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The ultimate retail makeover

Step-by-step guide to basic retail store design

Barbara J. CrowhurstBarbara J. Crowhurst
IN STORE DESIGN AND PRODUCT PLACEMENT, WE LIVE BY THE NINESQUARE- GRID RULE. There are areas in your store that are premium-selling spots, and other areas, which are non-productive zones.
     You'll want to ensure that your top categories are highly visible and the items or displays that are weak are removed from prime real estate.
     Figuring out prime selling spaces versus poor selling spaces is actually quite easy. Based on numerous studies, we know how most customers follow a specific route when browsing a store. Armed with this knowledge, designing a successful store layout is a snap. Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to creating a more dynamic, money-making space!
01 Simply place a piece of paper with nine equal squares over top of a rough floor plan of your store (see diagram). These nine squares represent different selling area. Note: This diagram can be applied to any store regardless of shape or size. If you have multiple rooms/spaces in your store, apply this diagram to each space.
02 It goes without saying that your top-selling categories should be placed in superior and prime selling areas in order to drive the most revenue per square foot. The average spot to the left should be reserved for functional applications such as your cash area. (You definitely don't want to put your cash counter in a superior selling spot.) We are a right-handed society and generally traffic flows to the right so don't obstruct the shopping experience; keep it flowing. Backs of stores (Average Selling Space) are typically poor selling areas; so best-selling items shouldn't be located there. However, you can use color and large, visually-interesting posters and other elements to encourage customers to venture there. Note: If your cash counter is located in Average Selling Space 1, then Prime Selling Space 2 is a great place for a display of last-minute, pick-up items.
03 Beyond placement of products, focal displays are another integral component of store design. Plan on having
Place this gridPlace this grid over an imaginary layout of your store to properly plan your product, display and cash counter placement.
five, seven or nine different focal-point displays interspersed throughout your space. These product groupings should be lifestyle in nature and promote end-uses to the customer. Superior Selling Space 1 is a great place for a lifestyle display. Note: Superior Selling Space 1 is an ideal spot for a stunning, over-the-top lifestyle display of products.
04 The height of your fixtures is another important consideration. Ideally, your fixtures should gradually increase in height from the front of your store to the back (i.e. lowest fixtures at the front, mid-height in the middle of the store, highest at the back). With this configuration the entire space looks open and inviting. It offers a better chance to influence movement through your store.
05 Your lighting system must provide adequate light to all corners of the store. Special attention should be given to the focal display areas and your front windows.
06 The colors you pick for your store should be soothing and not clash with each other. Your product should pop and be seen.

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