If you are thinking of opening a retail outlet, this is more than a big challenge, and with so much competition, your in-store layout needs to be first-class. There are several designs that are used, which include the following.
- The Grid Floor Plan – This is the traditional layout of grocery and convenience stores, with rows that are easy for the visitor to navigate. This layout works for books, food produce and toys, plus it maximises the use of space. Of course, you would need to find a sign shop (known as ร้านทำป้าย in Thai) to create all your in-store signage, which should use the same colours as your theme.
- The Loop Floor Plan – This has shelving all around the outside, with an island in the middle, which leads the visitor along a route, rather than with the grid plan, where the shopper has a choice. This layout works for stores that sell lots of small components, like a toy or model shop and it is the design you see in most pharmacies.
- Free Flow Floor Plan – This is where small islands are located randomly, while using one or two walls for shelving. This style is commonly found in boutiques, bakeries and special product stores.
- The Diagonal Floor Plan – All the shelving units are located at the same angle, leaving enough space between each for two shoppers to pass each other.
- Forced Path Floor Plan – This is an ingenious way to ensure that store visitors see all of your products, and with partitions, the shopper is guided from one point to the other, both of which start at the checkout area. This is ideal for furniture stores and showrooms, as it encourages the visitor to walk past all the products.
- Angular Floor Plans – The angular layout uses many oval shaped stations that are evenly spread throughout the retail space, ideal for high-end jewellery or lavish displays, making it very versatile as each station can be located exactly where you want it to be.
There are several factors to take into account when selecting one of the above floor plans, such as the size of the retail space, the type of products and indeed, the type of customer you wish to attract. It is always a good idea to send the day shopping, while taking note of the layout, which should give you some idea of the ambience of each different style, then you can choose with some confidence.