When setting up a retail store or boutique, you need to think about a lot more than “where everything will fit”. The arrangement of your products, brands, and aisles can have a big influence on what your customers buy. If everyone entered your store, found exactly what they came in for, bought it, and left, you would not be very successful. It is up to you to entice people to shop longer and buy more than what they originally planned. There are a few ways to do this that we will discuss here.

  1. Make sure that basics are not at the front of the store or at the ends of your aisles. If someone is coming in for jeans, a black t-shirt, or some other common wardrobe essential, you want to lure them deeper into the store. Try to ensure that they will pass a lot of other enticing items as they make their way back to the basics.
  2. You should also arrange your brands with this concept in mind. If your boutique sells a lot of a certain name brand of shoes, then customers should have to weave around all of the other shoe displays to get to them. If you have aisles, put the most popular name brands in the center of the aisles. You don’t want people to be able to easily avoid your other products by being able to grab what they need from the end of the aisle.
  3. Surround or pair items that you know to be basics with other items that you want to promote. If you know that people are coming in for that new style of jeans, then you should create interesting displays coordinating those jeans with other items. Mannequin displays are perfect for this cause. Dress the mannequin in a top that goes great with the jeans, and then also load it up with accessories, like purses, sunglasses, hats, shoes and jewelry. Use a sign or other form of communication to make sure that your shoppers are aware that you have the popular item, but don’t promote it out on its own.
  4. If you use a lot of bright lighting, obtrusive music, or other “in your face” themes, you’re not really encouraging the customer to relax and shop. Make sure that your retail design incorporates things that make people want to spend time in your store. Displaying samples is a good way to make sure that people spend time on your cosmetics aisles. Putting your shoe inventory our where people can try on shoes without having to ask an employee is a good way to keep them there longer. You can even use scented air filters, incense, candles and air fresheners to induce relaxation.
  5. Make sure that your shoppers are comfortable and that everything is easy to access. Don’t crowd your displays. Clothing racks, garment racks, shelves and other displays should not be placed close together. No one wants to be looking through a clothing rack for their size and be backed up to another customer. Narrow aisles discourage people from browsing and taking the time to find the items that they’re interested in.

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