Top 5 Best Practices and Strategies for Retail Store Layouts

There is a science to retail displays, and when you get the formula right your customers won’t realize any work went into the layout at all. It takes a fine balance of creative ingredients to achieve this desired result without being obvious about it. So how do you keep people in the store, engaged with the displays and products and ultimately spending money? If you’re wondering how stores achieve this magic formula, consider the following best practices and strategies that are sure to keep your customers happily shopping.

retail display store planning

  1. Windows Always Come First
    It’s always a best practice to focus on windows first, because if people aren’t impressed by or engaged with the window displays, they likely won’t make it into the store to see anything else you’ve got to offer. Some stores choose to keep windows bare to let the activity of the store speak for itself, but most display consultants agree that opting out of window displays is a missed opportunity. Fresh, bold, attention-grabbing, single-color themes are always a safe bet. Cluttered window displays can have the opposite effect though, so keep it clean and you’re good to go.
  2. Move Traffic to the Right
    While this isn’t common knowledge among the general public, most consultants note that drawing customers to the right after entering is typically a good practice. For various reasons, people are more likely to move counter clockwise around a store if given the option. Stores often put their most attention-grabbing displays and comforting product placements to the right of the entrance, to inspire positive feelings and bigger purchases while customers are navigating the store.
  3. Place Premium Products at Eye Level
    It’s always a best practice to keep people’s eyes drawn to the more appealing and expensive products that are going to keep profits high. This is why stores often keep premium products at eye level, so customers see these products without having to move or crane their neck, while cheaper products are kept on the lowest shelves.
  4. Make the Most of Your Display Cases
    Display cases provide an excellent opportunity to draw customers’ attention to premium products and allow them to interact with these products before making a purchase, to make purchasing high-ticket items the most pleasant experience possible. Many stores prefer to angle the aisles to point customers to a back area where they find a compelling display, but if you’re going to try this approach make sure you have enough space. The main aisle and each side aisle should be wide enough to accommodate multiple customers as well as any sales associates assisting customers at the display cases.
  5. Make Sure You Have a Plan
    Whatever you do, just make sure you have a plan for your retail store layout. Stores without a comprehensive plan for their retail display policies often end up cluttered and disorganized, and leave customers unable to find what they’re looking for. Think about creating engaging retail displays at the ends of aisles, and a layout that keeps people interested and moving in the direction you want them to.

What’s the most creative store display you’ve seen? Did it change your buying trend?


Creative Snowmen: See our Contest Winners

Creative Displays Now and Custom Boxes Now (divisions of Great Northern Corp) recently ran a promotion with some of our customers, to see who could build the most creative snowman using our promotional "Snowman Kit". We were more than impressed with all of our entries! Here are the winners:

4th Place (tie): "Ice Fishing on the River" submitted by R & D Systems:

Ice Fishing Snowman

4th Place (tie): “Snow Twins” submitted by Wildlife Research:

Snow Man with Snow Woman - Creative Displays

3rd Place: “Snow Dog” submitted by Goal Zero:

Snow Dog - Snowman Contest by Creative Displays Now

2nd Place: “Who Needs Snow?” submitted by Foam Industries:

Snowman made from Foam

And the winner is....

1st Place: “Ticket to the North Pole” submitted by Gould's Jewelry:

Snowman Contest Winner - Creative Displays Now

Thank you to all who submitted entries--we loved the creativity. Contact Creative Displays Now if you would like to participate next year, or to discuss your next retail display project.

Grocery Pallet Display for Canned Food

Check out the pallet displays we recently designed and manufactured for Furmano's tomatoes:

Cardboard Pallet Display

Retail Pallet Display

Corrugated Pallet Display

Grocery Display

See more examples of pallet displays we have produced, or contact Creative Displays Now to learn how we help our clients sell more at retail with stunning visual merchandising displays.

Success Story: Post-It Notes End Cap Display

2013 Design of the Times "Best of Show" in the Specialty Stores Category

3M wanted to secure secondary placement for its Post-it Notes® brand collection in a high traffic end cap display at Staples.

Dramatically presenting “painting” as a metaphor for using brightly colored notes, this well-placed end cap merchandised the notes in a way that extended their hues into stripes that ran from top to bottom, framing the packaged notes within the bands of color.

End Cap Retail Display

Unique lug ons and dimensional components brought to life bursts of paint coming out of cans and being playfully painted with rollers, something shoppers would not expect to see in an office supplies store.

The end cap display positioned the notes within their associated color stripes, drawing shoppers’ attention to the eye-catching display and prompting them to select the color that fit their personal tastes. Selection was then as fun and as easy as pulling paint samples from a hardware-store shelf.

The color-coded merchandising not only make it simple for shoppers to make their selections, but it also made it easy for stores to keep product stocked and organized at the shelf. The end cap received on-the-spot buy-in with the account and once in stores served as an extension for a larger sales effort. The program has generated a nine percent lift in sales of colored notes over the standard canary yellow variety.

Creative Displays Now has been creating award-winning retail displays for over 50 years! Contact a display expert to discuss how we can help with your next retail project.

Creative Displays Now Takes Home 10 Awards at Shopper Marketing Expo 2013

Awards include one Platinum and three Gold awards

Creative Displays Now, the online brand of Great Northern Corporation, won 10 awards at the "Design of the Times" competition, part of the 2013 Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago. Included in these awards was a Platinum and three Golds.

3M Retail Store Display

Here are our award winners, by category:

  • PLATINUM: 3M Take Note of Color Endcap (pictured aboved)
  • GOLD: 3M Take Note of Color Endcap - Specialty Stores category
  • GOLD: Mattel Hot Wheels Racetrack Dump Bin - Mass Merchandisers category
  • GOLD: Gander Mountain Fishing Line Wall for Pure Fishing Corp - Sporting Goods category
  • SILVER: 3M Unroll Something Amazing Half Pallet - Specialty Stores category
  • SILVER: Goal Zero Mobile Floor Stand - Sporting Goods category
  • SILVER: Dick’s Sporting Goods Trilene Endcap, for Pure Fishing Corp - Sporting Goods category
  • BRONZE: Logitech Best Buy Accessories Shipper - Consumer Electronics category
  • BRONZE: Barbie Mega Bloks Headers, for Mega Brands - Mass Merchandisers category
  • BRONZE: Time Warner 3 Pocket Powerwing - Mass Merchandisers category

 Best Buy Display for Logitech  Goal Zero Retail Display

Logitech Best Buy
Accessories Shipper

Goal Zero
Mobile Floor Stand
 Pallet Display  End Cap Display

3M Unroll Something
Amazing Half Pallet

Dick’s Sporting Goods
Trilene Endcap

 Gander Mountain Wall Display  Power Wing Display
Gander Mountain
Fishing Line Wall
Time Warner
3 Pocket Powerwing
 Mattel-Hot-Wheels Barbie Store Display 
Mattel Hot Wheels
Racetrack Dump Bin
Barbie Mega Bloks Headers

Contact a display expert to learn more about these award-winning displays, or to discuss your next point of purchase display or retail packaging project.