Clear Layout Improves Flow and Profitability
Designing an beautiful store is crucial for retail businesses. There's hundreds of pricey business consultants who solely focus on improving design inside retail stores, and CEOs have been selected solely because of their ability to make retail stores more profitable. Thankfully, businesses do not need to pay a consultant or discover a new leader to improve the retail experience. Here are some tips on interior design for retail businesses.
Ron Johnson made his name at Apple, where they created the idea for the Apple Store. At a time when electronics retailers were going for bigger stores with more departments and retail items, Johnson took the opposite approach: offer fewer products but make them high-value and have the whole store's layout be visible from the moment a customer enters the store. In an age of net commerce, where customers seek variety and value online, retail stores cannot compete with online vendors on choice or cost. Successful retail stores offer a compelling, convenient experience to customers and that experience begins with a clear layout.
Johnson has brought this lesson to JCPenney, where they currently serves as CEO. Their stores suffered for years with a cluttered layout due to excessive product lines on the store floor. Johnson cut clutter by reducing stock and only retaining the highest value product lines, as well as making a "town center" in the midst of the store with spokes that lead to each department, giving the store an elegant and obtainable layout. Tiny business owners can generate the same effect by de-cluttering their stores and reducing stock in low-value product lines.
Successful retail stores get their customers to spend time in their stores. Customers with longer visit times are more likely to buy items, impulse purchases. Some retail businesses make the error of painting their store with fascinating or fun colors because they think it will draw attention to their store. They are right -- it draws negative attention from customers. A store with bold colors will make customers need to spend less time there, as bright colors hurt the eyes and overstimulate customers' senses, distracting them from products on the shelves and drawing their eyes toward the walls. In lieu, select icy colors in a pastel shade. Customers will be most relaxed and focused in a room with seafoam green walls; this color has been used in public schools and hospitals for years because of its soothing properties.
Light Their Way
Customers love well-lit stores, but stores that are bright will be distracting and disorienting. To find the right balance, try to incorporate natural light as much as feasible. Customers will already be acclimated to the outside light on entering the store, which ends in less squinting on entering. Natural light also gives stores an authentic feel; retail stores competing against "big box" stores ought to utilize natural light to differentiate their shopping experience from competitors. It also helps that natural light reduces electricity bills, which helps boost the store's bottom line.