Store Design and Visual Merchandising

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The customers when they cross the store if they like the external atmosphere, clean and neat entrance, attractive window display, external architecture, welcoming store front they tend to enter the store and if they like the interior atmosphere like colour, lighting, good display, proper aisles browse the product and purchase the product. Main role of external atmosphere is to make the customers enter the store and attractive interior display with well-trained sales people close the sale. Good interior display leads to impulse purchase of the customers. Customers tend to enter the store even if they don’t like the store if there is a need but purchase only the needed products and come out of the store. They don’t stay in store for longer period of time. If the interior atmosphere of the store is good customers spend more time inside the store. If the customers spend more time inside the store they will make more purchase increasing the profit margin of the store.

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The store design and layout is very important for the store. It tells the customer about the store. Customers prefer to shop in the store which are simple with proper aisle and appeal his sensory perception. The store environment is the combination of exterior and interior of the store with sales promotion activity and events organized and conducted in the store. Pleasant look of the store is created by visual merchandising elements.STORE EXTERIOR AND VISUAL MERCHANDISING

Visual merchandising is the main technique which evaluates the success or failure of the retail store. “ A picture is worth thousand words” is a famous phrase that’s why visual merchandisers spend more time in displaying the products and store attractively for drawing customers attention.

Exterior of the store comprises of architecture, store front, visibility, parking, inviting entrance, store name, marques, window displays, surrounding store, visibility, height and size of the store.


Store front is very important. Store front refers to shop front or way to the store which includes street to the building and window displays . A welcoming store makes more customers enter the store. Open door attracts more customer than the closed doors. Customer takes 8 seconds to reach the storefront. Customers attention should be grabbed in first four seconds and in first two seconds itself walkers knows whether they will buy the product or not.


A tidy shop front is necessary to attract the customers. Untidy shop front turns off the customer’s mood. Shop front should be free of any junk and windows should be cleared and washed regularly.


It is a structure placed over the entrance of the store often bearing sign board. It is often placed at the front main entrance of the store. Shelter over the front of the building protects the window displays.


Positive store name evokes positive image in the minds of the customers. Customers identify the type of store by its name.

Eg: Burgar king


Window display is very important tool of visual merchandising. It is the first contact of customer with the store. People generally give 2 seconds to see the window display. Retailers should grab customer’s attention within 2 seconds. By seeing window display itself customers will decide whether to enter the store or not. Window display converts on lookers into potential customers. Window display helps to provide information about the products sold by the store thus saving the time of the customers. Window display helps to generate interest and curiosity of the customers about the brand and product offered by the store.

Customers generally acquire two types of information from the window display

  • Product related information
  • Store related informationCreating a window which has emotional effect on consumers is not easy for visual merchandisers. Windows should not contain too many materials. Windows should be able to tell the story of the product being sold. Themes can be used to tell the story to inspire the customers. Mostly themes are seasonal. Themes refer to topic of presenting the windows. Proper use of colour creates a dramatic effect to the window theme.

Eg: stores selling organic cosmetics can include colours like green, orange, yellow in background and fruits like oranges, apple, strawberry with model lips coloured in orange, red and pink to represent they used fruit extract to make lipsticks.

Props and mannequins used in windows add additional beauty to the windows. Deciding window theme is not easy because it should go in accordance with the budget of the retailer. Fashion retailers should display latest trend to pull the customers inside the store. Retailer having multiple chain of stores allocate more time and budget for the windows of flagship stores since it generate more profit.


Store should be visible to the customers to grab their attention. Visible stores generate more profit than the stores located interior. Building size and height is also important factor which helps the store to be visible. Taller buildings are visible than the shorter building.


Customer generally prefers to shop in the store with good parking space. For the building to be successful good parking lot is necessary. If the retailers don’t provide parking lot for a large store located in a busy area customers will not be happy. Big fast food chains like McDonalds always provide parking space for customers. In Dorabjee’s mall, pune customer can park their car in parking lot for free of cost if they purchase in Dmart.


Themes displayed in the windows should follow in-store to create continuity for the customers. It is very important to design in-store as same as windows because it is only inside the store sale is closed. In-store should also be informative and attractive.


Instore visual merchandising helps the customers to move inside the store in a proper manner and help them to stop at certain points where they want to make a purchase. Shoppers like to shop in a place with more moving space, product is easy to locate and clear, informative graphics and signage.


Product adjacencies refers to products to be placed nearby

Eg: vegetables next to fruits , cosmetics next to accessories, kids dresses next to women dresses.


Floor layout is carefully planned by visual merchandisers. They plan exit in such a way that customers before leaving the store should traverse through entire shop to reach the exit so that customers sees more product and increases the chance of impulse purchase. Staple products like rice, egg and milk are not generally placed in front for the customer’s convenience. They are placed at the middle of the department stores so that customers can see other items before getting the staple goods which adds some other products in the shopping basket which is not planned by them in advance.

Eg: In reliance trends store is split into menswear on one side and womens wear, kids wear on other side. Since womens are confidential shoppers they traverse through mens department to reach their shopping area but mens are shy to traverse through womens wear to their area. In such cases store is split in the middle with mens section on one side and womens section on other side.

Visual merchandisers divide the floor into four areas

  • Platinum
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

Positioning of products is very important in floor layout. When the customers enter the store it is prime selling space. It is called platinum zone. The second customers walk through the shop is gold zone. Third at the back of the store is silver and final area of the store is bronze.

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