Are there any standards I should follow when designing my store interior, or shall I just go to Ikea?
This is a question we get asked often by startups. Below is a simple overview of the typical types of fixtures used by retailers.
When it comes to fitting out your store, their are few rules in relation to the fixtures and fittings you could or should use.
- Free standing units can be shopped for locally or online (ikea cabinet for example).
- Fixtures for the walls need considering a little more as they may require a skilled handiman or shopfitter to install.
Some of the more popular options for wall coverings are covered below, however retail designers continue to raise the bar and reinvent the wheel – whilst trying to make stores stand out from the crowd. Don’t rule out doing something different, but be mindful of the ongoing costs if you need accessories and attachments adding to it.
Slat-wall is very popular in the UK. It is relatively inexpensive and comes in a variety of finishes.
The popular dimensions are: 2440mm x 1220mm – with 100mm slats. (Otherwise referred to as an 8ft x 4ft sheet). The groove cut into the wood panel (typically MDF) is done by a machine, and the profile of the groove can vary from one company to another.
This is done to tie you into their accessory ranges. Be sure to check the accessories you buy, fit the profile of the slat-wall before installing.
Inserts can be fitted to the slat-wall to give a more professional finish to the panel. Inserts come in a variety of colours and materials (typically plastic and metal) and can act as a contrast to the panel.
Accessories are widely available for slat-wall, from shelves, arms, hooks, brackets, signage, POS holders and even flags.
A store filled with slat-wall (100mm slats) can be a little busy on the eye. We always want to keep customers focused on products, not busy walls.
Slot Shelving Systems
Consisting of two upright channels of metal, featuring vertical slots (single, twin, Tegometal or slim) – slot shelving systems give retailers flexibility to fit brackets, shelves and other metal fixtures.
Popular in fashion retail, slot systems have space between the metal channels to introduce colour, texture, graphics or panelling. These can be changed relatively quickly to transform a store without changing the fittings.
The discrete nature of the channels also keeps customers focused on the product, rather than the fixtures and fittings.
Popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s peg board has become less popular in the UK, although some convenience stores still adopt it. Electrical retailer Radioshack, in the USA, use a modern pegboard facia to their displays.
Pegboard is a series of holes which accessories can be hooked into. It is popular behind counters where large numbers of accessories are displayed.
Recently designer brand Cath Kidson utilised it in her Selfridges concession.Its is inexpensive and the accessories are generally low cost too.
As practical as pegboard is, the busyness of its form, can detract from the product a little.
Having something custom made will ensure you maximise your space. You will retain creative control and will only have to compromise when it comes to money.
Standards in an industry generally become standards for good reasons. This should never cap your creativity however, and many stunning stores have chosen not to conform to shelving standards.