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Thinking of a new shop fit out?  Don’t start till you have read this list. Eliminate all the below and your shop layout is headed for glory, because it will be well designed for sales, and more importantly customer satisfaction:


Basically, avoid this look above!

A confusing layout

A shop is not a maze. While a fun park or playground should have the element of mystery and risk there, it’s hard to pull this off in a shop without annoying your customers. Logically arrange products and aisles, and keep signage visible.

Bad lighting

We have said it before, and we will say it again: bad lighting kills sales. ‘Bad lighting’ covers ugly fixtures, strange colours, over illumination or dark spots in the store. If a customer is disappointed when they take their purchase into broad daylight they won’t return. Eliminate!

Aisles that are difficult to access

Keep aisles wide enough for two people to bend and look at items on either side of the aisle without hitting each other. Keep them wheelchair- and pram-accessible. Aisles do tend to be restrictive, so where you can, do away with them.

Overloaded shelves, which will bow in time

Spacing wall posts a long way apart can make a shelving system appear more streamlined, but shopfitting is not only about immediate appearance. If a shelf has to bear too much weight it will bow in time. So if you choose to space your 18mm thick shelving 1200mm apart, don’t stack jeans in great piles on it. Consider spacing at 900 or 600mm and using a 30mm shelf to avoid unsightly bowing.

An inefficient too-small counter

How can you describe waiting in a queue in pleasant terms? You can’t – there’s nothing fun about waiting! If your counter is too small for two cashiers and you have 8 or 10 people waiting in line you may find 90% of them will arrive at the counter in a bad mood, if they arrive at all! Your counter should be designed to transact efficiently and faultlessly.

Unmarked glass walls – people will run into them

Glass walls are stylish invisible barriers favoured by modernist companies such as Apple for their stores. However, Apple has the wherewithal to pay out lawsuits against them when people break their noses on the glass (its happened!).  If you must have glass walls for whatever reason, tint or otherwise mark them to save yourself falling into the hands of the law.

Poorly designed fitting rooms

If a customer doesn’t feel good in the clothes you sell they are not going to buy them. So how can you expect them to feel good if they can barely fit into the fitting room? They aren’t going to appreciate everyone watching them, either, so consider practicality when choosing doors – floor to ceiling is best.

No ‘decompression space’ for customers

Don’t cram your store full of products in the hope that the more you have, the more you’ll sell.  This is a mistake for more than one reason, but most importantly, you need to give the customer a chance to ‘get their bearings’. The area that first greets the customer when they enter your store should be free of clutter, obstructive racks or anything else that will give the customer a bad first impression. 

No allowance for future changes

When you are planning your shop, take into account how to allow for future change. Fashions change season to season, so it’s highly likely your methods of display will need to as well. Don’t spend your entire budget on permanent fixtures or you run the risk of looking outdated in a very short time.

No inspection of the space prior to committing

It’s last on your list but it’s the most important thing to remember – inspect the space prior to committing to any property agreement. Check for local ordinances prohibiting you from signage and structural alterations. Check that you can attach things to the walls and ceilings, or remove walls if you need to. Check maintenance costs for the building.  The list goes on…. But don’t forget to check!

Can you think of anything else that are terrible in a shop fitout? Let us know in the comments… Need help in making sure your shop fitout doesn’t include the above? Get in contact with us today!

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