Common Retail Store Shelving Mistakes to Avoid

There are many approaches to laying out a retail premises. You might want to go for a personalised approach, perhaps offering a certain type of experience for the customer to immerse themselves in. Or perhaps you’re looking for functionality and making things as easy as possible for the browser.

There are various different kinds of retail store shelving systems you can purchase to help tailor your store to meet customer expectations. It’s important not just to select the right store shelving systems but also to make the best use of them.

Here are a few common store shelving mistakes to avoid.

Single Sided Black Metal Slatwall Panel Gondola Shelving Units

Overcrowded displays

This is probably the most common mistake with shop displays. The ‘throw as much stock into the mix’ approach only really works in certain environments where customers love to spend hours rooting through endless product piles – second-hand record or book stores, or junk stores. With most store types, however, overcrowding your displays is counter-productive. It looks messy, can make products hard to find and will ultimately end up frustrating the shopper.

The best way to avoid this is through proper planning of displays and using display shelves such as gondola modular shelving or display tables. These units allow for more spaced-out, elegant displays. Gondola units are particularly useful as they have slatwall and pegboard options that make well-organised displays much easier.

Dirty or dusty shelves

Shelving can gather dust and dirt incredibly quickly, especially in busier shops that might attract hundreds, or even thousands, of customers on a daily basis. If shelving becomes dirty, this can then make products dirty. The last thing you want is for customers to be turning down items or asking for discounts because they are ‘shop soiled’.

To avoid problems, it’s advisable to give units a wipe down at the end of each day. If you have modern metal shelving units, polished melamine wood or glass shelving, these are easy to clean with a damp cloth and can be wiped dry in seconds.

Inconsistent displays

If you have created your store layout in a piecemeal fashion, you might end up with the problem of inconsistency. Perhaps you’ll have wooden shelving next to a metal unit, or maybe a grid mesh display next to a pegboard one. This sort of thing isn’t an absolute no-no – everything doesn’t have to be strictly uniform – but if things have been just thrown together without much thought, it will show and could be off-putting to customers.

It’s better to plan your store layout properly, giving due consideration to the design and how things will look. It’s OK to use more than one style, but try to aim for consistency in terms of the vibe the store gives off. It will definitely make a better impression on shoppers.

Products displayed at the wrong height

There’s a popular saying in retail – ‘eye level is buy level’ – meaning the optimum display height for products is level with the eyes of the customer. But obviously everything can’t be displayed at eye level otherwise you’d be left with too much dead space. Also, people are not all the same height. So, thinking about how high to display items is an important consideration.

For example, goods that are deemed premium or which you want to sell quickly should be the ones placed at ‘buy level’ whereas discounted or cheaper goods can go on lower shelves. Children’s goods can also go lower as you don’t want to place them out of reach. Finally, avoid putting stock on shelving that will be difficult to reach for most people as this will just frustrate them.

Poor shop layout

As well as knowing which type of shelving you need, it’s important to plan how to lay out your store. How much space will you need to allow for customer flow? If aisles or space between displays is too narrow, shoppers will feel too cramped and will leave early without buying. Also, give thought to what goes where. Products that lure customers in should be placed in the window or near the entrance, but not goods which are too valuable as this makes them easy to steal. If you’re unsure how to lay things out, walk around the premises imagining you’re a customer and think about what you’d expect to see where.

Bad lighting

Shop lighting is something that often gets overlooked. How often have you been in a shop that’s too dimly lit, with no light shining towards products at all? Good lighting can be the finishing touch to shelving displays and it’s easy and cheap enough to sort out. Moreover, display surfaces such as glass and chrome metal have a reflective quality so good lighting pointing in that direction will enhance the appearance of the whole shop.

Shopfittings Direct can supply an extensive range of shop fittings, commercial shelving, display counters and accessories to stores all over Australia. Give us a call on (02) 9608 5122 or email to discuss your requirements.