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It’s all in the looks

window, store, mannequinns, display, VM, fashionI’m all about making a space look incredible, it needs to pack some serious punch and pop in the best way possible. A good looking space needs function first and foremost and is imperative to making a retail space from good to great and encourage buyers to buy.

But what’s going to attract people off the streets and into your store? What’s going to make them stay, look, and engage? What is going to increase that all important dwell time? A healthy combination of good looks and function. That’s what. An analogy I like to use is a top model with brains and a great personality. A bit like the unicorn we’re all looking for.

Aesthetically, there are several factors to consider when designing a retail space.

Store fixtures
Should be used to display the products in a way that makes them look attractive to customers.

Some tricks are:

  • Use varying heights for your fixtures. This encourages the eye to wander from low to high and into the rest of the shop
  • Avoid gondola units that block an entryway – they hinder your customer’s line of sight and interrupt the main traffic flow
  • Use a variety of fixtures throughout
  • Select display fixtures that validate the quality and value of the merchandise. If you sell high end goods, ensure that your fixtures reflect this
  • Fixtures shouldn’t be made the features, they should be a backdrop to the product.

Window displays
A great way to entice people into the store, however a great window should reflect the interior.

  • Make it interesting, it’s that simple
  • Remember the scale of the items on display. If you want to attract customers from a distance, the items need to be large enough to grab attention from afar
  • Deliver on one big bold statement, rather than over complicating things and trying to tell more than one story
  • Lighting! Make sure it’s modified for night time viewing.

Is powerful. It can actually illicit an emotional response, so get it right…boom!

  • Use lighting to create mood and atmosphere that reflects your store’s personality or theme
  • Create drama with and interest with general and accent lighting and highlight specific feature items
  • Aim to achieve balanced lighting. Over and under are as bad as each other
  • Typical spots for bright lighting are the entry, counter areas and focal displays
  • Get a light plan done – it’s worth it.

Way finding
Is incredibly important instore and necessary to help customers navigate the store and find what they’re looking for.

  • Keep the signage consistent and make sure it reflects your brand
  • Don’t be too clever. Font should be simple and in an easily read font and a combination of upper and lower case font
  • Use contrast between the text and background colour.

There’s plenty more tips where that came from. Until next time.

Lizzi Hines is MD of Spaceworks. For more information, phone 0800 2 FIT OUT, or visit




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