SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 18, May 3, 2007

Retail Store Review

4Wheel Parts, Colorado Springs, Colorado

It’s clear that the folks at 4Wheel Parts had layout in mind when they set up their store. Introducing a few small changes will give the facility polish, making it more visually stimulating to the customer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, break up the checkered floor. It is visual noise that distracts from the product the store is trying to sell. This can be easily done by using carpet runners that lead the customer throughout the store. Runners also indicate areas you want your customer to stop and take notice.

The store has a nice neutral base color. I’d continue this to the ceiling, covering the blue stripes. Use the new space for uniform signage above the display panels. The signage should be a simple font and should indicate the product being featured.

Be intentional with the merchandising tools provided by the vendors you feature. Spread these branded displays out evenly throughout the store, which will provide additional focal points while not being too overwhelming. I like the wheel display. Try placing it against a solid background. This will make the details of the wheels stand out more.

Another option I’d consider is changing the lighting. Florescent lighting has a tendency to be too harsh in a retail environment. Installing a simple track-lighting system will really warm up your space and make your merchandise pop. I’d also be curious to know what lies beneath the ceiling panels. It’s possible that they may be hiding unique architectural details such as beams or pipes. If you decided to remove the panels and paint the exposed space a uniform neutral color, this would give your store a more open feel. If you choose this route, replace the florescent lighting at the same time.

Remember, most merchandising appeals to your customer’s subconscious, so changes are often subtle but effective. Less is more. If a display is too complicated, chances are it is ineffective also.

 

Break up the checkered floor. This can be easily done by using carpet runners that lead the customer throughout the store. Runners also indicate areas you want your customer to stop and take notice.

Be intentional with the merchandising tools provided by the vendors you feature. Spread these branded displays out evenly throughout the store, which will provide additional focal points while not being too overwhelming.

   

I like the wheel display. Try placing it against a solid background. This will make the details of your wheels stand out even more.

Another option I’d consider is changing the lighting. Florescent lighting has a tendency to be too harsh in a retail environment. Installing a simple track-lighting system will really warm up your space and make your merchandise pop.

Design Help

Want to find out how simple changes to your store layout can increase sales and motivate your customers to buy and spend more? Submit photos of your store to editors@sema.org. Be sure the images are 300 dpi JPEGs, and be sure to include your name, company name, address, phone number, e-mail address and website URL (if applicable). Please include the words “Store Layout” on the e-mail subject line.

Todd Jacobsen is CEO of Utility Inc., a leading-edge design firm pioneering highly creative retail and environmental solutions. Located in Seattle, Washington, Todd can be reached at 206/467-8070 or via e-mail at toddj@utilityinc.com.

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