Setting up a Store with Retail Shelving

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Gondola Shelves
On October 10, 2014

Retail ShelvingRetail stores range from independent shops, department stores, discount and bargain priced shops, convenience stores, pet stores, membership warehouse clubs, pharmacies, conventional supermarkets, electronics stores and many more in the retail sector.


Store retailers operate fixed brick and mortar locations designed to attract a high volume of walk-in customers. In general, stores have large scale merchandise store displays and use mass-media advertising to attract customers, such as commercials, magazine ads and more. Retail stores typically sell merchandise to the general public for personal, pet or household consumption, ranging from clothing and makeup to toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Some also serve business and institutional clients. These include construction and plumbing supply stores, office supply stores and computer and software stores.


Being aware of the kind of products you sell is a major part of planning for your retail shelving units. Heavy paint cans or bags of dog food are going to require a different kind of shelving, perhaps warehouse shelving, than smaller items like prescription bottles. Looking at an empty space can be intimidating, but it also provides endless opportunity. It is important to design your store with your customers in mind. Think about the best way to show off products while creating an atmosphere where customers can easily brows and engage with the items.


The shelving displays are one of the most important parts of store planning. These are the vessels that offer up your products to customers. They need to be clearly visible, provide optimal display opportunities and be easy to reach and secure. Your shelves will range from gondola shelving to warehouse shelves to sloped shelves. They can be made of wood, glass or carpeted. Then there are shelving accessories, like bins, end caps and grids. The possibilities and options are endless, which is why it is so important to have a firm grasp on the kind of products you plan to sell and then set up your retail fixtures accordingly.


For any retail establishment, in addition to standard store shelves you will most likely need the following shelving units:





  • Check-Out Counters



  • Stockroom and Warehouse Shelves for back stock









Before ordering and hauling in store shelves, first draw the layout, noting where the furniture and fixtures will go to ensure there will be a natural flow of movement for your customers with no barriers as they browse. Put a lot of thought in the shop window. This is the first thing customers see and can draw in new business from the street. Focus on creating a streamlined display that clearly reflects your brand and products, and be sure not to over-clutter the space.


Make sure to always keep your shelves well stocked, low stock levels make your shop look empty, and shoppers are not always likely to ask if a product is available if it’s not out on display. Products should be clearly priced. Customers don’t like having to ask an associate for a price and may not consider it if they don’t know how much it costs. Consider lighting as well. The light should flatter your products while making them easily visible.


In the end, be creative. This is your retail space and your vision. Put a lot of thought into your brand and how you want to come across to customers. Your displays should tell a story and leave the customer wanting more, no matter what industry you sell to. If you are out of ideas, store planning services are always a great way to get input from a professional on how to design and develop your store’s shelving plan.

Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio


Steve has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 15 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, he was named Director of Marketing. Steven earned his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing in 2019. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.