How to Set Up a Small Retail Store Floor Plan

No matter how small your retail space is, if it’s well-designed and well-executed well, it will make your buyer’s shopping experience much more pleasant. A happy buyer will generate more sales.

How do you start rearranging or refreshing your retail space? There are best practices to follow to ensure you maximize your store’s floor plan. These tips will showcase your products in the best possible way.

Here is how to set up a small retail store floor plan:

1. Speak to an interior designer

It’s always a good idea to speak to someone who has more experience than you in planning and designing a space. This way, you can share information on the business you are running, the products, and your preferences.

Meanwhile, the interior designer can help you understand your space and its advantages and limitations. Going back and forth on designs and ideas can help you decide how to design the retail store floor plan.

2. Decide how you want your shoppers to move

Studies on floorplans and retail spaces have shown that the predisposition to turn left or right depends on a country’s vehicle driving patterns. This means that countries that drive on the left side, like Japan, UK and Malaysia, would have shoppers typically turning left when they enter a store.

Customers from countries that drive on the right, such as the USA and France, tend to turn right when they want to go into a store. How can you optimize your retail space to display your products and influence a shopper’s behaviour with this information?

3. Create a map for your retail store

You can use various floor plan tools such as Smartsheet and SmartDraw to help you create a floor plan for your retail space. This lets you see what your store looks like on paper, giving you a better sense of the traffic flow.

Knowing how your customers will potentially walk and move around the store also helps you identify where to place your best-selling or least-selling products. It’s much easier to make changes now and move things around when your ideas are still on paper.

4. Identify your compression zone

The compression zone is the first few feet of your store, right at the entrance. This is the area where people come in from the outside. It’s called the decompression zone because this is the space people come in and adjust to their new surroundings before walking around the store.

The decompression zone should never be the space to put your crucial merchandise because this is where they are highly distracted and will likely overlook the products in this space.

5. Keep a healthy distance between merchandise

Small spaces don’t mean it has to be crowded. You must have adequate space between the different elements in your store, such as the display shelving, fixtures, products, mannequins and cashier. A good amount of space in your store makes it look more attractive and inviting.

Space equals luxury in retail, so you see Apple stores enhancing the element of all-white spaces. If you are catering to budget customers, you can get away with crowded shelves; make sure it’s not too crowded so that it hinders their shopping experiences.

You want to have enough space in your store so that customers can walk around without bumping into each other or bumping and breaking any of the products in your store. This can put a damper on the shopping experience, moving customers away from the things they are engaging in just because they want to avoid bumping or breaking.

6. Create retail displays to slow down

You want to create retail displays to act as speed bumps to slow down shoppers moving around your store. They encourage shoppers to check out products in your store. These speed bumps can come in different ways, such as tabletop displays or showcases of popular gift items.

These speed bumps can also be setups and exhibits that encourage people to check out merchandise with their hands. Whatever method you use to slow down customers in your store, remember that it has to have great lighting and use proper display stands.

7. Create experience

Depending on your clientele and the retail level you are selling, you want to create a level of shopping experience appropriate to your target market. When designing your store, go above and beyond just displaying your products.

You want to think about how these product displays create a good shopping experience for them. Depending on the things you are selling, you can set up a space for product testing (which also doubles up as a speed bump), a speak to an advisor section or an area to sign up for a service.

Keeping your customer’s experience at the forefront of your layout plan will help you use your space efficiently and position your products in the best way possible.