With a continuous decline in footfall in shopping centres over the past few years, retailers are taking time to invest money into their businesses by developing their stores to create more of an experience and update their brand image. Homeware and Department stores in particular are a major part of the news with the struggling House of Fraser and Debenhams. On the other hand you also have Next and John Lewis who have both recently refreshed their stores look and feel. Both stores have developed their product displays to introduce a more refreshing interior, and are seen as your typical high street giants in this area at present. So we thought we’d give you some of our top tips on creating a successful homeware store interior.

 

Here are just some of the elements which are important to us…

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je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?
je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?

Customers need to know what is what…

Clear signage is the most important thing, nothing is worse than wondering round a store aimlessly looking for a specific product, and you can’t find it. Most stores will have a mix of high level messaging which tells you which ‘zone’ you are in, followed by secondary signage to help you find you find a specific product you are looking for within that zone. Signage needs to be straight to the point, and shouldn’t create confusion for the customer, more conversational language often works well because it helps you feel more at ease when in store.

Simple is best…

A neutral and simple design is what makes an effective display, particularly if there is a lot of colour within the product. On the other hand clean white duvets, pillows, etc. also work well on a neutral product display with a hint of timber to soften the displays, both Next and John Lewis have done this successfully within their homeware departments and have created an overall aesthetically pleasing shopping experience.

je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?
je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?

Flexible displays mean a longer shelf life…

Using adjustable shelving to create flexible product displays is important to ensure the store is built for the future. Retailers wouldn’t spend time or money in new stores if they had to keep refreshing them every decade, making flexible spaces make the store have a much longer ‘shelf life’. Using more standardised product displays with adjustable features mean that you could swap and change things as much as you like, without affecting the look of the store. We recently used ‘Peerless Display Systems’ in the development of the home store in our latest store concept for Bensons for Beds. These worked successfully in displaying duvets, pillows, mattress protectors, etc. which are all different shapes and sizes.

Customers love to see samples…

If you’re anything like me you’ll want to see, smell or touch the product that you are buying particularly if it is something that affects the way you sleep for example; such as a duvet or a pillow. Sample displays are used widely within department stores as a way of creating a more customer friendly journey and are essentially a unique selling point, which could sometimes mean the difference between a sale or somebody walking away and having to think more about the product, or even go elsewhere. This is the one thing that physical stores will always have an advantage over, compared with online only retailers, which is perhaps why retailers have introduced this as part of their new store concepts.

je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?
je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?
je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?

Step by step guides are a great way to interact with the customer…

Creating a more exciting shopping experience through interaction is key, when buying most of your typical homeware items, there is often too much choice, and if you don’t know anything about the product, how would you know where to begin. Step by step guides combined within signage are clever, but simple ways of helping the customer understand your product range a lot clearer.

A few more areas to consider, just because there are too many would be…

Darker ceilings help focus more on the product and often if you have an unfinished ceiling or a lower budget this can help to save money, but in many ways be more effective.  Different floor finishes can be a subtle way of highlighting zones, and create the ‘shop in shop’ feel that a lot of department stores have. The use of scent has been introduced into some stores more recently which can give another indication of different zones, and at the same time make the shopping experience more pleasant.

je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?
je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?

The future of the high street is something which is ongoing, and probably will be for the near future, however like all designers, we just want to keep designing successful and exciting store experiences for the consumers!

je+1 What makes a good Home Shop?

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