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8 Retail Design Tips to Help You Increase Sales

Humans are highly visual. If you want to gain someone’s attention in your retail location, it needs to be attractive and visually stimulating. When running a brick and mortar store, you need to take this into account when designing your retail displays. Let’s discuss some retail design tips you can use to enhance your space and increase sales.

1. Set the Layout Based on Flow of Traffic

You want people to see your latest and greatest products first, right? Monitoring how people move throughout the store, seeing where their eyes move, where they turn, etc. will help you merchandise your store.

In the book Inside the Mind of the Shopper by Herb Sorensen, he notes:

The pattern of movement in the supermarket is counterclockwise in the United States, but PathTracker studies in the UK, Australia, and Japan show a much greater tendency for shoppers to move in a clockwise pattern there… traffic patterns in the store may also be affected by vehicle traffic patterns outside. In these small studies, we noted that in countries with right-hand driving, where traffic circles move in a clockwise pattern, shoppers in stores may be more comfortable moving the same direction.

With this in mind, consider how you want to set up your store. Remember, research just offers insight into store traffic, so you don’t need to base all decisions on it.

2. Avoid Overwhelming the Decompression Zone

The Decompression zone, or better known as the space around your entrance, is where consumers adjust to the new environment. If you place too many products or signs in this area, they tend to be missed. Ensure you allow for a smooth transition so they can take in your retail store and products.

3. Create a Focal Point in all Your Displays

It can be tempting to want to bring attention to everything in your store. After all, you’re displaying it to sell it, right? However, that can be extremely overwhelming for your consumer.  Choose a focal point for your display to draw people in, with other items displayed around that item.

Doing this will have a better chance of catching your consumer’s attention. Once they are drawn in, they will naturally look around at the other items you have displayed.

4. Don’t Overcrowd the Space

Leave enough open space in your store that people don’t feel claustrophobic and are able to appreciate your products. Avoid the issue of consumers bumping into other consumers and merchandise as they move throughout your store.

5. Use Signage Wisely

A well-placed sign will enhance your display and bring more attention to your products. Think about how you want the sign to add value. Are you a sporting goods store? Maybe your sign should give a few tips on the best uses for that product. Are you a beauty retailer? Maybe you should provide signs with two or three potential looks with that eye shadow palette. Signage gives you an opportunity to creatively draw your consumer’s eye to your focal point.

6. Placement is KEY

Place your staple items at the back of your retail location. By persuading consumers to navigate through your retail store on their way to your top merchandise, they will likely pick something up along the way. Just like groceries stores have their milk, eggs, and other household necessities at the back of the store.

7. Checkout in Sight

Your checkout location should be visible from the store entrance for a few reasons. First, you want to be able to greet customers as they walk through your door. Additionally, this position discourages shoplifting and employee theft.

This is also a great place to promote your impulse-buy items for last-minute purchases.


As you can see, the way your store is designed, and products are displayed plays a huge role in sales. Your consumer has to be in the right mindset to make a purchase, so providing the optimum environment for that is vital! As you perfect your store’s retail design, sales will go up.

Do you have retail design tips or questions? Share with us on LinkedIn!