How to make the most of a small retail space

When setting up a new retail business with a limited budget, your shop options are usually limited. And much as you may love a spacious shop floor, you might not be able to afford much more than a cupboard.

But that doesn’t mean you need to put up with a cramped, unpractical and uninviting space. With some creativity and clever planning, you’ll end up with a retail space that works for you and your customers.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of a tiny retail space.

1) Be creative with your displays and go up

You may not have much ground space, but what happens when you look up? Can you display your wares vertically, so you can fit more into your shop?

With some careful planning and ingenuity, you’ll find display shelves and cases that will make the most of every square foot of retail space you have, allowing you to showcase more products in less room.

So, with space at a premium you need to be clever about how you use it, and plan ahead carefully in order to do as much as you can with it.

2) Avoid looking cluttered

That said, you don’t want your retail space to feel cramped and claustrophobic. So don’t cram every available square in with products. Instead, allow your displays space to breath. And avoid dark or overpowering shelves, stands and display cases, and opt for neutral, light colours that don’t compete for attention.

3) Keep people orderly

In a tiny retail space it can be hard to know where the queue for the till is, and who is queuing and who is still shopping. You also don’t want people who are queuing to pay to squeeze out potential customers.

This is here queue barriers come in handy. They’re a polite way to make sure that everyone gets what they want. Customers who are ready to pay can see where to line up, and can be served in turn. And people who are still shopping can move freely around your space and look at your merchandise.

4) Move outside

Does your retail space have access outside? And if so, can you use any outdoor space? If so, weather permitting, why not showcase some of your products outside? Not only will it increase your space, but it could tempt passersby into your store to buy.

5) Create an accent wall

While small spaces can seem less cramped by using neutral colours, accents of colour can help brighten them up and give the illusion of more space. And one bold way to create an accent of colour is to paint one wall a bold, but cool colour. This will apparently give the illusion that the wall is receding.

Photo by Robin Benzrihem