How to Design a Handbag Store
When you're designing a store, the layout of your displays matters just as much as what's on them. If you're selling handbags, for example, it doesn't matter how fashionable or high-quality they are -- if your store has a boring floor plan, customers won't care. While you can always experiment with a few tried-and-true floor plans, you'll also need to monitor your customers and see how they respond. When people are receptive to your store's design, you'll know -- the proof is in your sales figures.
Determine Your Flow
Customers need to be able to walk around your store, and you can guide them along by choosing a floor plan. For example, a free-flow layout is ideal for a handbag store -- the open design invites free browsing and flexibility while promoting impulse purchases. The downside of this layout is that it is not space-efficient, so if you have a particularly small shop, it may not work. A spine layout is another option that is appropriate for stores like this -- think of department stores, in which a wide aisle is flanked on either side by free-flow layouts. It provides a comforting sense of order while inviting customers to explore.
Lines of Sight
You can't force customers to buy anything, but you can practically force them to think about it. By guiding your customers' lines of sight, you quietly encourage them to look at your merchandise. If you have a collection of bags you know will be popular, for example, display them prominently with signage or display them in the middle display table indicating that there are more styles toward the back of the store. This drives customers straight through the rest of your merchandise, where they may see additional merchandise they decide to buy. Creating lines of sight also has to do with visibility -- you want customers to be able to see as much of your store as possible from any given point. This means minimizing obstructions and keeping decor from being a distraction.
Focus on Fixtures
The fixtures and decor in your store have as much influence on its style as the product you sell. For example, if you want to sell high-end handbags, don't simply decorate your store with fluorescent lighting and neutral wallpaper -- instead, opt for stylish fixtures like lamps and chandeliers, and paint with modern, feminine colors. Fixtures are also used to display merchandise -- for example, hang bags from purse trees, or on the walls, where they double as decor and merchandise displays.
You aren't just designing your store to be aesthetically pleasing -- you're doing it to sell handbags. Your store should actively merchandise your product, so place emphasis on eye-catching displays throughout. For example, give yourself room to create impressive storefront window displays that will attract attention outside, and emphasize the high quality of your more expensive merchandise by displaying it in attractive, locked glass cases. The way you display your merchandise communicates its value -- if you simply pile handbags on a table, they're going to look cheap and unappealing.
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