The whole point of a designing minimalist retail outlet is for the backdrop to be clean, orderly, clutter-free, neutral, and absolutely pleasing to the eyes. Some might say it works the way a museum does where everything is kept neutral but with a few key points that simply SINGS when they meet your eyes. 

You've invested money into ensuring your displays are not only pleasing to the eyes but would also help your customers find what they're looking for. But along the way, there will be speed bumps for pause. Don't forget that. 

So, it is absolutely crucial to take a clear look at your retail floor plan before deciding on the shelves and decor. This can still be done without the help of an interior designer, although it is, admittedly, much easier with the keen eagle-eye, and experience of one. 


The Decompression Zone and Checkout Counter

One important element we must never forget is to focus on the position of your checkout counter and traffic flow. 

  1. Position of the checkout and entry point(s) has a huge influence on the overall shopping experience of your customers and their behavior
  2. Traffic flow helps your customers instantly spot stuff they like. The reason they stepped foot into your store has to be apparent to them right from the start. These products should receive maximum exposure. For instance, stuff on sale. 
  3. Place fixtures like gondolas, standalone shelves, wall-mounted shelves, and decorative displays to keep your customers from walking out. Every now and then, there should be something to catch their eyes.

Interior designers would often try to keep the space in front of the entrance approximately 5 to 15 feet wide...but it is OK if you don’t have that real estate luxury. Called the 'decompression zone', it's where people transition from the outside environment to a smaller, most probably, indoor one. It is common for them to either come to a full stop to take in the overall feel of your store or slow down to a sauntering gait to soak in the environment. 

The truth of the matter is this is precisely where they make the most judgments based almost solely on their first impression. Simple things like lightings, the position of shelves, cleanliness of the retail store, coordination of your displays, the smile of your salespeople, and the color theme are all taken in in one sweeping glance. 

This transition can be rather confusing and they’ll likely miss the small intricate details that you’ve gone the extra mile to do up which includes shelving decor, carpeting, posters and more. 

That’s why it’s important to first have an as clear as possible interior decor plan in mind before purchasing shelves and display units.

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Staying Organized in Style Without Splurging

Decorating a home or store doesn’t come easily to everyone. Otherwise, interior designers would not be able to place the kind of price tags on their services like they do today. As a beginner, the endless number of possible designs and concepts can be overwhelming.

So, if you want to keep things simply organized, appealing, and clean, instead of making a grand plan, it's better to start making a list of things you DON’T want. 

For example, you don’t want it to have a rustic look so, you rule out browns, blacks, and wood furniture. If you prefer to keep things clear off the floor, you don’t want cluttered displays that take up a lot of space. 

Many people opt for floating shelves which you can quickly hammer into the wall. Not only do they take up very little space, they're also easy to personalize. In fact, there are hidden brackets and accessories in the market to help you create the seamless, organized look you want. We know retailers who actually change up their displays every so often just to keep things fresh and to highlight new products!

A compact shelf design will allow you to decorate without taking up too much space or cut into your budget. These shelves use hidden brackets to create seamless looks enhances any room or space.  

Don't forget to also do your own research online. Pinterest and Instagram are awesome places to scour and study retail outlet design. You might even want to organize your Pinterest boards with differently-themed designs so that you can change them as the year goes along. Have a board for Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali, Big Promo sale, that when the time comes, you'll know exactly what to do!

If you have a business partner, have him or her look at the designs for a different perspective. We’re also pretty sure your family and friends are more than happy to provide you with some feedback! 

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Mindful Minimalist Decoration

The best ways to achieve the minimalist look for your retail outlet is to utilize the walls, get things off the floor, keep to the same color theme, and ensure the decor on your display racks are skillfully organized.  

Many interior designers will tell you the same thing: if you don’t want to confuse your customers when they walk through the door, choose white, off-white, or beige. It's hard to go wrong with these neutral colors.

Quote: “As a good rule of thumb, about 2-3″ between pieces is a great place to start but then play with your pieces and move them around until they look right to your eye” - Kris Jarrett

When your store has a minimalist look, whatever else you choose to place in your store tends to more easily snatch the spotlight. It sets the stage for them to shine even when there are a lot of products on display. 

The theme can also change according to season and according to promo periods. You can decorate the walls and shelves with just about anything which includes feathers in vases, natural-looking wheat decoration, flowers, or posters of products on promotion. Pretty much anything goes with a minimalist design.

In fact, you can go even further with creative DIY ideas like using wrapping paper, gift wrappers, scrapbook paper, inspirational posters, gift bags, thank-you cards from your customers, kids’ art, original paintings and scribblings, dried leaves and flowers, old book (ripped ones too!) pages, antique documents and decor, printables, and of course, meaningful photographs. 

The idea goes well if you’re trying for the eco-friendly store look

You can also take your cue from The Zoe Report's 10 Designer-Approved Home Decor Gifts for the Minimalist In Your Life if you don’t know where to start.


The Wonders of Long-Lasting Wall-Mounted Shelves

Depending on the quality of the shelves, they can last up to a decade, with proper and regular maintenance. So, before you buy the shelves, find out more about the kind of material it is made of because some shelving systems, be it for home or retail, are not weather-proof. 

Some shelving systems are merely made for indoor use. If it comes with a manual, read it. If you're visiting the showroom, have a long chat with the salesperson in charge before purchasing it. Many salespersons and designers are willing to share their personal takes on how to create the right ambiance for your store. 

The less you move it around, the longer it will last. Most shelving systems come with good finishing touches so that all you need is a gentle detergent, a washcloth, and a quick wipe every now and then. 

If the manufacturer's manual tells you to keep it in cool, dry storage spaces, heed the advice. How many times you clean it, however, is a personal decision. If the shelves are exposed to the elements, clean them every day. If they're located in an indoor shopping mall and in an air-conditioned environment, wiping it once every couple of days is often good enough. 


Designing your Own Retail Outlet, Digging in your Heels

You don't really need to hire an interior designer to come up with the design of the store but go ahead if you have the budget for it. At the end of the day, we want to help you make sure the shelving system installed makes full use of the space you have to work with. 

With the internet these days, you'll find tons of ideas and may even set you off to become your own interior designer!

The idea is to start with a blank slate. This way, you get an overall picture of the space you’re working with and decide an overarching theme. 

After that, get to the larger stuff like furniture, shelves, display units, counters, storage space, kitchen, bathrooms, living space, rest areas, etc. As the picture gets clearer, you’ll get to move on to other things like books, vases, flowers, decorative items, plants, picture frames, poster stands, mirrors, lighting, candles, coasters, lanterns, orbs and many other things you can slowly add to the retail outlet design. 

QUOTE: "When you’re shopping for frames, look more at the size and style of the frame than the color because the color is something that you can easily change" -

Just remember that when you’re designing a minimalist or eco-friendly retail outlet, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead, the most expensive investment of it all should be effort and time. 

As long as the store has a welcoming and comfortable ambiance as well as enough speed bumps, or what we call ‘merchandise outposts’, along the way, you're on the right route. Customers tend to pause and think a little more when they see something that wanders into the radar screen that encourages them to buy a little bit more....and yes, most of the time, on impulse.


So, before you go, here’s a recap. We hope we’ve been able to shed a better light on how to design your minimalist retail outlet better. 

  • Neutral colors and keep things simple
  • Pay attention to the decompression zones
  • Position the checkout counter strategically
  • Determine the traffic flow within your store
  • Use gondolas and wall-mounted shelving systems intelligently
  • Make the right first impression
  • Start with a list of things you DON'T want in your retail outlet
  • Start with an empty slate
  • Use the internet and social media to come up with an idea
  • Ask for feedback
  • Utilize the walls
  • Set the stage for your promotional products and highlights of your store
  • Make sure you're using quality furniture
  • Ask the salesperson relevant and useful questions
  • The most expensive investment for your store is time and effort


Find out more about what and has to offer if you’re decorating, redecorating, revamping, or renovating your retail outlet. With our decades of experience in the industry, we’ll help you find the perfect solution for your retail interior design needs in no time. Give us a call at +603-61566222, email us at, or drop by our showroom in Kota Damansara to speak to our personnel. For ideas, check out our Slatwall projects or Freewall projects. If you’re on social media, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We hope to connect with you and share some of our future projects with you!

Read 10349 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 December 2019 06:43