Retail Store’s Front Design Considerations

A retail store’s front is the first impression that consumer has for a store. Three components make up retail store’s front namely, front configurations, window displays and store’s entrances.

1. The Store-front Configuration

There are three possible front configurations namely, Straight front Angled front and Arcade front. The “straight front” is a store configuration that runs parallel to the side-walk, street, mall or a parking lot. Usually the only break in the front is a small recess for an entrance. This store front design is operationally efficient because it does not reduce the interior selling space. However, it lacks consumer appeal because it is monotonous and less attractive than either of the other configurations. Window shoppers can inspect only a small part of any display from anyone position when retailers use the straight configuration. Another limitation is that reflective glare from windows can inhibit window-shopping, while heavy foot traffic and little privacy deter in store shopping. The “angled-front” configuration overcomes the monotony of the straight front by positioning the store’s front at a slight-angle to the traffic arteries. To create a more attractive and interesting front, retailers that use the angled front approach place windows and entrances off center or at one end of the store’s front. Angled fronts also give the window-shopper a better viewing angle of the merchandise is the window and reduce the possible window glare. The entrance in an angled front is usually located at the most recessed part, to funnel and direct consumers into the store.… Read the rest

Store Positioning in Retail Management

Attracting the customers is the crux of the issue of retail trade. How and where the store is positioned on the site affects the retailer’s ability to attract the customers. Therefore in evaluating the existing store facilities or planning future site layouts, the retailer should answer effectively and satisfactorily these three questions. These are:

  1. How visible is the store?
  2. Is the store compatible with its surroundings? 
  3. Are store facilities placed for customer convenience ?
1. Ensuring the Store Visibility

The customers must see the store if the retailer wants to achieve the goals of stopping, attracting and inviting the customers. A visible store becomes a part of the consumers mental map of where, to shop for certain product as service. Visual awareness of a stores existence has the short-run benefit of alluring impulse shoppers and the long-run benefit of attracting the future customers who develop a particular need for the retailers products. Architecture is a major factor both ill making the right impression on the consumers and in developing an efficient retail operation. The actual store’s architecture is a compromise between both the aims namely, making an impression and designing a functional facility and services. Ideally, a store should be positioned so that it is clearly visible from the major traffic arteries adjacent to the site. A retailer can improve the store’s visibility be using three interacting factors namely, setback, angle and elevation to his advantage.

  1. Set back. Reduced visibility is the result of either setting the store too far back from a traffic artery or from positioning it too close to the street.
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Retail Store Environment

Environment is something that stands for an atmosphere which is external to the retail organisation. Retail store is a subsystem of a supra-system namely, environment because retail units cannot exist in vacuum. In selecting and developing a retail store environment, the retailer must consider its physical and psychological impacts on customer attraction, employee moral and store’s operations. Store’s operations and consumer shopping are both enhanced by a well planned and creatively designed setting. It is a mad, mad-world where ad, ad plays very important role. To appeal to the fashion conscious, hedonistic and up-scaled shopper, the store must create a theatrical environment enhanced by colorful displays and high-tech lighting and audio presentations. A retail store’s physical environment is a complex of the tangible elements of form reflected in the way land, building, equipment and fixtures are assembled for the convenience and comfort of both customers and the retailer. Equally significant is the retail store’s psychological environment – the perceived atmosphere the retailer creates; psychological environment is the mental image of the store produced in consumers minds. A store’s effectiveness, absoluteness and uniqueness be in the retailer’s ability to plan well, create consciously and control carefully both the store’s physical and psychological setting. The psychological impression, a store makes on consumers depend on the stores image and the buying atmosphere. In effect, the retailers have to produce best theatrical atmosphere of all the aspects of theatrical approach. One aspect is very very special and that is escapism. Many shoppers, retail store can magnate them as they provide quick escape.… Read the rest

Key Elements of Retail Displays

A retailer must carefully consider and plan each element of retail displays. Display elements include the merchandise, shelf display areas or window displays, props, colors, background materials, lighting and signs. The retailer is to compare contrast, repetition, motion, harmony, balance, rhythm and proportion of each display to draw the consumer’s attention to it.

Display elements must be evaluated to determine how well and if they attract and hold the attention of the passersby. “Contrast” is one way to attract attention. Contrast is achieved by using different colors, lighting, form i.e., size and shape, lettering or textures. “Repetition” attracts consumer attention by duplicating an object to reinforce and strengthen the impression. For instance, by displaying 20 tennis rackets, the image is created of a store with a wide assortment of merchandise in that category. “Physical motion” is a powerful attention getter, as is dominance. If an item is much larger than other items in display, it will be the dominant item and will draw attention to the entire display. After getting attention and harnessing it, the attention is to be directed to the intended message where harmony and frequency are used to attain it. “Harmony” stands for the unification of merchandise, lighting, props, shelf space and show cards to create a pleasing effect. “Balance“, emphasis, rhythm and proportion work to focus attention on the central point. Balance is of two types, Formal and informal. Formal balance display in which one side is duplicated by the other tend to produce feelings of dignity, neatness and order.… Read the rest

Concept of Retail Store Displays

Displays are the terminal part of the retail store’s interior. Advertising does attract the consumers to the store. However, visual displays have much more to play once the customer gets into the store. Retail store displays are non-personal, in-store presentations and exhibitions of merchandise together with related information. In actual practice, retail store displays are used to:

  1. Maximize product exposure.
  2. To enhance product appearance.
  3. To stimulate product interest.
  4. To exhibit product information.
  5. To facilitate sales transactions.
  6. To ensure product security.
  7. To provide product storage.
  8. To remind customers of planned purchases.
  9. To generate additional sales of impulse items and
  10. To improve the image and prestige of a retailer.

Merchandise displays are to gain the attention of consumers, provide proper balance, be structured in right proportion, be hard-hitting and convey their message quickly. The expert study conducted by display specialists reveal that on an average consumer spends only 11 seconds in observing a display. In addition, the retail  store displays are essential ingredients in creating the stores shopping atmospherics, because the sight, sound, touch, taste and smell appeals are largely the result of in-store display. Every business has a personality and each display should contribute to express the stores personality.

Read More: Golden Rules for Building Retail Displays

Types of Merchandise Displays in Retail

Store interiors are the sum total of all the displays designed to sell the retailer’s merchandise. Retail store displays are classified by different experts in different ways. However, the most common classification is one which identifies in-store displays a four way classification namely, Selection Displays, Special Displays, Point-of-Purchase Displays and Audio-visual Displays.… Read the rest

Golden Rules for Building Retail Displays

It goes without saying that the displays play very significant role in retailing and retail outlet. An attractive and informative displays can help in large volume of sales in terms of goods and services.

In building a retail display, some fundamental rules should be followed to get best out of these where good deal of treasure, talent and time is involved on the part of retailer. This golden rules are:

1. Achieve Balance

It is important to make sure that the display appears balanced to the viewer, in building display. This is achieved by arranging products and props in a particular way. A display may have formal or informal balance. “Formal” balance is achieved by balancing on each side of the center one more or more similar items. “Informal” balance is achieved by balancing on opposite sides of the center dissimilar items. The effects produced by informal balance are less peaceful and less obvious but often more interesting than the effects produced by formal balance.

2. Provide for a Point of Dominance

All displays should have a central point that affects the viewer’s eyes. This point may be established by using a prominent piece of-merchandise, dramatic color or streamers arranged to center on an object. A point of dominance acts as a focal point on which the viewer’s eyes rest and from which the eyes move to other parts of the display.

3. Provide for Proper Eye Movement

Too many displays do not direct the eyes in a systematic fashion, but permit them to jump from so one end of the display to other.… Read the rest