Exceptions exist, such as downtown locations where real estate is at a premium or large department stores with multiple categories of merchandise.
Further, Ebster points out that retailers should consider customer perception if they are a luxury retailer, as shoppers often associate multi-level stores as “elite.” Conversely, if a discount retailer is planning store layouts, as customers associate single floor layouts with “less high-end” merchandise.
Walking up and down stairs or using elevators and escalators to navigate a store hurts customer flow.
When possible, planning for a single floor store design will optimize the customer experience.
Underhill is adamant that nothing of value to the retailer, not high-margin merchandise, prominent signage, or brand information goes inside this zone.
Customers need time, however brief, to adjust to new lighting, smells, the music, and the visual stimulation in the store.
Ebster encourages retailers to use their observations to discover the problems and opportunities unique to their environment.
The next step in maximizing your space for profitability is identifying your customer flow.
Use the navigation guide on the left to find a collection of essential retail floor plans and discover the pros and cons of each.
If you’re ready to plan and design your store, jump ahead to the tips and best practices from professional retail designers, and browse through the design resources to help you imagine and create a new environment that captures your customer’s attention.