These days, running a retail store is no easy task. In order to compete with the convenience and low prices of online shopping sites, store owners must do everything possible to improve their customers' in-store experience. In some cases, this process may require a store layout redesign.

Why You Might Want to Take This Step

By redesigning your shop's layout, you can:

  • Improve traffic flow by reconsidering your floor space, aisle width and shelving height
  • Create space to showcase new products
  • Highlight undersold products with a low turnover to sell them faster
  • Make your store look more modern, bright and appealing
  • Improve navigation for certain customer demographics, such as parents with strollers or elderly individuals with walkers

Which Store Layout Works Best?

When you're redesigning your store, you must keep your square footage and product offerings in mind to help you choose the type of layout that's best suited for the type of store you run.

According to Shopify, the types of layouts that generally work best are those that contain a "threshold space" welcoming customers at the front, a "power wall" with important items to the right of the entrance and a checkout area to the left.

As the Houston Chronicle reports, there are three popular store layouts for you to choose from:

  • A grid layout includes rows of shelves with products. This particular layout is commonly used in grocery stores and big box stores. While a grid is easy to navigate, it requires a lot of space.
  • A loop layout, also known as a racetrack layout, offers an easy-to-follow path through your store. With this layout, all of your items will receive equal exposure.
  • A free-flow layout best suits specialty stores and small retailers with limited space and merchandise. With this structure, you can set up your fixtures at angles, allowing you to introduce product displays as customers move through the space.

Common Strategies

A store layout redesign can be a big job, so it's often best if you can try to complete this process when your business is closed. You might even want to consider an overnight redesign. In an effort to make this a fun event, you can order some food for your employees and play upbeat music while they help you rearrange store fixtures, paint and update signage.

If you plan to refinish your floors, you may have to close for a couple days. In this scenario, you can advertise a grand re-opening and include special door-crasher deals to entice customers to return. If your business operates 24/7, you can redesign in sections by roping off parts of the store during your lowest traffic hours.

Some customers may grumble at your new layout if they knew exactly where everything was located in the old arrangement. However, those growing pains will likely subside. Eventually, your customers should find it easier to navigate a well-designed layout, and they may even discover items they didn't even know you carried.

Tags: Business Strategy Customer Relationships