• Share

10 Common Strategies for Store Layout Design

When you’re designing your store, it’s not just about aesthetics. It requires creativity and scientific insight to ensure that the store’s layout is perfect for its customers.

In this post, we’ll explore the various ways to plan your store layout. Think about incorporating these pointers into your design and see if any of them will work for you.



1. Best Floor Plan

When it comes to your store layout, several factors come into play. The size and shape of the room you’re working with will affect things like how many people can fit in at once or where they’ll be able to find products.

What is your customer‘s shopping style? Do they prefer to browse for hours, or do they need help finding what they’re looking for? Are you selling a wide variety of items or just one specific thing?

Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself when considering your floor plan.

There are many different ways to arrange your store, but these are the most common in retail.

Straight Floor Plan

This floor plan is one of the most common in retail because it offers a quick and easy way to set up your shelves. This layout typically consists of racks or shelving positioned in straight lines, which will create an organized flow for customers.

Loop Plan for Floor

It’s essential to make your store easy for customers. Click To Tweet

You can do this by placing all of the fixtures and merchandise in a way that leads them around your shop.

Angular Plan

This store layout consists of curves and angles to give a sophisticated vibe. High-end retailers usually adopt the angular floor plan, and it reduces the amount of space you have for displays but instead focuses on only famous lines.

Geometric Plan

If you want to set up a trendy store, go with the geometric floor plan. It makes use of racks and fixtures so that your products can be on display.

Free Flow

A free flow layout is your best bet when it comes to creativity. You don’t have to worry about being limited by floor patterns or shelves that must be placed at certain angles.

Unlike the other layouts, you don’t have to worry about people sticking to a path around your store. They’re encouraged not only to wander but also to go in any direction.


2. Leading

There is a lot of debate about whether or not retailers should lead customers in one direction versus another. Some believe that teaching people clockwise around the store will have them spend more money, while others feel that counterclockwise is better.

The exciting thing is that other studies show traffic patterns and which side of the road people drive on has a huge impact. In countries like Australia, where they go on the left, shoppers will usually explore stores orderly clockwise while those from right-hand driving countries such as America often turn right when entering shops.

So which theory is correct? It seems that the driver behavior model has more evidence to support it. As Herb Sorensen, author of Inside the Mind of Shopping, noted:

The PathTracker study found that people in the UK, Australia, and Japan move clockwise when they shop. In countries with right-hand driving where traffic circles are counterclockwise stores, shoppers tend to feel more comfortable going clockwise.

One of the main things that drove many to success was knowing what made people buy. This means testing out theories and getting feedback from customers about their purchasing patterns.


3. Check Your Product Quantities

It’s hard to know how much merchandise you should have on display. It depends.


One of the best ways to increase sales is by increasing inventory. When Dollar General increased their shelf heights, they were able to get a better sense of what people wanted, and it helped them sell more items.

As Walmart reduced its inventory, they found that sales dropped. They added back stock to the stores and made some renovations.

It’s a bit oddity, but Walmart customers were happier during this period despite declining sales. In other words, people are buying less from the store, yet they’re still satisfied with their experience.

It turns out that customers like less clutter and more availability, but they also buy less at the same time.

It’s a common misconception that more products on the sales floor will increase revenue. Click To Tweet

In reality, it can have adverse effects and decrease brand perception.

The point is that the amount of inventory you have in your store will depend on factors, including what type of customer experience you want to create.

If you’re a store owner looking to maximize your space, then packing up the shelves with inventory may be best for you. But if it’s luxury goods that are your specialty, try only displaying a few items at once.


4. Check Your Inventory

Shelves packed with goods are not a bad thing as long as your customers still have room to maneuver around.

The butt-brush effect is a phenomenon where shoppers will move away from something they were looking at when someone walked up behind them and bumped into their rear end.

As we reviewed the tape of shoppers entering and exiting, we noticed that people would walk up to a tie rack but stop once they got bumped by someone else. It turns out this was due to their decision-making process when it came time for them to choose between two options.

We’ve seen this happen time and again in stores – when people are browsing through the racks, they don’t like being touched from behind. Even if it’s just a light brush of their shoulder or arm, most shoppers will move out of the way.

One strategy that has been successful is to move away from the products we want our customers to buy and instead focus on other items. This means they won’t be interested in buying what they were initially looking at, but it’s worth making them walk around a little bit before you show them your wares.


5. Impulse Sales

It would help if you thought about your store layout. You can use it to highlight specific products and drive impulse purchases by getting the right merchandising strategy.

Grocery stores are good at this. They know that if they want to get people in the door, it’s essential for them to offer impulse buy items like gift cards and candies.

Another way to push sales is by cross-merchandising your shelves with complementary products. This technique can be used in many ways, from displaying clothing items and matching accessories.


6. Displays

If you want to know how often your store should change its displays, the answer will depend on who you ask and what type of shop you have.

Most experts recommend changing your store layout or adding new items to the shelves every week. You could, for example, switch out mannequins and change their outfits every week.

You want to change your store’s layout every time a new product comes in.

Keep in mind the amount of traffic you are getting to your store. If people walk by on their way home from work, you need a display that will grab them when they’re passing by.

It’s a big mistake to have customers get too used to your store. Click To Tweet

If they don’t even notice it, you’re not going anywhere.


7. Multiple Senses

A good store design should include visuals and sound, and smell. You want to make sure that the store is welcoming in all senses.

Here are a few ways to make your employees more motivated:



When you’re picking a playlist, it’s essential to consider the atmosphere you want. You don’t wish to songs with lyrics or heavy bass beats when your guests expect an acoustic set.

While it may be true that volume and beat can influence behavior, there are also some exceptions. For example, retailers targeting younger shoppers might want to use loud music as a sales technique, whereas stores catering to adults should avoid this.


Bakeries and cafes have a slight edge when using smell as an attractant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the sense of smell in your own business. If you don’t work at a bakery or cafe, think about how often people walk past them just because their scent draws them.

Reuters cited a few great examples of scent marketing in action. In one example, the researchers found that changing people’s moods by smelling different scents made them more likely to buy something.

Other retailers have found that strong scents in their stores are a great way to lure customers. Brands like Lush mix the best of what they offer into one scent, which can be smelled throughout the store.

Many different scents can be used in your store to entice customers, but you need to research and figure out which ones will work best for the type of business you have.


One way to get customers more engaged is by letting them feel and touch the products themselves. For example, take out samples from their boxes to play with or try on clothes.

When Apple first opened their stores, they decided to place the products out and not hide them inside boxes. This was a revolutionary idea because it had never been done before.

Consumers loved it, and other computer retailers quickly followed suit.


If you sell food in your store, try to have taste-testing stations. This is an excellent way for customers to get more hands-on with the products, and it also makes them less intimidated.

You can’t fully understand the coffee and tea that Brandless offers unless you try it. To give people a chance to do so, they set up a station to sample their products.

As an example, if you’re not selling food products, there are still ways to appeal to a shopper’s sense of taste. For instance, offering snacks and drinks can help make the shopping experience more enjoyable.

You can see Birchbox’s champagne bar in this photo from their SoHo location, just one of the ways they keep employees happy.


8. Cross-merchandise

If you have a diverse product line, it’s important to group them into categories. But don’t forget that your customers might want to see items from different departments together! Make sure you’re cross-merchandising by placing products with similar features or customer appeal next to each other.

It’s essential to think like a customer when you’re in the store. So, if you were looking at this dress, for example, is there anything else that would go well with it?

The fashion brand Gymboree is a genius for combining its clothes with matching accessories.

Target has a neat idea that is shown in the sunblock section. The top-shelf displays different sunscreen brands for kids, while the bottom shelf displays swim diapers.

Target knows that if you’re shopping for swim diapers, it’s likely that you’ll need sunblock too. So they put the products right next to each other.


9. Make Sure About Your Staff

Don’t forget that your staff also play a role in how well your store is doing. If they are not appropriately situated, it could spell disaster for the appeal of your shop.

Creating a sales floor inviting customers and employees alike can be done by having the staff move around.

People are more likely to come into your store if they see other people in there. Click To Tweet

If a store is empty to make it more enticing.


10. Track Your Achievements

Make sure you ask yourself if your floor plan and design decisions are correct. This is key to implementing strategies that will work for you.


The most important thing to do is observe your customers and how they behave in the store. Watch where they go, what products catch their eye, and if you notice them lingering around a particular area of the store.

If you want to improve your shop, ask the salesperson what they think of it and how they can make their job easier.

Suppose you’re about to make a significant change in your store, like adding or removing products on the shelves and reorganizing them. In that case, it’s essential to find out how sales are doing beforehand before you do anything else. This way, when everything is done and changed up, there will be an accurate measure of what happens after.

For the best results, make sure to use POS reporting software. This will save you time and make your business data easier to work with.

In addition, try out solutions that can give you a deeper understanding of shoppers and their habits. You could use people counters, beacons, heat sensors – anything to help get more insights on shopper behavior.

When making changes to your store, be sure that you are looking at the layout and displays. An excellent way to do this is by conducting a periodic audit of all stores.