Best Shelving Design and Layout for Large Retail Stores

by zhoosh_admin | Sep 5, 2022

Owners and managers of large retail stores often face many more challenges than the average small business owner when laying out their new stores. They must consider how they’ll arrange all their products for aesthetics and user convenience, as well as how to fit in as many goods as possible without sacrificing a positive shopping experience.

Ultimately, coming up with the best shelving designs and layouts for retail stores can be overwhelming, and it’s unlikely that you’ll have all the answers. Fortunately, by aligning yourself with commercial interior fit-out experts like Zoosh Studio, you can get them. Take note of these shelving design and layout ideas below, and you might be well on your way to achieving a retail store that stands out for all the right reasons.

Use Wall Shelving

While the focus of your shelving design and layout might be on the centre of your building, it’s crucial not to neglect the walls. Many large retail stores have windowless walls, and these can be a blank canvas for product display.

Use the maximum space in your store by installing shelving in areas with walls that would otherwise sit blank. With the help of commercial interior experts, you can fix shelves to walls with wall-mount brackets or bracket strips.

Erect End Bay Shelving

When you picture a supermarket, you’ll likely imagine row upon row of shelves displaying all manner of goods. However, you might also think about those special product deals that feature at the ends of each row.

Alongside having shelving rows, consider the installation of end bay shelves that sit at a 90-degree angle to the end of each shelving run. These shelves are ideal for eye-catching promotional offers and utilise what would otherwise be wasted space.

End bay shelves are also suitable for one or both ends of a shop and lure customers into each aisle with the promise of excellent deals.

Install Metal Shelving

It’s not always easy deciding which shelving type you’d like to install in your large retail store. You want it to be aesthetically pleasing, but you also need it to be strong for health and safety purposes. Metal shelving ticks both of those boxes.

Aluminium and steel shelves are durable and robust while also suiting suit small, large, lightweight, and heavy products. Metal is also designed to suit temperature extremes, is adjustable and configurable, and is easy to install and clean.

You might also be surprised at how versatile such shelves are to suit any products you wish to display. Often, metal shelving can come with slat walls or pegboard backing that you can use for hooks, hangers, trays, and baskets.

Go for Gondola Shelving

Gondola shelving might not be the first option that comes to mind for a large format retail store, but it can be a worthwhile consideration.

Gondola shelving units are free-standing, double-sided, and don’t need to be fixed to walls. They have also been designed with convenient customer service in mind and suit most retail business configurations.

What’s more, this shelving type is ideal for lightweight and heavy merchandise, which means you’re not limited with what you use it for.

Stick with the Grid Store Layout

You might wish for your retail store to stand out from the crowd and be desirable for customers to visit for all the right reasons, but you don’t need to stray from traditional layouts to achieve that.

The grid store layout is one of the more tried and trusted options, and it’s preferred for how you’re able to display merchandise in long aisles for customers to browse up and down to their heart’s content.

The grid store layout also maximises product display space, minimises white space, and provides opportunities for impulse buys that bolster your sales. These layouts even allow for extra-wide aisles and predictable traffic flow, making them a preferred option in pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores.

Try the Diagonal Store Layout

If you know a grid layout would suit your store, but you want something slightly different, the diagonal store layout might appeal. With this layout, aisles are placed at angles for customers to be more exposed to merchandise as they meander through your shop.

It’s ideal for when space is restricted, and you want shoppers to be guided to the checkout. You’re also able to enjoy better security since it allows for central checkouts to see all aisles.

Stick With Straight

Talk to your chosen interior layout expert about straight floor plans if you’re looking for an economic store layout with no frills. Such plans have a straight, organised flow and allow for the seamless showcase of your best goods.

This layout is also easy to design in most stores since it involves straight rack and shelving placement without too many angles or complex installation requirements.

Fly With Freeflow

If you’re truly looking for something different, but you’re unable to get your creative juices flowing, talk to commercial interior fit-out specialists about the suitability of a freeflow layout for your retail business.

There can be many benefits associated with such a design, such as unlimited creativity, no limitations with shelves and floor patterns, and the use of different angles. Freeflow layouts also encourage shoppers to browse in different directions, which might suit your unique business model.

Ask the Experts

It’s clear to see that so many shelving and layout options can work within the confines of a large retail store. If you’re stuck for ideas or are unsure how to undertake your next renovation or complete construction, you’re in the right place. Talk to the expert team at Zoosh Studio to learn more about creating a retail space you can be proud of.


What are effective ways to utilise wall space in large retail stores for product display?

One effective way to utilise wall space in large retail stores for product display is to use vertical fixtures like shelves and hanging racks, increasing visibility and making the most of limited floor space.

What are some benefits of a free-flow layout in a large retail store, and what stores might it most suit?

The benefits of a freeflow layout in a large retail store include improved traffic flow, increased customer engagement, and the ability to showcase various products. This layout may suit fashion, electronics, and home goods stores.

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