How to Discover Your Perfect Shop Layout

Your shop layout is created with customers in mind, not only for their convenience but also to encourage them to spend money with your business. A route around your products should be easy to navigate, accessible, should avoid bottlenecks, and should lead your shoppers to the products you want them to see the most. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about choosing the right store layout:

Pick the Right Type For You

There are four main types of shop layout:


  • Grid – this is more associated with large stores, selling huge amounts of products. You weave up and down the aisles, taking in the products in different sections.
  • Herringbone – this is a type of grid, featuring a central walkway with aisles off to either side. The aisles are sometimes angled, giving it that herringbone effect. This is ideal for smaller shops that want to display a large number of items. For both the grid and herringbone layouts, the aisle ends provide excellent opportunities to target customers with promotions and offers.
  • Loop – this is used by retailers like IKEA and Danish homeware and gift shop Flying Tiger. The layout forces all customers to take the same route, bringing them past every single item you have on offer. This provides more opportunities for impulse purchases and reduces the chances of shoppers turning around and leaving the premises soon after arriving.
  • Free Flow – This has no set structure, it allows customers the freedom to explore whatever takes their fancy. It is important, though, to create visually striking areas of the shop floor to keep them moving around and exploring. Clever use of mannequins for display, as well as garment rails and showcases, help to build themed sections that pique the interest of shoppers.


Where Do You Lead Your Customers?

There is a lot of debate about the psychology of leading customers around a store. Some people suggest that, as most people are right handed, they naturally enter a shop and turn right. Many retailers, therefore, place the products they are trying to promote to the right of the front door. However, the science is actually inconclusive.


The direction a customer takes can be influenced by more factors. It could be to do with the flow of people outside. If more people walk from left to right than vice versa when passing your shop, they might be more inclined to turn left when they come through your doors than to double back on themselves and turn right, for example. In other cases, their entry direction could be dictated by the layout of your shop, rather than customer behaviour influencing your layout! The best thing to do is monitor customer behaviour over a few days and try to adjust your layout accordingly, noting any changes to the way shoppers interact with your store after each adjustment.


Leave Enough Room for Customers

Allowing customers their personal space has always been important, but that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. People do not want to feel like they have to squeeze past other shoppers to get where they need to go and this need for social distancing is likely to stay for the time being, even if the official guidelines have been relaxed.


This has to factor into your planning when designing your layout, including where to place garment rails, counters, and showcases.


If you have a loop layout, you should add room for people to pass each other comfortably, or you might find a build-up of traffic waiting for someone to move on from a shop display, causing frustration and ruining the customer experience.


Always Evaluate

When you have worked out your ideal shop layout, the job does not end there. You and your staff should continue to monitor the way that your customers interact with your shop. Are they lingering in the places you want them to linger? Are they noticing the promotions and displays you want them to see?


If not, you can make adjustments accordingly, based on your observances. You can also ask people outright what they think of the layout, what works and what doesn’t work for them. They are the people who use your shop and spend their money, so it makes sense to canvas their opinions.


Need Help With Your Shop Layout?

We are experts in supplying the perfect items to create your perfect shop layout. From mannequins for displays to garment rails that help guide shoppers around, we have all the retail shop fittings that you need. Talk to us today to find exactly what you need.