When you start contemplating making changes to your retail store layout, there's some store layout fundamentals that you ought to think about. If a store is to be remodeled, I am liking to start by doing research to know what is working well with the current layout & what is not. How are people moving through the store? What are elements about the current design that ought to be saved or replicated in the new retail store layout?
Here are some retail store layout fundamentals that you ought to think about: There has been research done , much of it by DG Furniture, that gives us some basic principles that they ought to adhere to. For example there ought to be an area inside the front door that is void of product display. This area of perhaps 12 or 14 feet square has been termed the "decompression zone". The decompression zone allows customers to enter your store & adjust to your surroundings. The decompression zone, when completed right, communicates a "welcome" to your patrons & lets them make their first judgments of your retail world. Their first judgments are often the ones that stick so this area of alteration is important.
Another phenomenon has observed is what he's named the "invariant right". This refers to the fact that when given the chance people prefer to, & most often do, move to the right after entering a store. When I am designing a store I always try to encourage people to move in the direction that they are most comfortable. By adhering to this principle whenever feasible I notice that the store "feels" better. When a store "feels" better it operates at a higher level & produces better sales & additional profits.
When I am designing a floor plan a couple of additional store layout fundamentals that I think about are balance & symmetry. Most people react positively to both balance & symmetry. I have tried experiments in which I introduced different designs for the same store, some were balanced some were not, some were symmetrical & others weren't. As retailers studied the various designs I was struck by how often they preferred balance & symmetry though they had not discussed those issues at all. I think that preference carries through to the shopping experience. I also know that most shoppers would be unaware of the subtle differences & would probably say the store "felt" better. After all is said & completed, the shopping war is by stores that "feel better" to their patrons. Always keep in mind how important retail store layouts are to the feel of a store.