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What role does layout play in Visual merchandising?

The layout of a store is a significant factor for the maintenance of a thriving business, which can help advance sales and profitability.

An effective store layout encourages consumers to shop the entire store and view an extensive assortment of merchandise.The most common forms of store layouts include grid layout, racetrack layout and free form layout.

Choosing a store layout depends on the type of store and the nature of the product sold. A grid layout is generally organized in a rectangular shape, which allows customers to shop quickly and maximize shop floor space, ideal for a supermarket or hardware store.

A racetrack layout ensures that the consumer only follows one path when browsing the store. This is beneficial in the sense that the consumer will come into contact with every product on the shelf.

However, this can irritate customers. Customers may feel that they are being forced to follow a certain path, and can be frustrating when trying to make a quick purchase.

Free form layout is a suitable layout for a store that encourages browsing. This type of layout is more relaxed in its structure, which leaves the customer feeling less rushed.

The entrance of the store, otherwise known as the transition zone, is an important area in the store. The term "transition zone" was first coined by retail anthropologist Paco Underhill.

This is an area where all shoppers pass on entry into store, and is significant as this zone is where consumers can observe the stimuli and sense the general vibe of the store.

Therefore, thoughts and representations a consumer has about the store and the brand depend on this area. When customers enter the transition zone they need time to adjust to the new environment including the lighting, the temperature and other sights and sounds.

Higher profit margin items aren’t recommended to be placed in that area because customers don't notice it while they are preoccupied with adjusting to the new environmental stimuli.

Spatial design of a retail store is a key aspect when it comes to creating an enjoyable experience, and is also an effective way of communicating with customers.Colour can be considered as one of the most important variables when it comes to ambiance in retail. (Van Rom pay, Tania-Dijkstra, Verhoeven, & van Es, 2011).

Certain colours that can be considered as highly arousing can encourage customers to make purchases out of impulse. Warm colors such and orange, red, and yellow give consumers a sense of excitement but also provide a sense of anxiety and create a distraction.Recreational shoppers that enjoy a sense of excitement may prefer these high arousal colors. (Van Rompay et al.,. 2011).

In general, people prefer cool colours such as green and blue and associate these colours with a sense of calmness and security.Shoppers that are more task oriented are more likely to prefer these cool colours as they bring this calming effect and are also less likely to distract them from the task at hand. The way the furniture such as shelves and racks and seating are set up is a tangible element is store design. A store layout with a higher regard for space can increase customer pleasure, and a store filled with clutter can have the opposite effect. (Van Rompay et al.,. 2011).

When It comes to a simple well-spaced layout in a store, task oriented customers find this type of layout to be the most effective, as they can easily locate the items they want without the unnecessary clutter and obstacles in their way. These simple factors can encourage customers to stay in the store longer and in turn spend more. (Van Rompay et al.,. 2011).

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Source: Wikipedia

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