mBox Blog

You may have noticed that many big stores are looking a lot more attractive these days than they did in the past. Big supermarket chains for instance have been widening their aisles, improving their lighting, and redesigning their shelf spaces and layouts.

These changes are not just to make a store look and feel better. They can also have the effect of making customers want to linger longer and browse around looking at products, rather than rushing in and rushing out again.

Even if you have a small retail store, it’s still possible to create a space that will improve the likelihood of people browsing and coming back for repeat visits. Lighting, layout, colour schemes and signage can all make a difference to the look and feel of a store and its impact on customers.

Suggestions for retail store improvements


There are four primary types of lighting to consider. These include:

  • Ambient / general lighting – this provides enough light for people to see what they’re doing and to brighten the store.
  • Accent lights – these can be used to highlight specials or to promote premium products. Accent lights are often used in jewellery stores for example.
  • Task lighting – for carrying out specific tasks as the name suggests. Consider installing task lighting at your store entrance and in the checkout area.
  • Decorative lighting – to create a luxurious or ‘special’ feel to your store, such as chandeliers.

You can also use dimmer switches to control lighting and reduce electricity costs, mirrors to reflect light, and glass shelving to highlight luxury items.

Layout / design:

The layout can make a big difference to how customers move around within the store. If your spaces are tight and cramped and customers are prone to accidently knocking things over with their handbags, it might be time to rethink your store’s layout!

There are several pattern options including grids, diagonals, regular or irregular angles and curves. Experiment with different layouts, or better still, make use of store layout software or consult with a professional interior designer.


We humans are very visual creatures, and we respond emotionally to the colours in our world, often without realising it. Tips for the use of colour include:

  • Use colour to tell a story or to design themes around products – such as earthy tones in a garden shop, or beachy colours for summer items.
  • Use colour for mood-setting – such as blues and greens for a calming effect, orange shades for warmth and happiness, and pink for light-heartedness.
  • Bright colours such as red and yellow can be used to alert customers to products (think ‘red spot specials’), but should only really be used as accents – especially red which can be agitating.

Other tips:

  • Create an attractive logo that sums up your business and use it on all your labelling and signage.
  • Keep your store clean, organised and free of dust and clutter.
  • See how you can better cater for the disabled and parents with prams in your store.
  • Regularly rearrange your shelves to keep things interesting and fresh.
  • Make the most of current technology in your business, such as online file storage for documents and data and virtual fax, as this can help you to save on physical space in your store.

There are many other tactics that store owners use to make their premises more attractive – including sounds, scents, signage and general ambiance. If your store needs a makeover, these tips can be used to help you to get started.

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