5 Steps to Creating a Winning Retail Floor Plan

Eye-catching light boxes, innovative banners and signs that instantly demand attention are vital when it comes to marketing your retail store to customers. However, you can’t underestimate the true impact a creative retail floor plan can have on everybody that walks in. To reap the benefits of a winning formula, here are five steps to follow.

floor plan retailImage Credit: Timeout

Step #1 – Pick the Right Layout for Your Store

Step #2 – Plan it Based on the Way Shoppers Move

Step #3 – Remember to Leave Enough Space

Step #4 – Design Strategic Buying Paths

Step #5 – Don’t Forget the Checkout Space


Step #1 – Pick the Right Layout for Your Store

Before you can think about where to place certain products and even the checkout area, the first and arguably most important step is to finalise the type of floor plan in your retail store. Here are some of the most popular that produce the best results.


A grid layout is one you’ll see in stores like newsagents, supermarkets and pharmacies. It’s where lots of merchandise and products are displayed in long aisles in a predictable fashion. This is great for giving shoppers plenty of exposure to products as the layout encourages purchases, but it doesn’t make for the best in-store experience.

grid layout store


Similar to the grid layout, herringbone is beneficial if you need to pack a tiny space full of products, such as a bookshop. However, lots of products in a smaller space means that customers might bump into each other. That can be pretty annoying.



To really manipulate or predict the way your customers move, the loop layout ensures that they’ll walk past every item within the store from entry to exit. It’s clever, as it increases the chances of somebody impulsively buying something they didn’t intend to purchase. It’s quite common in stores like IKEA, but you need to be smart with this layout.

loop layout

If you do it well, you can utilise the floor space perfectly to tell a story through the floor plan. For example, implementing floor graphics can really help capture attention rather than keeping the floor space completely blank.


If you’re bursting at the seams with creativity that you can’t wait to add, then the free-flow layout is something you should try in your retail store. That’s because this layout doesn’t conform to any layout rulings and it’s completely up to you where you want to locate your products.

This layout is another way of driving impulsive buys. Analyse shopper behaviour, see their starting paths and the way they browse in your store so you can tweak your floor plan into one that will maximise results.

free flow

There’s obviously a lot more to consider with your store layout, especially since it plays a massive role in helping you amend your floor plan. To help, we’ve created a separate blog post dedicated to types of store layout, its benefits and which one could help your retail store the most.


Step #2 – Plan it Based on the Way Shoppers Move

Working on your store layout is one thing but to help you decide the final design, it’s important to analyse shopper behaviour. The best way to do that is to plan your floor plan based on the way shoppers move.

If you’ve noticed previously that the majority of shoppers move in a certain direction, it would be counterproductive to create an entirely new floor plan which they might just ignore entirely. If they’re used to a certain way of moving around the store, then try to maintain that familiarity.

Remember, shoppers will decide whether they like your store within the first 15 seconds of entering. That means you have a pretty short window to create a welcoming atmosphere and a route they’re comfortable with.


Step #3 – Remember to Leave Enough Space

When creating the perfect floor plan in your retail store, keep in mind that you need to leave enough space for shoppers. You never know when it can busy and your retail store might be bombarded. 

Customers need transition space when they enter a store, something experts call the decompression zone. They also need their personal space. They don’t want to be in crowded areas or jostling for space – so focus on the aisles and pathways to make sure it’s a comfortable area for everyone.

By leaving enough space, it’ll give customers a relaxed entrance, journey throughout the store and exit. The last thing they want is to feel claustrophobic from the moment they enter because your store layout is very narrow and tightly packed together.


Step #4 – Design Strategic Buying Paths

To maximise the benefits of your floor plan, create a buying path that leads shoppers to where they can see most of the products in your store. If you really want to increase the chances of shoppers purchasing an item, then you can control how they move from the get-go.

Printed floor graphics, attention-grabbing displays and unique signs are great ways of enticing people to walk down certain aisles or to view certain products. With the addition of graphics like footprint stickers, you can draw attention to certain areas and make shoppers follow them.

Plus, they can be customisable to appeal to your target market as they’re an uncommon way of standing out from your competition.


Step #5 – Don’t Forget the Checkout Space

The end of the customer experience is at the checkout. The floor plan should make it really easy to navigate to the checkout which is designed to a high standard so that it catches the eye.

Again, think about the space that goes into the floor plan around the checkout area as you don’t want it to be another tight space. Strategically place products for last-second impulse buys and create a checkout area which leaves a lasting impression.

These are all great starting points to create the winning retail floor space you’ve always desired. To maximise the results of your own, you’ll benefit from checking the floor plan template pack which is full of examples to inspire you.


Check Out the Different Layouts That Can Improve Your Floor Space

To help, we’ve created a free library of floor templates that you can download today. It features everything you need to know about effective floor plans which will elevate your retail store, events and more. To learn more about how the right plan can boost brand awareness, increase sales and even engage your customers, get your copy using the link below.