5 Tips for Maximizing Space in Your Stores

Space, design, sales: an important connection

If getting new customers is a challenge, there are other measures which can boost sales. Selling more to existing customers is another way of achieving this goal.

Follow these tips to maximize the space in your stores:

1. Use a standard design.

If you don’t have a budget to hire a consultant specializing in floor layouts, use one of two standard designs for stores. They tend be the best choice for most retailers.

The first design takes advantage of the walls and shelves in order to create space devoted to different goods. It’s ideal for small areas.

The second uses a diagonal form that’s ideal for stores which don’t provide customer assistance. It offers high visibility to the merchandise from the cashier’s isle and the store entrance. It also maximizes access to the merchandise as the buyer walks through the store.

2. Leave a space at the entrance.

Pay attention to the area on the right. Numerous studies show that most consumers turn right when they enter a store. Use that side of the store to showcase the products you want to sell the most.

3. Consider using high-density racks.

These systems were originally designed for use in doctors’ offices where there’s little space and there must be instant access to thousands of patient records. Today there are versions for retailers that allow them to expand and rotate inventory for sale without having to rent more space.

4. Watch your clients carefully.

Many retailers use surveys to determine how to best organize the space and sell more. But consumers don’t always answer honestly. Or they don’t know what they actually do. And sometimes they just want to finish answering and go on with their chores. The best option is to watch carefully how customers move around the store, where they stand and what they ignore.

5. Use the right measurements.

To determine whether these strategies work, divide the store into sections. Measure the square footage of each section and mark the sales generated there. With this information, you can calculate the sales per square foot in each section.

Over time, you can compare how sales per square foot in each section increases or drops according to the changes that you make. Another key measurement is the inventory turnover, which refers to the time it takes to sell something.

The longer it takes to sell a product, the more expensive it becomes. A product that doesn’t move quickly takes away the opportunity to sell something else when it spends more time on the shelf. The goal is to maximize store space dedicated to high-margin products that take up little room and are selling fast. This way you minimize the space devoted to low-margin products that take up a lot of room and sell slowly.

Finally, all retailers should read the book “Why We Buy” written by Paco Underhill, founder of Envirosell and expert on how to optimize store space. It’s excellent.