The Art of Retail Store Layouts to Influence Customer Behaviour and Retail Sales

The retail sector is a thoroughly researched area. With something as minute as the fact that 90% of all people turn right when they walk in a store     .

Retail is an art and the power to guide the customer through the store lays in the hand of the retailer. Customer interaction plays a huge part in sales conversion.

The behavioral research runs far and wide and so does the research around the layout that is most effective for maximizing sales in your store. So if you have made the decision of opening a retail store, read on to find the best layout for the store.

Straight Retail Floor Plan

The most basic of layouts, the straight floor plan uses the walls, customized displays and a variety of shelving fixtures to create small spaces within the store to ensure maximum selling area. They are a versatile plan to implement and one of the most commonly used plans.


They are the ideal choice for businesses that are just starting out and do not have the financial capability to own bigger stores or have extensively elaborate floor plans.

Even large companies like Apple, taking into account the simplicity follow this layout.


The biggest drawback is the sight lines of the store making it difficult for a customer to browse through your merchandise or find a particular location.

Angular Retail Floor Plan

Contrary to the name this layout actually uses curved walls, corners, rounded merchandise displays and other curved fixtures to display merchandise and manage customer flow.


Often used by luxury stores, the perception of higher quality merchandise is leveraged by the angular design. The soft angles of the fixtures ensure a  better traffic flow throughout the store.


This layout has the least available display space so it only caters to stores which have specialty goods to sell.

Geometric Retail Floor Plan

This highly youth driven layout, which uses displays of all shapes and sizes (ovals, squares, and rectangles) to create a hip and trendy layout. This layout offers artistic expression and freedom to create a statement piece.


This layout offers a unique look at the store and so is suitable for a retailer who wants to create a brand identity without investing too much.


Often seen as an extension of the brand, a retailer needs to be careful while using this layout as it may end up looking cluttered and messy.

Grid Store Layout

The grid store layout is fairly simple with aisles with merchandise on both sides. This forces the customer to go through the whole store and locate the products they are interested in.


It is the ideal layout for grocery stores as there is no wasted space and ample shelf space for the merchandise.


The layout offers nothing new or exciting for the customers and ends up giving a feeling of monotony.

Diagonal Retail Floor Plan

A diagonal floor plan uses aisles placed at angles to increase customer sightlines and showcase merchandise as navigation of the space takes place. Seen as a direct variation of the grid layout the entire flow is centered around the checkout counter.


It is an excellent form of the layout if you have a self-serve model as it offers more movement and better customer circulation.


This layout offers no shortcut towards any specific merchandise, and also in case of shortage of space, the aisles may end up narrow, giving a very constrained feel to the store.

Racetrack Layout

The racetrack layout has one major aisle that runs throughout the store to guide traffic to the store. Each change in a department is defined by a change in surface/color for the customer.


The layout ensures that a customer sees the merchandise available to them and facilitates impulse purchases.


This layout makes it difficult for a retailer to highlight merchandise or create a space where the customer is immediately drawn to.

Free Flow Store Layout

Rejecting typical design patterns and styles this layout does not use any rule to influence the customer behavior. Described as the simplest store design due to lack of rules and constraint of space, this the most artistically inclined store layout.


Better suited to higher end merchandising shops, this layout is aesthetically pleasing to the customer.


Apart from lack of space to display products, this layout can confuse shoppers and in the happiness of artistic freedom the customers may end up feeling confused.

Depending on what your store kind is one needs to be very careful about what they decide their layout be as it defines how their brand is perceived in the customer’s eyes.

Once you have decided what your layout is, check out our blog on how to optimize your shelving space.


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