Principles of effective shop fittings
To fully understand the principles of effective shop fittings, we need to consider how several key factors, including the nature of products, store layout, and the desired shopping experience, influence the type of shop fitting used.
Nature of products
Different types of products have distinct requirements for display and accessibility. For example:
Clothing and apparel: clothing rails, and shelving with hanging bars are essential for displaying apparel in a visually appealing manner.
Fragile or valuable items: display cases with secure locking mechanisms are suitable for showcasing items like jewellery, collectibles, or electronics.
Consumable goods: shelving with adjustable heights is useful for displaying items, for example, packaged food, cosmetics, and personal care products.
Larger items: freestanding shelving units with adjustable configurations might be needed to accommodate larger items like furniture or electronics.
The physical layout of the store also plays a vital role in determining the types of shop fittings that will be most effective:
Store size: in a smaller store, space-efficient fittings like wall-mounted shelves or vertical displays might be preferred to maximise floor space.
Store shape: an irregularly shaped store might require flexible solutions like modular shelving that can adapt to different wall angles.
Aisles and traffic flow: fittings should be chosen to facilitate smooth customer movement, so that shoppers can navigate comfortably. By being free to explore various sections of the store it is possible that shoppers will see and therefore buy more goods.
Desired shopping experience
Retailers often have a specific ambiance or shopping experience they want to create for their customers:
High-end boutiques: these might opt for elegant display cases, well-lit areas, and luxurious shelving to enhance the perception of exclusivity and quality.
Fast-paced retail: Convenience stores or quick-service outlets might prioritise easily accessible products and checkout areas to expedite transactions and increase footfall.
Interactive shopping: Some retailers might incorporate digital displays or interactive elements to engage customers and provide detailed product information.
Theme and branding: The choice of shop fittings can reflect a store’s brand identity, whether it’s rustic, modern, minimalist, or themed.
The art of visual merchandising involves arranging products and displays to tempt customers and drive sales. Different visual merchandising goals, therefore, need different shop fittings to achieve their gaol.
Cross merchandising: combining related products from different categories can encourage add-on purchases.
Seasonal displays: adjustable and customisable fittings allow for easy adaptation to seasonal promotions and themed displays.
Upselling and impulse buying: well-placed “Point of Sale” (POS) displays, near the checkout, can encourage last-minute purchases. For example, batteries, chewing-gum or pet treats in vets are often placed at the end of the retail journey.
In essence, while the core principles of maximising space, enhancing the shopping experience, and offering customisation are universal in the world of shop fittings, the strategic selection of fittings is a nuanced process.
Good retailers consider product range, store layout, branding, and the emotional connection they want customers to have with their store. A well-chosen combination of shop fittings can contribute to a store’s success by creating an inviting atmosphere and effectively showcasing products to shoppers.