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Opening a Retail Store is an exciting step for your business when working on the shop design there are many things to consider in order to give the best customer experience possible and set your business up for success. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and flow are all essential elements to consider when thinking of your shop’s interior design. Think of the full sensory experience you’d like your customers to have when they enter your space. 

First things first, it’s crucial you nail the floor plan of your store in order to save yourself time on renovations later, and so you can achieve the ideal environment you’re looking for, right off the bat on your retail design. A floor plan that is open and has a smooth directional flow is a great starting point. 
Aesop Store, Lincoln Park - minimalist industrial shop design, retail design
The Aesop store in Lincoln Park, a project by Range Design & Architecture.

Aesop's spaces, while all individual and unique to the surrounding areas, are designed and perfectly fitting to their ethos of
 ‘meticulous attention to detail, and with efficacy and sensory pleasure in mind.
Consider the style you want to achieve with your shop interior design. Are you looking for an industrial minimalist design for your skincare store? Do you want a California beach feel complete with shabby chic furniture for your bohemian clothing label, or is your target market the professional minimalist, interested in Scandinavian style who is looking to invest in quality over quantity? Whatever your target audience, deciding on a direction you want your store to head in before jumping into the retail design will ensure a cohesive result and (hopefully) a more stress-free process. 
retail shelving retail design shop interior Interchangeable Pegboard shelving system

You’ll then want to consider how you want customers to interact with your store design and interior. Is it a high touch environment where people are encouraged to feel, play and experience the product before purchase, in which case a stable and user friendly retail shelving system will be essential, or do you want to be the one guiding them through the shopping experience. 

Another thing to consider: Practicality. At the end of the day, you need your retail space to function for its purpose, which at the end of the day is to encourage purchases. Converting the people walking through the door into returning and happy customers is key. This means your retail design needs to be both aesthetically pleasing but also practical. It seems like a no brainer, but how many times have you entered a space only to be roadblocked into a corner by poor shop design or less than ideal floor plan layout

tabletop signage retail design shop interior design

Table Top Circle Sign to instruct and guide your customers

I would recommend an interchangeable shelving system like the Pegboard for ease of use as your promotions and merchandising displays change throughout the week, month and year. I also suggest you consider wayfinding or welcome signage and countertop signage in order to direct your customers to touchpoints or displays around your space to ensure they have the best, most user-friendly experience possible. 

I think one of the final pieces to the puzzle in your retail design process is the people you add to the space! Human connection is everything. Make sure your staff members spread some joy, do something kind, go above and above to surprise and delight your customers and keep them coming back for more. Whether you give them a send them away with a sample or tester, or simply spend time to build a rapport, make sure to engage further than a simple and robotic  ‘Hi, Hows your day’, it will go a long way.  Fingers crossed they will head back in and tell their friends to come and check your store interior out. Word of mouth carries a lot of weight.


All in all, fitting out your store interior and going through the design process of your shop is a time to be enjoyed, don’t be afraid to take risks, make it personal, and most importantly have fun.

Do you have any tips for the shop design process? Better yet, are you a commercial or retail interior designer? Connect with us on Instagram or Pinterest, we would love to hear from you.

Have a great day!

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