Palmer Retail Solutions Blog

Using Retail Fixtures to Direct In-store Traffic and Improve Sales

Posted by Mickey K on Mar 29, 2023 7:30:00 AM

The correct placement of retail fixtures can significantly improve in-store sales. By controlling traffic flow and creating focal points, fixtures draw shoppers in, influence customer behavior, and encourage consumers to engage and interact with products. We'll explore the strategic placement of retail display fixtures and share tips and tricks to help you lay out a well orchestrated shopping environment which promotes sales and increases revenue. Understanding the importance of retail fixture placement can give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. So let's dive in and discover the power of retail fixtures and their placement in generating sales.


Key elements of an effective retail fixture layout:


Sightlines are the open spaces that help reveal clearly defined pathways shoppers can follow as they navigate a retail space. These open areas, leading to clearly defined pathways are the places shoppers will gravitate to first when they enter a store. Think of these as analogous to the trunks of trees with a sign in front of each calling out its classification and importance. Each department within a store should have at least one open area for sighting the different departments or brands. Said another way, this organizational hierarchy of trunk to limb to branch and so on is the progression all of nature has evolved to follow (including human nature).

Focal points

Create focal points with fixture placement, accent or spot lighting and colorful graphics. Draw shopper attention with a strategically placed custom branded fixture; add a well lit hands-on display item at eye level (we'll call that the hero) and surround it with colorful graphics. People will naturally head in that direction to see what all the excitement is about. This is especially important when the hero is a high margin item you want to sell more of. To increase focus, think about how the display or item is framed. Tell a story. By surrounding it with other items or imagery that can be used with it and illustrating its use, shoppers will feel a sense of importance associated with the product. Customers, like children love to get their hands around these special items so keep them at a reachable height. This is especially true with consumer electronic devices. You'll be amazed how often customers are drawn right to them. 

Put up guard rails to direct the flow

Fixtures are great for creating pathways and controlling customer flow throughout the store. Shoppers have to walk past them because they can't walk through them. Think about using display tables, gondola shelving, secondary fixtures displays, end caps as means to control behavior. Having wide areas of 36 inches or more between fixtures allows customers to pass through whereas closely placed ones indicate no-go. Arrange store fixtures so they direct customers towards items of primary importance and then surround those products with related and less expensive accessory items to encourage impulse purchases and additional sales.

Build a better maze

Most people don't know it but if they were to put one hand on any wall in a maze and then trace that wall throughout, it would eventually lead them to the exit. It shouldn't be any different in a retail store. Make sure as customers travel from fixture to fixture progressing down each path so that they eventually exit at a checkout area surrounded once again by impulse buy items. Those final impulse buys are like cheese to a mouse and in many ways represents that small reward for such a great shopping experience and so easily navigating the store.

Speed Bumps

No one likes a lengthy search for the items that first brought them into the store but by slowing down their journey a little with speed bumps and detours you can up store sales and increase profits. By placing a number of exciting items along a main route or in small off-shooting paths customers will pause here and there to check out additional items as they progress towards the main focal point (hero). This can also be accomplished with some custom fixtures and displays highlighting items of secondary importance. Again, it's best to keep these items at eye-level an within easy reach.


The speed and ease with which a shopper can identify different areas of a store and find the products they need is key to turning over stock and promoting strong sales. Retail store fixtures, both stock and custom fixtures are excellent means by which to control the customer journey around the store. Happy customers who have had a pleasant shopping experience will return time and again and will want to tell their friends about the store.

Topics: Store Layout, Customer Experience, Retail Experience

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