Visual merchandising (the way you display products) and design (the look of your store) work together to attract shoppers into your retail store, lead them through your displays, attract their attention to specific products, and persuade them to buy.
Download this checklist to help you determine the visual merchandising and design for your store.
Effective visual merchandising and design incorporate these elements:
What sections or departments will your store have?
- How do you want foot traffic to move through your store?
- Visualize a path that you want customers to follow and use lighting, signage, and displays to draw them along.
- Use planogram software such as SmartDraw, GoPlanogram, DotActiv, or PlanoGraphics to help.
How will you layout your merchandise?
- Rows (like a supermarket) can be good for highly organized stores with a lot of SKUs, such as hardware stores or beauty supply stores.
- A circular path (like Kohl’s or Ikea’s) can help to draw customers throughout your entire store.
- Islands (like Anthropologie) are ideal for creative, artistic products such as fashion or home décor.
What types of fixtures will you use?
- Display cases/counters
- Clothing racks
- Fitting room fixtures (mirrors, hooks or hangers, seats)
Look for modular fixtures that allow the flexibility to move displays around and change your space.
- What mood do you want to create with lighting?
- What type of overhead or ambient lighting will you use for the store overall?
- Where will you use spot or accent lighting to highlight specific products, areas, or displays?
Note your ideas for designing displays in each section of the store.
- Group similar items (i.e., display of neckties together)
- Group complementary items (i.e., half-mannequin wearing necktie, shirt, blazer, and sunglasses)
- Use the display to tell a story (i.e., a display of clothing for a job interview with a mannequin in a suit and tie carrying a briefcase)
List the types of signage you need including wording and how many of each.
- Directional signage to help shoppers find their way
- Informational signage that explains policies or pricing
- Engaging signage that “sells” products by highlighting benefits/features
- Outdoor signage
- Display window signage
Note your plans for:
- Wallcovering (paint, paneling, wallpaper, etc.)
- Flooring (linoleum, tile, wood, carpet, rugs, etc.)
- Decor (murals, artwork, wall hangings, etc.)
- Furniture (benches or chairs, etc.)
Determine frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) for the following:
- Sweep or vacuum floors
- Clean walls, windows, and doors
- Straighten merchandise and signage
- Dust displays
- Wipe down surfaces and fixtures
Download this checklist for more design and merchandising tips.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.