A good retail design should cover everything from price to unspoken brand image. Everything, and we mean everything about your retail design will affect your customer loyalty. From the second they lay eyes on your store your display elements are already at work. Are yours doing everything for you that they could?

Take a little time to really assess what each element of your store portrays. Ask yourself “if this display were speaking, what would it be saying?” If you can’t answer that question or if the answer doesn’t fit right in line with your business plan, then you have a problem. The lighting, the color scheme, the spacing, the depth and the definition of the initial glance are all important.

There are a few elements that you should consider when you are approaching this task of evaluating that “first impression” look. In other words, there are parts of a person’s mind that you will need to immediately capture to achieve your goal of drawing them in while building their confidence in your brand.

  1. Curb appeal, in the sense that the front of the store should be alluring and inviting. Garment racks, tables and other displays should be angled so that a person has room to walk in and evaluate for themselves before being trapped in the middle of an overwhelming amount of merchandise. You want the front of your store to have a funnel effect.
  2. Quality and price questions in the customer’s head should be immediately apparent. The quality of your décor and displays should directly reflect the price range and quality level of merchandise that you offer. You don’t want the customer to be shocked by a high price or wonder about quality because of a low price. Make sure that everything is representative of what is actually there.
  3. Personalize the experience for your customer by using models, mannequins, and mannequin forms for clothing. Once someone feels invited, they’re attracted to the clothing style, and the quality and price fit what they’re looking for, the next thing they’ll want to know is “how will these products make me feel?” Within a split second of looking at a storefront, we are already thinking about whether or not we’ll like what this store can do for us. This is why window displays with mannequins have been the most effective way to draw in customers for over 150 years.

Keeping these elements in mind as you move through your store will help you to come up with arrangements and display elements that will satisfy the secret questions going on in your customers’ minds. The more you hone in on satisfying these shoppers’ urges, the more successfully you’ll be able to meet your customers’ needs.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of garment racks including clothing racks. Find a high quality garment rack or clothing rack at