4 Proven Ways to Make the Most of Whatever Space Is Available in Your Retail Store
Retail space tends to be expensive, especially when it sees plenty of foot traffic and has other desirable features. Some high-end stores can afford to adopt airy layouts where plenty of empty space stands between expensive, high-margin items.
Most brick-and-mortar retailers, though, have to think about how to put their available space to the best possible use. There are four simple ways to do so, all of which have proved effective in the challenging retail business. It should normally be possible to use at least a couple of these to improve the space utilization of a store.
- Get Better Shelving
Shelving sometimes receives short shrift when the time arrives to appoint a retail store. That is unfortunate because choosing an appropriate type of shelving can improve a store’s space utilization significantly.
Some common kinds of shelving are designed to emphasize accessibility or visibility without necessarily making efficient use of the space they require. That can force a retail store to limit its inventory in ways that impair its results and growth.
There are also shelving designs that either excels at space utilization or provide a balanced blend of advantages. Many retailers, for instance, discover that gondola-style shelves allow them to make great use of floor space while still enabling attractive, revenue-boosting displays.
And, it does not necessarily need to be expensive to replace or upgrade a store’s shelving. Suppliers of used gondola shelving for sale, for example, offer high-quality products that are very affordable.
- Tighten Up Your Checkout Zone
A busy retail store can see lines forming at the cash registers where customers pay for their purchases. That possibility leads some retailers to devote too much space to this admittedly important activity.
It will normally be better to think about and plan for the busiest times of the average shopping day instead of dreaming up a layout that accounts for all-time highs. If customers feel a bit cramped when checking out on one or two days of the year, chalk that up to the madness of the holiday shopping season.
Space freed up from around checkout stations does not have to be used as all the rest in a store. Many successful retailers lean heavily on product displays designed specifically to occupy transitional space while still allowing easy passage.
- Have a Look Outside
While lease terms and other restrictions need to be respected, some retailers can get away with leveraging otherwise-unused outdoor space. Even being able to move a floor-standing sign out onto an adjacent sidewalk can free up space inside for a product display.
Some store owners have it even better and make outdoorsy displays central to merchandising strategy. Just about everyone has seen how many retailers put live plants outside when the weather allows, for example. While there will often be associated issues that need to be addressed, making use of any outdoor area adjacent to a retail store can help with indoor space utilization, as well.
- Aim Higher
Many retailers default to stocking lots of the same products right where customers can reach them. That can make sense when turnover levels are high, but it means wasting space on redundancy otherwise.
In many cases, it will become possible to position a wider variety of items on the same set of shelves by moving back-stock somewhere else. While some retailers have large stockrooms devoted to such usage, just about any store should be able to add some suitable shelving higher up on walls.
Better Use of Space Often Means More Sales
Retailers who look into proven tactics like these quite often find they can make significantly better use of the space available to them. That can easily mean boosting a store’s sales and profits significantly since shoppers will discover more items that they are interested in buying.