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Retail Store Design Stimulate the five senses for a memorable experience.

Retail Store Design sign

Stimulating all the senses in your store is what will create a unique and memorable retail store design. A great example of this type of experience is Abercrombie, a clothing and accessories store for young adults and teens. It has one of the most unique in-store experiences in the industry. Here’s how:

Touch: Polished dark wood covers walls, shelves, and floorboards in the store.

Sight: The store’s windows are covered with louvers to create a sense of exclusivity. Inside, dim warm spotlighting highlights merchandise.

Taste and smell: Thick layers of Abercrombie cologne is in the air before you even enter the store. This fragrance alone is enough reference for some to identify the store.

Hearing: Abercrombie plays EDM in their store – not the radio or the USA’s Top 50. This is a unique playlist of songs that do not play in any other clothing store.

Improve your retail store design

If you have a retail store, you also have a brand. Either of these may or may not be strong or go together. Synchronize them to evoke a unique feeling that is remembered through the five senses will create a branded experience.

The touch or feel of your merchandise is already an aspect, so expand the touch sense to your fixtures. Have an interior design concept that matches what your ideal clientele would enjoy.

This idea flows over to sight, create a visually appealing storefront. Use brand colors and theme to encapsulate your customers in the “world” that is your store. Here are a few touch and sight ideas:

  • A store theme derived from the logo
  • Custom fixtures like slatwall with your brand colors
  • A mural accent wall with your brand colors

Taste is obvious if you have any food or beverage related items to sell. If not, you may need to rely more on the related sense, smell. Smell is an extremely under-appreciated marketing tactic and can be a powerful tool.

  • An earthy grass scent for a sporting goods store
  • Ayu (the scent of a pearl) for a jewelry store
  • A smoldering bunch of pine needles for a camping gear store

Tapping into hearing can be a rewarding challenge. Over the air radio is free, but it is not unique. Classical music may be a good option, but the genre targets a small niche.

  • Employ a musician to play ambient music
  • Purchase the rights to music
  • Play rights-free music

Enhancing your store to excite all the five senses will make your store design much more memorable, and create a unique experience for your customers. You’ll be set apart from your competitors – for the better!

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