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Customer Paths and Retail Store Layout — Part 10

Customer Paths and Retail Store Layout — Part 10

Customer path 10

How do you create the right atmosphere for your customers? In this next part of our customer paths and retail store layout series, we’ll explore why atmosphere is a key component.

Up to now we’ve been diving deeper into customer behaviour in a space and how to optimize your retail layout. Part six and part seven went beyond just layouts and analyzed where to place products in a space and how to get customers to slow down and pay attention. Now we’ll touch on accents that will enhance a customer’s experience.


Branding is more than just visual design, it is about creating an aesthetic that informs everything from touch to sound. To create the right atmosphere you have to look beyond graphic design.

When you’re planning your layout, don’t forget to incorporate the right music to set the tone for the store. Music textures the experience in a way that no other sense really can. Another sense you might want to consider is smell. Food retailers could really benefit from the right scents to entice shoppers. Abercrombie & Fitch have also famously used cologne in their clothing retail stores.

So when creating your retail store design, think beyond just the visuals for atmosphere. Compliment them with the right textures, scents, and music.


Lighting can sometimes be looked over when designing the layout of a retail store. There are so many different ways to use lighting to influence your shoppers but lighting should always accomplish two things: accentuate your brand and highlight or downplay specific areas of the store.

One simple thing you can do is to make sure your lighting fixtures are located near prime merchandise areas. The power wall, which we’ve touched on several times, is absolutely one part of a retail store that must be lit prominently. Bright lights can also be used to highlight promotions that the retail outlet might be running. Where light isn’t shone can also be important such as keeping back-of-house areas, shipping/receiving, and inventory out of the spotlight.

Coloured light can also be easily overlooked. Lights that mimic your brand colours can be used to create even more visual cohesion across the entire space. This can add a bit more fun and create a more artistic atmosphere.

Natural light must also be taken into account as larger windows to the outside will let more light in. Don’t forget that bright coloured walls, ceilings, and floors reflect more light than dark walls so that will naturally create a brighter space.

The next part will conclude this series with the best way to optimally layout a retail environment with real world data.

< Part Nine — Part Eleven >

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