How do you merchandise the floor area of a retail clothing store?

There are various named theoretical ‘store layouts’ – Grid, Loop, Straight, Diagonal etc, but the one most suited to fashion and clothing generally, and more specialist stores such as Outdoor, Sports, Equestrian etc., where you are encouraging people to search out new items that they didn’t necessarily come in for is the ‘Free Flow’ layout.  There are no specific design rules to follow for this retail store layout, and customers have more freedom to wander and follow their own impulses.


It is therefore a case of making the layout attractive to investigate which means using a variety of floor units – just two or three types are normally sufficient depending on the needs of the merchandise – which you can move around from time to time to create a fresh look to the shop, thereby helping returning customers to feel that it’s different and interesting to explore.


So don’t make it too cluttered so it’s difficult to wander freely, but conversely, if it’s not on show you won’t sell it, so it’s a balance, a judgement to make, as to how many merchandising units you need and can get into the space available.

Some other thoughts:

  • don’t have too much side hanging: you need a good mix of forward and side hanging to break up the display and make it more attractive; you can mix side and forward hanging in the same bay too;
  • maybe create a height difference with some units that are higher than the rest, so it does not look too ‘samey’ but equally, you might want most of the units about 1.4m high so people can see over them to spot something else that they may be interested in.
  • also, group together items of a similar nature by the colours: so reds, browns, blues, greens etc together, rather than mix up the colours completely: it makes for a more structured and therefore attractive display.


Dragon Display Systems have a variety of units, starting with the gondola range for which you can essentially design your own with a variety of heights, lengths and accessories, plus various other merchandising units, high and low. All designed to be a little different, and made here in the UK.