John Ibbotson / 2nd June 2016
Well-studied aesthetics, eye-candy visuals & carefully-crafted design details can make your retail business boom in no time.
In a competitive market like retail, you need to ignite your creativity and keep the flame constantly burning to survive and thrive. Long gone are the days when any kind of location would suffice.
You can’t just rely on ubiquitous mirrors, standard isles, or the tedious, ‘tried-and-tested’ design ideas that have been regurgitated for years on end. Nowadays, you need a fresh angle, exciting concept, and frankly, a spark of genius to make your retail store stand out from the crowd.
It might seem like quite the handful at first. However, with the proper mindset, playful ideas, and tasteful inspiration, you’ll be on the right track for an interior design concept that will leave even the fussiest of critics in awe (not to mention your returning customers).
Regardless if you’re planning to launch your visionary store in the near future or you want to rebrand your current retail business, you need to start doing your design research ASAP.
Here’s some attentively curated inspiration to get you started.
Less Is More
Instead of stuffing your shop with so many items, decorations and irrelevant knick-knacks that your customer won’t even know where to look first, opt for a clean and chic design that will give them the space to breathe and feel comfortable while they shop.
If the target of your retail store is men fashion, you need to design the interior accordingly. Consider cool tones, creative clothing racks, and a subtle industrial touch.
Your ideal customer is most likely a mother or father who takes their children with them while they shop. Create a kid-friendly environment so the parents can concentrate on their purchases as their children remain entertained.
For the couture connoisseurs you are aiming for, you need to have every inch of your shop radiating luxury. The ‘less is more’ rule perfectly applies to any upscale fashion retailer.
The interior design of your store should strongly reflect the quality of your products. Highlight your most valuable pieces by showcasing them individually.
A nautical theme has been tried and tested for ages, and it still works as brilliantly as it did when it first started trending. Combine navy elements with bold geometric shapes and plenty of white and beige.
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but your customers will definitely judge your shop based on its facade. Lure your shoppers in with beautiful details like a mannequin or greenery in front of your location.
Any reputable retailer will agree that storeowners aren’t just selling a product – they are marketing a dream, a vision, a way of life.
All White Everything
Not only does white give off a sense of meticulous cleanliness, but it also uplifts your customer by creating a high-life environment. Even if your products aren’t luxury pieces, consider incorporating as much white as you can in your interior design to put them in the right state of mind.
Home Sweet Home
Even though consumerism has driven us towards a quantity-over-quality angle for department stores, a cosy customer experience will always prevail. Make your target audience feel right at home as they weigh their shopping options.
Regardless if you’re marketing home decor, books, or any other department store essentials, you can always consider an artistique display. Don’t cram in all of your products. Instead, choose the most visually appealing pieces and showcase them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 50 – you will always have a touch of creativity in your heart and soul. Now that you are fully aware of this, think about how you can spark your customer’s imagination with eye-candy design.
Conventional design is already a thing of the past. You need to literally think outside of the box and attract your clients with a funky fresh concept. Brainstorming over coffee with your team members will help you find your distinctive style.
You can never go wrong with all-white retail stores, but you don’t have to go with the whole crowd. Add a fun touch by splashing colour here and there. Not only will you brighten your store, but you will also draw your customer’s attention to key products.
Psychologically speaking, customers are most likely to purchase items when they are relaxed, comfortable and in a great mood. Increase your sales by humanising the shopping experience with cosy accents.
Nothing expresses elegance better than a black and white store set up. Opt for white ceilings, walls, and floorings, and choose simple, black furniture to feature your products.
The more intriguing the architecture and design, the greater the chances are of your customers feeling amazing in your store. Don’t settle only for square or rectangular spaces – let your imagination run free and venture into other shapes, angles, and forms.
Crisp and Clean
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there's no doubt that a retailer in this niche needs to be visually on point at all times. Design that inspires health, wellbeing and an all-round ‘fresh’ vibe will always be appropriate.
Even if your retail business is part of a pretty limiting industry (i.e. a pharmacy), you can always find ways to take it to the next level. Think big, build big, and offer plenty of space for your shoppers to browse your products.
Pretty in Pink
Cosmetics retailers know that the buying power of women has no limits when it comes to beauty. Channel your inner psychologist once again to boost the femininity of your shop’s design. And use pink. Always use pink.
Height of Luxury
If you’re targeting the big spenders and those with a taste for luxury, your shop needs to be the ultimate reflection of refinement. Don’t hesitate to invest in top quality decorations and finishes. It will make the whole difference for your future income.
The special thing about pharmacies is that they can take us back to retro times. Have fun with old bottles and bronze and gold accents for a lovely vintage theme.
Black & White Beauty
Not only does black and white work for general department stores, but they look outstanding for beauty shops. Your products will stand out perfectly in a monochrome setting.
Splash of Red
As far as colour psychology is concerned, red is always a buying trigger. In addition to neutral shades, add a splash of red here and there to entice your customers.
The delightful part of running a pharmacy is that your customer is basically anyone. Why not create a design that attracts all of them? Timeless is terrific.
Bright, Vivid and Clever
Who ever said you couldn't get creative with produce? Go against the grain and spice up your broad selection of fruits and veggies by colour-coding. The impact will be too delicious – visually and literally – to resist!
One of the best ways to level up your supermarket is by embracing a healthy approach. As produce represents the #1 item on a customer’s grocery shopping list, emphasise the state of well being it inspires.
The most colourful part of any supermarket is the fruits and vegetables section. Pay extra special attention to your fresh foods and build perfectly-spaced isles for your customers to enjoy them.
If your supermarket sells a product that is ever-growing in popularity, make it shine. Supermarkets with organic produce, for example, should accentuate this section with careful thought.
Even if you are a supermarket or hypermarket, it doesn't mean that your location should express the dark side of capitalism. Make your business as comfortable as possible for your clients with a local approach.
We can't stress enough how important it is for a supermarket to be spotless. Aside from reasons related to hygiene, you will build your customer’s trust with a flawless environment they can safely shop in.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd spend hours bobbing for apples with your friends in your backyard? How about when you freshly picked them from the tree at your grandmother's house and collected them in baskets? Your customers sure do.
Culinary masters and individuals who are passionate about fine cuisine will literally scour the city to find top-notch gourmet products. Make sure yours are highly visible.
As an aspiring tech retailer, being up-to-date with the latest releases and smart ways to incorporate them into your store’s design is a must. Remember that technology is always on your side and that you shouldn’t hesitate to experiment with the cool gadgets you have at hand.
Golden Age Neon
Record shops are still on the rise for nostalgic vinyl collectors. If you love music and you want to share your passion with your customers, design your shop so they can relive the golden age of music.
What’s the #1 product in your store? Take it and showcase it creatively, making it impossible to miss for your customers. Tech-savvy individuals love a clean presentation.
The technology industry thrives on interaction. Strategically design and place your gadgets so your customers can try them out and see if it’s what they’re looking for.
If your store focuses on photography or a similar tech-related craft, prepare an unforgettable experience in a fresh concept store. Let them enjoy a good cup of coffee while they read about your products and even plan interactive events like workshops to maintain their interest.
Innovation is key for high-end technology stores. Design the shop so your customers get a sneak peek into the future and what your gadgets can offer them.
No matter how much technology evolves, you should always keep the personal touch in mind. Photography shops, for instance, can print photos and hang them creatively to suggest the idea of creating memories.
You can never go wrong with a retro restaurant. Think rock-and-roll and go into as much detail as possible with your vintage decorations.
Most of your customers secretly dream of enjoying an espresso and a croissant at a chic French cafe on a sunny summer day. Why not recreate the experience for them?
Sweet & Thoughtful
Believe it or not, a detail as simple as a beautiful flower in a jar on the table can make your customer feel wonderful.
The Big Apple
There's something about New York-inspired details that make a cafe, pub, or restaurant even more awesome than before. Go wild with brick walls, string lights, and other elements that make your customers reminisce over the Big Apple.
Your customers will feel incredible sipping a cup of tea surrounded by flowers, trees, and greenery in general. Do some research on conservatories and orangeries to get even more inspiration.
Industrial architecture is all the rage these days, especially for coffee shops. Not only is it a cost-effective solution, but it also looks brilliant.
A pizzeria or Italian cuisine restaurant should place your customer in a dreamy setting in 'the boot'. Checked table cloths, soft lights and bricks all around are the perfect ingredients.
No need to clutter your cafe - a few stylish tables, wood flooring and ideal lighting will all work amazingly. This design example is great for small coffee shops or restaurants.
Warm & Cosy
Restaurants with warm lighting and colours are like magnets for customers. Put yourself in your guest’s shoes and see what the best cosy details are for your business.
There's something about grey that makes it look fabulous when designing a coffee shop. Sleek, edgy and cool, a predominantly grey interior design is absolutely gorgeous for cafes.