The Beginner’s Guide To Designing A Lucrative Retail Shop Floor Plan

Imagine you’re your customer for a moment. What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a store? What makes you want to browse through the products every time you pass a display, aisle, shelf rack or shelf? What makes you only stay a few seconds at the entranceway before moving on? These questions, regardless of how you answered them, all point to the importance a key step. opening your retail store, designing your shop floor plan. 

It is possible to have a beautiful space, but you must make it look good and create an environment where customers feel comfortable shopping.   

Let’s look at how to do just that.

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What are shop floor plans?

Shop floor plans are a great way to help. They’re layouts that guide your customers on a route through your retail space. A good plan will consider your typical footfall, product placement, and ‘traffic’ flow.  


Why is it important to have shop floor plans? 

We spoke briefly about the importance floor plans to Successful retail businessesPrevious 

But it’s actually hard to overstate how useful they can be for driving foot traffic, browsing, and in-store purchases.

“A shop floor plan takes an architectural floor plan and layers on plans for traffic flow, zones category adjacencies, and a fixture layout,” explains Ani Nersessian, a visual merchandising specialist at Pop-up goThe, which assists retailers in securing, designing, executing, and promoting pop-up spaces. “This helps to make the customer navigation experience as inviting, enticing, and organized as possible and is a required first step prior to determining the rest of the Visual merchandising Strategy.”

Different layouts can impact customer revenues in different ways. They can attract customers to your store and encourage them to look at the products. A good layout will help keep customers longer in the store so that they’re more likely to buy something before they go. 

Think about your shopping experience. Consider a Costco or IKEA store. They carefully plan their walkways and they look at how customers navigate their stores so they’re shown as much merchandise as possible during their wander through the store. 


Four common floor plan layouts [plus their pros and cons]

Ideally, you’ll need to decide what kind of space you need before drawing up your floor plan.

“This will help you adjust the floor design according to the size and demands of specific products,” said Robert Johnson, the founder of SawineryThe provider of woodwork services is, “Keep in mind that creative cross-merchandising or placing products that go well with each other in a single display—even if they don’t belong in the same section or department—is a good strategy to boost sales.”

Let’s take a look at some of the common ways to lay out your retail store. 

1. Grid layouts in retail stores

Pro: It’s easy to set up and it’s familiar to customers. 

Con:It might be difficult for customers to see all of your inventory through grids.

Grids are something you may have seen in gas stations or grocery stores before. They’re pretty good for categorizing different products. Grid layouts are popular for different retailers, because they’re easy to set up and organize. Grid layouts are familiar to customers who have been to grocery stores and have had the opportunity to go into grids. So it’s familiar, very easy to organize, and it’s easy to set up for employees.

2. Herringbone floor plans for retail stores

Pro:  Useful for retailers who don’t have much space to work with. 

Con:Customers might find it difficult to see your products in the aisles.

This option is great for spaces that are limited, especially in narrow and long premises. You might have seen these spaces on busy shopping streets or in areas where there is fierce competition to retail property. As a retailer, you can make the most of the limited space by adding a focal point at the store’s back wall.

3. Track layouts for retail shop floors

Pro: It’s great for encouraging browsing and product exposure

Con: This layout may be frustrating to some customers 

This is the IKEA layout that we mentioned earlier. It’s pathway for that allows people to see multiple merchandise. This layout encourages customer browsing. And it’s great for giving exposure to as many of your products as possible. This layout probably won’t work in a small space. And if you want your customers to be able to quickly grab their goods and go, it’s not that great either. Some customers may get annoyed too, especially if they came for just one thing but have to traverse the entire ‘track’ to find it. 

4. Retail stores will love the freeform layouts

Pro:This layout could be a good fit to independent boutiques and creative fashion businesses. 

Con: Customers may find it difficult to find products in large stores without proper signage.

You could call this the ‘no layout’ layout. You’ll likely have your different displays, tables, and racks that allow customers to browse. Unlike the track or grid layout, you’re not guiding your customers along a set store path. Often, there’s more space, customers feel less ‘managed’, and they can wander around and look at different displays freely. 

Accessibility Reminder Retailers must make sure that their products are accessible to everyone. This means that customers with different mobility levels should be able to access all products. A maximum height should be set for products. Make sure staff are mobile-aware. Consider supplying motorized shopping trolleys to staff whenever possible. 


Plan your layout according to product categories

We said it earlier, but it’s worth repeating it: your floor shop plan heavily affects your customers’ shopping experience.

A data-driven, fact based design guides customers through your store. Customers are annoyed by poorly designed stores that have poorly placed items. Here’s how you can create a lucrative yet convenient layout, according to Nick Drewe, CEO of Wethrift, an ecommerce platform for sales and coupons.

Consumer goods

“If you sell flowers, fruits, or vegetables, place them neatly in a basket near the entrance. You want to create a fresh, fragrant atmosphere by carefully arranging your produce. Next, display expensive, slow-moving consumer goods like appliances, imported snacks, and small gadgets after the fresh produce,” suggests Drewe. 


He also suggests that you Show off the most expensive items first, so that other products can be compared.. Then, fill the outer shelves with low-cost, slow-moving consumer products from well-known brands. Consider small, useful items that shoppers can quickly pick up.

Impulse purchase

“Next, position the essentials in the middle and back portions of your store,” said Drewe. “Make sure that shoppers will only reach the fast-moving consumer goods like drinks, bath products, and raw meat after passing through non-essential items. By this point, most shoppers would have already grabbed at least one or two things they didn’t intend to buy. Finally, Last-minute orders can be lined up at the checkout counters like mint, chocolate bars, and cigarettes.” 


Positioning your POS

As Drewe’s comments suggest, your POS is your final chance to Add another saleWith your customer. So it’s important to get your cash register placement right. Your cash register should be in a prominent, clear position. It should be easy to reach from all points of your store. 

Allow customers and staff to move easily around the POS. Also, ensure that there is enough space to allow queues to form and flow. Think about how many terminals you’ll need and how you can ‘dress’ the POS area so it’s visually enticing and inviting.  


Getting your floor plan right

Whichever floor plan you choose, don’t worry if it doesn’t work well on the first attempt. You can get creative with displays and visual merchandising to ensure you’re always testing and learning. Even in the smallest of spaces. 

You can also have a consultant help you plan your floor layout if you are having trouble figuring out the best way to incorporate a point of sales. Chat with one of our experts


Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.