No Room? How to create the illusion of space in a small shop fitout

When it comes to small shop fitouts, the message is simple: minimal clutter for maximum impact.

Floor space is expensive to rent, especially in today’s retail market. When it feels like there’s no room, skill and creativity are required to get the most out of a shop fitout.
Here’s a go-to-guide for achieving maximum impact, with minimal space.

  • Trick the eye

    Some may say space is merely an illusion – so how can the illusion of more space be achieved? Well, one way, is through mirrors.

    By lining the walls of a shop with mirrors, and placing racks, shelving and counters in front, the location of the walls becomes unclear and reflections can give the illusion that the shop extends beyond the boundaries of the outer walls. In addition to appearing longer or wider, a space can then feel taller when mirrors are utilised, as the line of sight is extended up to the ceiling.

  • The only way is up

    A major challenge that many retailers of small shop fitouts face, is finding adequate shelving and product display solutions to ensure all stock is being presented adequately.

    Typical shelving and table displays are often contained within the line of sight, ignoring the available vertical space. By installing floor to ceiling shelving and fixtures and placing extra merchandise up high, to the eye of the customer is drawn up, inviting them to see and feel the full height of the space.

    This is particularly successful in product stores with high stock volume where larger items can be placed up high and remain visible from the ground. Additional or spillover product can be placed up high to give the illusion of an abundance of stock, in a limited space

    The illusion of space + the practicality really works!

  • Go with the flow

    Successful floor layouts are the key to ensuring the flow of a retail store directly meets the needs of the customer. A well-resolved floor layout allows shop owners to guide customers around the store exactly how they would like.  This, in turn, maximises sales for each square metre of the retail space.
    To achieve a successful floor layout, shop owners need to consider what flow will best suit their key customers. Fruit shops, for example, may benefit from displaying an abundance of stacked items from the entry all the way to the back of the shop, while clothes stores may prefer their customers to follow a more organic route around the store. Finding flow and developing a strong floor layout to match, is critical in ensuring the space is utilised well and adequately responding to the needs of the customer.

  • Light it up

    The brighter a space, the larger it feels. When lighting is low and dull, particularly in a small space, the unlit areas appear cut off from the remainder of the tenancy making the overall space feel even smaller. Feature pendants or downlights to highlight focal points of your store helps draw the eye across the full extent of the tenancy. Adequate lighting to all areas is key to a successful shop fitout.

Successful retail spaces are not measured on the size of the space – it’s about how well the available space is utilised. A clever use of optical illusions, effective lighting and functional flow will give customers a positive retail experience, no matter the size of the store. AC Fitouts, shop fitters gold coast, are experts in creating successful fitout solutions, for all project sizes, big and small.


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