Store Planning: Shelving for Tight Spaces

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Store Design
On July 11, 2014

Retail shopping at offline, actual locations is changing significantly. Retailers are reducing their physical footprint and reconfiguring their layouts to energize and engage consumers in new ways. You may not notice, but store planning is changing your shopping experience.

Successful retail plans want to match buyer needs and seller interests. Accomplishing this in smaller and tighter spaces challenges store planners and designers.

  • Personal space: Planners have to assure enough space for customers to move freely and comfortably around the store, which tightens shelving space.


  • Shelve it high: Taller shelving displays more and still protects your central selling zone. When you adjust the shelving height, you can sort and display products according to height and still position the slower moving items higher.


  • Entrance factor: To attract customers, you cannot overwhelm the entrance with barriers. Movable gondola shelving and promo tables provide convenience, and open end baskets allow for displays of oddly shaped products.



  • Dead zones: Every traffic pattern has dead zones, so you want to minimize yours by making the space attractive and convenient. Providing checkout gondola shelving promotes last minute impulses like snacks or treats. End units cap the end of aisles with display options for "hot" items. Wall shelving serves your convenience but can also display eye-catching decor and/or large items.


You can make inventory attractive with shelving that contributes to the design and marketing image with colors, materials, and finishes - from modern industrial metals to soft wood tones. Even when people are driven to shop for bargains and utility, they return to locations that meet their needs for convenience and comfort.

Contact us for quality assistance in design, layout, and customized shelving units.

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.