Shop layout and fixtures

Your shop's layout and fittings create promotional spaces where you can feature your products and engage with your customers. Getting your shop design right now will help you attract customers and increase product sales in the future.

The type of products you stock will determine the kind of store design you choose. These tips will help you make the most of your layout and your fixtures (such as shelves, cabinets and lights).

Choosing a shop layout

Position shelves and racks to optimise your customer traffic flow through the store. Popular layout patterns include:

  • grids - using the outer walls of the shop to create small proportional display spaces within the store
  • geometrics - combining display racks and fixtures at irregular angles to keep customers surprised and engaged
  • diagonals - using diagonal lanes and display walls to encourage traffic flow throughout the store and improve cashier and customer visibility
  • angles - using angles in store fixtures and walls to improve traffic flow and create a high-end retail space.

Choose a layout your budget can support, considering your target market and the type of stock you display. For example:

  • prioritise functionality and easy customer movement if you display consumable products such as groceries or convenience items
  • increase visual impact and browsing customer movement if you display high-end products such as jewellery or gifts
  • use displays as storage (e.g. pallets of products on the shop floor rather than in the stock room) and cater for easy customer movement if you display hardware items.

Using appropriate fixtures and lighting

Choose fixtures to suit the products you sell. For example, you might choose:

  • glass shelving to profile high-end products
  • wooden shelving to present traditional, 'cottage' products
  • plastic or metal shelving to profile utility products.

Use fixtures and lighting to increase the appeal of your products. For example:

  • use 'focusing' fixtures such as spotlights and glass-front display cabinets to highlight premium products
  • erect shelves at equal but well-spaced heights to create a symmetrical, orderly arrangement your customer can easily follow
  • make sure your fixtures are suited to your target market - for example, if you sell products for children, design displays at children's eye levels.

Considering functional requirements

Make sure your store design considers the functional requirements of your business and customers. For example:

  • keep your shop space clean, ordered and well organised. Don't clutter your fixtures or crowd your products
  • change your fixtures regularly and rotate your stock - rearranging your store regularly helps you keep your store clean, organised and fresh
  • ensure you can see your products clearly from the cash register to reduce shoplifting
  • prevent slips, trips and falls by considering work health and safety requirements in your shop layout
  • cater for people with disabilities or prams by providing ramps, handrails, lifts, wide aisles and hearing loops for sound systems.

Store layout software

You can also purchase store layout software to help you plan and manage your store design. Contact the Australian Retailers Association for recommendations on software to suit your needs.

Also consider...