pricier option will likely attract thousands of more customers each year.

When deciding on a location, figure out where your clientele spends most of their time. If a majority of your patrons live outside of town, opening a downtown location can prove to be quite costly. Not to mention it will attract fewer customers. A good idea would be to establish your retail location somewhere that your target audience spends most of its time. While that sounds simple, businesses usually focus on seeking out a location they deem perfect. So much so that they forget to try to pinpoint where exactly their target market resides.

The importance of layout and design

Understanding what you need for a retail store layout is similar to other industries, such as pharmacy design. Ideally, your store layout should help guide patrons through the store and effectively show off your products. At the same time, it should manage critical stimuli that impact purchasing behaviours. The way in which people experience your store is vital to your brand. Therefore, its formation needs to be as meticulous as the creation of other aspects of your business.

Different types to choose from

Store layouts are what influence the experience of your retail space. Below are some store layouts to consider:

  • Grid: The grid expands the product display, reduces white space, and focuses on the products.
  • Loop (racetrack): This layout creates a closed-loop system that guides customers from the front of the store to the checkout. In the process, it leads them past the merchandise.
  • Herringbone: If you want the grid layout but your retail space is long and narrow, the herringbone might be your best bet. This layout is usually perfect for warehouse-style stores.
  • Straight (spine): A straight layout helps lure customers to the back of the store, ensuring that they see all the featured merchandise.
  • Free-flow: With free-flow, there is no attempt to force customers through formulaic traffic patterns. They are encouraged to wander.
  • Boutique: With this layout, merchandise separation is by brand or category. This encourages shoppers to interact with complementary items in specific areas.
  • Geometric: Is the interior design of your shop unique? Are there support columns, wall angles, and intricate ceiling arrangements? If so, a geometric layout can improve your store’s overall look.
  • Angular: This store layout includes round product displays, walls and corners with curves, and other curvy store fixtures. This helps preserve the customer flow.
  • Diagonal: This layout integrates aisles on an angle to display more merchandise to customers walking through the shop.
  • Multiple (mixed): Rather than pick just one layout, you can utilize elements from several layouts to produce a flexible store design.

Space and decompression

Your target market and the customer experience you want to create will determine how you display your products. You can either use shelves full of merchandise or sparsely display them. Ultimately, it depends on what type of store you are running. Furthermore, you need to ensure personal space for your customers.

The first five to 15 feet of your store is the “decompression zone.” This is where customers take an extensive look at the store. Therefore, they usually do not notice the merchandise in this area. It would be wise not to put any key products or signage near the entrance. Shoppers in the decompression zone are still taking in the surroundings. This means that they often overlook product displays and merchandise residing there.

Final thoughts on retail space requirements

It’s important that you invest substantial time and resources in making sure that your store’s environment is impeccable. Take these suggestions into consideration and be sure to stay up to date on retail interior design trends. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Calgary construction services.