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Retail Experience Design

Pavithra Baskaran
July 15, 2020
2 min read

Beyond just creating a good-looking store with aesthetically pleasing displays, the retail store design is a well-thought-out strategy to set up a store in a certain way to optimize space and sales. The way a store is set up can help establish a brand identity as well as serve a practical purpose, such as protecting against shoplifting.

The retail store design is a branch of marketing and considered part of the overall brand of the store. Retail store design factors into window displays, furnishings, lighting, flooring, music, and store layout to create a brand or specific appeal.

Store layouts

Stores are usually laid out with new merchandise upfront to entice shoppers into the store. According to a piece in the magazine “inside retailing”, the front of the store also creates a sense of the store’s identity with displays of trademark products. The article also suggests other tips for store designers-for example, having a centrally located checkout counter stocked with accessories encourages impulse purchases.

Aesthetic branding

Many stores take great pains to create a specific aesthetic with their catalogues, graphic design, and their store mood. A store example of this kind of aesthetic branding is the clothing retailer Anthropologie. Anthropologie’s stores generally echo the style of its products. Just as its products feature quickly, rustic and artsy features, the Anthropologie stores use installations of old found pieces and rustic hardwood flooring to create a French flea-market kind of feel. Meanwhile, other retailers, such as the apple store, use clean lines and simple grey and white furniture to emulate the look of its clean laptops. In this way, these stores connect the look of their products with their stores.

Retail design work

Store designers are either hired by a company or consultant for several different boutiques. Some stores or retail chains also hire store design interns to create the displays from season to season. For many stores, these interns help layout and build the designs implemented by the corporation. They may be given a look book from season to season and build similar-looking displays in their own store.

Other purposes

Beyond helping to establish a brand identity or help sales, store design can help curb shoplifting. The setup of specific stores can make sight lines more clear for store employees. If shoplifting is a concern, setting up a store with few blocked- off concerns and easy-to-view spaces are one step towards reducing the incidence of shoplifting.

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