Nabco Retail Shelving Systems


How to Make the Most of Your Floor Space

Ryan Willis

Anyone with shopfitting experience will tell you that small stores are among the most difficult to merchandise effectively. There’s a constant balance that has to be struck between displaying as many products as possible while trying to create an orderly, well-organised store that still gives the impression of space. Thankfully, there are a number of simple things you can do to maximise your space and drive your sales.

Tip 1: Improve your store layout

A good retail store design starts on paper. Before you start putting products on the shelves, you should carefully consider the dimensions of your shop floor, the size of your shelving, customer traffic flow, product placement and more. Taking the time to plan will give you the opportunity to explore different store layouts and find the right balance between making the most of your floor space and enhancing the customer experience.

Most retail stores use one of three basic layouts:

  • Grid floor plan – This layout is well suited to shelf-stocked goods such as books, toys and homeware, and is an efficient use of wall and floor space.
  • Loop floor plans – Loop plans are an excellent way to maximise floor space and lead shoppers along a set pathway. This type of floor plan is well suited to clothing, kitchenware and speciality retail stores.
  • Free flow floor plans – This is an open, free-flow layout often used in mixed-use stores. It works well for upscale stores with smaller levels of inventory but is not an efficient use of space.

Tip 2: Group complementary products

Can you display certain products together to encourage add-on purchases? This has a crucial part to play in increasing your sales, but done effectively, it can also help you make the most of your available floor and wall space and save your customers time.

Identifying top-selling items and grouping those with complementary products can give your customers additional reasons to buy. But groups don’t have to be based on the same product types. Groupings can also be created based on season, colour, size and price, so be creative and see what works well for you. Using versatile retail shelving and fittings will give you more freedom to change your displays.

Tip 3: Make the store look bigger than it is

  • Use lighting to illuminate space – If any part of your store is not well lit, then that square footage is as good as lost. Use a combination of track lights, lamps and LED lighting systems to add variety and bring forgotten parts of your store to life.
  • Avoid clutter – Keep everything neat and tidy but avoid crowding products too closely together as it can make the space look cramped.
  • Utilise colour cleverly – Painting one wall a bright, bold colour not only adds visual appeal to your store, but it can also make it appear larger.
  • On reflection – One of the oldest shopfitting tricks in the book is to place mirrors opposite windows and by other sources of natural light. This will reflect light around the shop and help to create the illusion of space.
  • Install vertical shelving where possible – Displaying items on various levels maximises space and can enhance the visual appeal of your store.
  • Choose your flooring wisely - Striped flooring or even a rug can make a retail space seem larger but only if the stripes run away from the entrance and towards the back of the store.

Shopfitting design and consultancy

At Nabco, we have 25 years’ experience working with shops large and small. If you need design and consultancy assistance with any aspect of your shopfitting project, from store layouts and specifications to liaising for fitting and installation, please get in touch with our team.

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