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C-Store Layout

5 Tips for Planning an Effective C-Store Layout

There are several things to think about when designing a layout for a convenience store. You want the space to be attractive, efficient, easy to browse, and most of all convenient for the quick in and out shopper.

Since most convenience stores (or C-stores) don’t have sprawling retail space, what you do with every square foot matters. To help design the most effective layout for your C-store displays, we’ve highlighted five display principles that are known performers.

Personalize the Space

The art of branding is important for any business, but convenience stores have the advantage of being able to easily tie in their brand image throughout the entire store. This is a case of small spaces equaling big opportunity. As soon as a customer walks through your door, they should immediately feel immersed in your brand.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is by personalizing your shelving. While shelving normally stays in the backdrop, the right colors and materials can make displayed merchandise pop. Think about your brand image, including your logo and bring in shelving and other fixtures that bring it to life.

Avoid the Straight and Narrow

Consider arranging shelving fixtures in a diagonal pattern throughout the store rather than along the traditional straight grid for two reasons. First, diagonal placement usually allows you to either fit in more shelving or give customers extra aisle space to browse. Secondly, it’s a great layout for protecting your inventory.

It’s a fact of doing business that occasionally someone will try to sneak something out without paying for it. Diagonally placed shelving often gives employees a better overall view of what’s going on in the store, causing would-be shoplifters to think twice.

Go Deep

Placing the most popular merchandise in the center of your store means that customers need to go deeper and pass more merchandise to grab the one thing they wanted. This strategy can be complimented by strategic displays placed along the way.

For example, if your store’s top sellers come from the convenience food cooler, locate it deep into the store with endcaps featuring chips and other accompanying snacks along the customer’s path from the cooler to the register.

Think Convenience

It seems like such a logical concept, but many C-store designs are set up for poor results from the very start because they didn’t focus on customer convenience. For example, beer is ranked among the top 5 biggest sellers for convenience stores, but accessing it isn’t always easy.

If you have a devoted beer cooler, install shelving that’s easy to shop so they can quickly get out of there. If you offer a non-chilled selection invest in a shelving unit that holds and properly displays the sometimes odd sizes of 6-packs and larger cases.

A Great Final Impression

As customers approach the point of sale area, this is your last chance to influence their buying decisions. If at this point they happen to think of something else they wanted, they’re more likely to just leave it behind than travel back through the store.

Install versatile shelving near the register area that’s designed to hold a variety of impulse items, and then stock them with merchandise that you know would compliment many of your customer’s purchases.

Shelving Solutions for Your C-Store

You can’t have a fabulous C-store design without high quality shelving fixtures to support it. We supply the shelving and merchandising solutions that modern C-stores need. Contact us at PFI today to discuss our premade and custom-built options.