Maximising the Space in your Retail Store

Anything but Claustrophobic: Ways to Maximise Space in Your Retail Store

Any retailer should be concerned with activating the space in their retail store, be it a sprawling Kmart or a tiny clothing boutique. Why? Because maximising space is essential for customers feeling comfortable, as well as ensuring a satisfying sales per square meter number.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a client who wasn’t concerned with making the most of their available space and making it look bigger,” Eugene, Director of Total Fitouts Bay of Plenty says. In this blog we explore how we can make the most of the space in a retail store with a little bit of creative problem-solving.

Make your space feel bigger

No one wants to feel cramped while browsing a store – but we also want to find what we came for. Here are some tried and tested ways to bring lightness and openness to a small or busy space while still showing off your products:

  • Don’t clutter the space too much, instead keep additional stock easily available in the storage room
  • Ensure a clear line of sight through the space
  • Use light colours to make the store appear bigger
  • Bright, cool lights make spaces feel wide and open
  • Design good traffic flow to prevent bottlenecks
  • Guide the eye to feature products

Leverage hidden storage

“Storage is always a concern in retail,” Eugene says. “If you don’t have the right stock on hand, you might lose out on sales.” He works with his team to find smart storage solutions to suit clients’ needs. “For a soccer shop client we made mirrored benches for trying on shoes, and inside we made available storage space.”

To maximise your available space it’s a good idea to make sure features have several purposes.

Use the wall space with permanent shelving

Permanent shelving and wall-mounted racks is a retail must, but don’t be afraid to mount out-of-reach display shelves and racks too. If a client wants what’s up there they’ll ask your staff to retrieve it, and it means you can display more products without taking up floor space.

Use the ceiling space

A room has four walls, but six surfaces, so why not make the ceiling a retail space too?

“For one client we suspended soccer goals from the ceiling. They’re quite bulky and would take up quite a lot of floor space, but seeing them in person is a big selling point. Ceiling suspension was the perfect solution.” How can we make your ceiling work for your business?

Show some personality

Maximising space shouldn’t mean foregoing showing your true colours. Retail spaces need to be fun and engaging to draw foot traffic. With a little bit of thought and creativity, you can make a big statement without squandering unnecessary square meters. Make a wall pop with a mural or feature wall, or incorporate a neon sign in between your permanent shelves, or suspend an eye-catching design from the ceiling.

“We suspended a scaled-down soccer pitch in the ceiling of a shop once. It looked great and was engaging, but it didn’t take up floor or shelf space,” Eugene says.

Moral of the story?

Don’t let the size of your space dictate what you can make of it. With a great team, you can maximise what you’ve got to suit your needs.